Birding by ear Part II
by Heather Harbord, 10 April 2010.
Ten of us stalked the old golf course at the Townsite with Pierre listening for birds. It was “briskly cold” but warmed up later. Many of the migrants had flown north after the storm three days ago but there were enough singing for our purposes. The most conspicuous were Song Sparrows, Purple Finches, Spotted Towhees, Varied Thrushes, Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets who actually showed off their ruby crowns. Several sea lions also serenaded us.
As we entered the forest part of the walk, a tiny Winter Wren was carrying some mossy nesting material in its bill and entered in a cavity about 25 feet of the ground in a cedar tree. We watched it poke its head out of the nest and then challenge us with a lively song. A little further along, a Varied thrush and a Robin sounding their alarm notes prompted Elizabeth to look up to see a roosting Barred Owl that we all saw. We ended up with a list of 32 birds which is pretty good. We saw no Rufous Hummingbirds or Turkey Vultures.