Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Birdies at Camp K

It's been an interesting spring so far from a bird watching point of view. In the ten years we've lived in Woodstock, we've rarely seen (or heard) a red-winged blackbird with their so distinctive "screeeeee." I love those little birds with their bright red and yellow shoulder epaulets. This spring, however, when I go outside I almost always hear them and presume they are nesting nearby. Yesterday I saw two down at the dam.

Today, while sitting at the computer I saw a tree swallow checking out one of the birdhouses. He looked in, flew off and came back with his mate. He was perched looking into the hole as if to say, "Come, dear, this really is a comfy little cottage to raise a family in." She sat on the roof as if to say, "Well, it's rather small don't you think?" Aloof on the roof would be a good title for the picture she presented.

We have also been blessed with abundant bluebird sightings. And on one of my jaunts around town I saw what I thought was a killdeer, but, after looking in my bird book, I thought it was more likely a common ringed plover, although there is absolutely nothing common about that lovely little creature.

If you are a bird watcher I know you are sharing in my joy. If not, you are missing one of the greatest pleasures on earth. I keep hoping for a flock of cedar waxwings to visit on their migrations. That has only happened once or twice since we've been here, but I long to see those little bandits again. They have a distinctive yellow tail tip as if someone dipped them in bright liquid sunshine.

Meanwhile, I enjoy the every day sightings of my familiar friends: cardinals, robins, tufted titmice, chickadees, mourning doves, sparrows of all kinds, and, yes, even the blue jays and crows and the garbage men (turkey vultures). There is never a lack of "birdie showtime" here in the valley -- nor an appreciative audience at Camp Kreitzer.