Yesterday I learned that the Amos Butler Audubon Society had organized a birdwalk this morning. I recently joined the National Audubon Society (Why did that take so long?) and have been curious about the local chapter. I decided that if I was up and around I would join the group.
I am not a group/nature kind of person. I go to the woods (or sea or lake or prairie) to be alone with my thoughts. But it’s the peak of warbler migration and I don’t know diddly-squat about most warblers. A walk with a few experts would be good for me.
I was wide awake at 7:00 so off I went to meet the group at Ritchey Woods in nearby Fishers. Janet Creamer, from Indianapolis Southeastway Park was our guide. She was by her friend and Indianapolis urban forester Andrew (Hart?). I know Ritchey Woods and bird there often, but these folks took it all to a new level. Not only did they know where to work, but they had amazing ears. Time and again they announced a birds location by ear and we confirmed it with our glasses.
Several life birds: roughed wing swallow, yellow billed cuckoo, least flycatcher, eastern towhee, red breasted grosbeak, blue grey gnatcatcher, and Kentucky and Tennessee warblers. We also spotted eastern phoebe (my youngest’s namesake), baltimore orioles, yellow warblers, Cooper’s hawk, and common yellowthroats. We looked for soras (a goal of mine) but none were evident.
Apparently these walks are weekly, at different locations. Next Sunday the folks are meeting at Harrison State Park.
One of my rules is that I must experience a bird before I carve. My list of potential carvings has grown considerably!
A complete list:
Yellow Billed Cuckoo
Great Blue Heron
Blue Gray Gnatcatcher
Red Breasted Grosbeak
Rough Wing Swallow