Monday, February 18, 2008

Charles River Bird Sightings

I went jogging on Saturday and this time I left my camera at home to focus on my time.

Despite not taking any time to stop, I was still able to catch a few sightings. I saw the resident Great Blue Heron, actually prompting him to take flight as I ran by. This was strange because the last time we were jogging my boyfriend picked up on him after I had already gone by and he stayed still while we took pictures before continuing on. Maybe he was in a more 'fleeing' mood due to the warmer temperatures this weekend. The previous time he was hunkered down into his shoulders trying to keep warm wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.

The only other interesting sighting I had was a Common Redpoll. This one crossed the path low in front of me and started hopping around the underbrush. My Sibley Guide says they're almost always seen in flocks (and when I saw them before on Martha's Vineyard there was a good number of them) but in this case I think they were there, but I just didn't stick around long enough to see the others. The way it moved, along with the distinctive red on the crown distinguished it from the hoards of house sparrows I also saw during the run.

Interesting fact about Common Redpolls from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Website: they have pouches in their cheeks for temporarily storing seeds. That way they can fly off to safety where they have take their time swallowing them.

You all know how much I favor this part of the Charles River for birdwatching, but I'm not alone! I've had many birding group sightings, and while I was jogging Saturday I saw 3 different groups. Two of them were couples, but the third was a group of about 7 people, with a leader who was educating them about something. I whizzed by without catching what they were talking about, but they picked the worst part of the trail to stop for their talk. It's an extremely narrow part of the trail that goes along a hillside, and is impossible for more than one person to pass at a time. For all I know there could have been a very relevant reason for stopping there, so maybe I should check it out next time I'm there for a birdwatching trip. It is actually in the vicinity of where I see the most species during the warmer months. It's a nice warm little cove where they like to hang out.


Larry said...

I enjoy runnning into other birding groups to see what they're up to.

Larry said...

Oh yeah-congrats on the Redpoll and thanks for the informational tidbit.