One of the birds I’ve missed seeing for my County bird list is European Bluebird so yesterday morning, I took the dog for a Saturday morning bird walk at the North Branch Nature Center. I knew that they had been seeing a couple there but I’d missed them each visit. This time, I saw one before I even got the truck parked.
A male bluebird was staking out a nesting box but being hassled by Tree Swallows. I watched a dozen swallows chasing each other, harassing the bluebird — just doing their thing. Now the center has a “leash your dog” policy and since I’m a board member, I adhere to that — so the first thing I did was to hitch Penny’s leash to my belt. Nothing like having a 60 pound lunger, explorer tied to you while trying to focus on birds. Even more challenging taking photos but I got a few.
Penny and I had a good outing, hearing and seeing a number of birds. It was a certain amount of tangled leash, stopping to sniff clumps of grass (her, not me), but a beautiful morning to be out. Toward the end of the walk, I heard and then saw a Ruby-crowned Kinglet working it’s way around some leafless trees. I had never heard, knowingly, the wonderful vocalization these tiny guys and gals have. Here’s a photo I took as it landed or departed — you’ll have to take my word that it’s a kinglet.