Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Welcome Sight

That's right - I love seeing a nice big patch of weeds. The birds do too! Yesterday afternoon, my dog Chestnut and I went on a nice ramble along the Yellowthroat Creek near my house. We came across this weedy field (or rather, some person's abandoned backyard), and there were lots of birds in there. A bright Nashville Warbler popped up, pumping its tail. My first for the spring. A Lincoln's Sparrow scolded me out in the wide open at close range - I kicked myself for not bring a camera. As we battled our way through the weedy brush at the creek's edge, we found more interesting birds: a Black-throated Gray Warbler, Hooded Orioles, and Common Yellowthroats (the creek's namesake, and one of my favorite birds).

Today, we went back. This time I had my camera. Naturally, all the birds were uncooperative. I'm still quite surprised that this brushy drainage ditch hasn't been cleared out and lined with concrete. Unfortunately, tree crews hacked a lot of the scrubby willows and brush way back in one section of the creek, and there are far fewer birds in that part now. Hopefully, it will grow back as thick as it was before. The area unaffected by the trimming lies mainly outside of my neighborhood, in an adjacent community. I saw five Wood Ducks and singles of Wilson's Warbler, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, and Bullock's Oriole along there today, along with many of the birds I saw yesterday. I'm hoping the creek will prove to be a hot spot for migrants close to home...

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