Pretty much all of my birding in the last two weeks has been done while commuting by bicycle. Here are some things that I saw.
An American Kestrel is always sitting on the same wire over a field by my office. The dark smear on the bird’s belly in the photo above appears to be blood. It must have been feeling sluggish post-meal, since it was more cooperative than most.
Warbling Vireos are one of the most commonly heard birds on the greenway along the river, but rarely do I actually stop to try and observe them. This one let me get quite close.
The Harrison Street bridge in downtown Fort Wayne is the only reliable place I know of to get Cliff Swallow, and these birds were motorless #125.
Their architecture is pretty impressive. Others who have tried to make their home under this bridge have not been as successful.
For a period of about a week, a literal swarm of Cedar Waxwings numbering in the hundreds decimated the ornamental cherry trees of Indian Village Park on either side of the trail. It was a spectacle to behold, and I spent a long time getting to know the flock.
Waxwings are my favorite bird, hands down. You can make all kinds of metaphors about their behavior, so choose one. They also look cool.
One individual had orange tail feathers, which is something I have read about but never observed before.
In case you were wondering, here is what they do with all of that fruit.
My ride traverses a variety of habitat, but it usually produces only the expected things. The exception to that might have been last week. Two separate weedy fields gave me two separate really good birds that were heard-only. Last Monday, only a mile and a half from downtown, I heard Dickcissel. On Friday I rode past the field pictured above, and there were at least two Grasshopper Sparrows somewhere within. These last birds would have been lifers if I decided to count them, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I did eBird them though, which also felt weird because now I have more birds in eBird than I do on my life list. If you are reading, how do you rectify this situation? Difficult times. Such is the life of a birder.