This is a new segment that I am wanting to try for this blog. Friday Field Notes won't necessarily have birding information every time, but it will be an excerpt from a field notebook that I keep. Each week I will post one story from this notebook about one of my outings. They may even have some drawings associated with them some weeks. The goal is to be able to start using the knowledge that I learn in my more specific classes, such as mammalogy, to share in greater detail with you about the world that surrounds us all.
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Notes taken August 25, 2018
I'm at Fancy Creek State Park. I came here to conduct a bird count, but have been struck by the beauty that is a healthy wetland. About a week ago I was here observing the exact same area I am observing today. What a difference a few days of rain can make. The wetland was so dry that hardly any shorebirds were around and now there is flowing water. The grasses have greened up once again just in time for the Fall migration to begin.
The birding has been a bit spotty, but the morning has also been very foggy. I got the opportunity to see a pair of perched Common Nighthawks (Chordeiles minor) and a couple Wilson's Warblers (Cardellina pusilla) thus far, but the fog is beginning to clear and more birds are starting to sing.
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As expected, the birding picked up as the fog cleared. I was able to observe my first Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea) and a Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum). I also observed an interesting behavior of the American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis). Two males flew up high together, taking quick darts at one another and then plunged into the underbrush for a little while, only to repeat the sequence once more. One male then flew off to the top of a nearby tree.
This has been a beautiful, cool morning. It's always a great thing to be able to get out and enjoy nature any way that I can, but I enjoy it even more when the birding is good.