It’s Been Hot Out

Indiana has been baking in a heat wave for what seems like the better part of a month. Although I have neglected this blog during that time, I have taken a few sweaty bike rides.

DICK 2

Dickcissel

The common theme has been Dickcissels. Dickcissels everywhere. Dickcissels at the airport. Dickcissels perched in random trees by the side of the road like the one above. Dickcissels at Eagle Marsh. This has been the summer of the Dickcissel. I have seen more Dickcissels in June of 2018 than I have in the rest of my life combined.

DICK

The State Bird

If you really, really want to see a Dickcissel, though, just go to any farm field with utility wires strung alongside it.

GRSP

Grasshopper Sparrow

On one particularly Dickcissely stretch of road south of town, I found some of their friends. Chief among them were numerous Grasshopper Sparrows, which are always a good sparrow to have around. They were also hanging out with Savannah Sparrows, which were the first ones I saw since my trip to Ouabache State Park, meaning I officially got them back on the green list for the year (which is up to 128, thanks for asking).

SPSA

Spotted Sandpiper

Another bird on the same stretch of wires with all of the sparrows and Dickcissels was this guy. I know Spotted Sandpiper is the goofy uncle of the sandpiper family, but this behavior was just taking it too far.

REVI

Red-eyed Vireo

With as hot as it’s been, I have mostly been able to tolerate short bursts of birding from the yard. This Red-eyed Vireo was new for the yard before the weather became unbearable. In the 16 months we have been in our current home, the yard list is now up to 62 species.

AMRO Fountain.JPG

Baby Robin

The yard birding has also benefitted from the bird bubbler, which one day hosted a long-staying juvenile American Robin. It found the water source and then just sat in it. For like half an hour.

Parents.JPG

Parents just don’t get it

But like all the things that youth think are cool, once its mom found the fountain, the baby was all of a sudden less interested.

Pond Siblings.JPG

Pond Siblings

Fortunately for me, my kids are still young enough that they like the same stuff I do. Earlier in June while Jaime was in Toronto, I had several days alone with the kids. The best one among them was the day that we went to Fox Island, which is usually a birding destination for me by myself.

Pond Walter

Nuthatch

Pond Alice

Chirper

They loved it. Or at least wading in the quasi-nasty pond. Walter also felt inspired to add a few birds to his own personal life list. The outdoors are pretty great!

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4 thoughts on “It’s Been Hot Out

  1. Completely agree on the Dickcissels. On both of my Indiana BBS routes, which run through the country, they were double the total of the last couple of years.

    • Interesting to hear that this is not just a local phenomenon. I even had Dickcissels inside of my 5-mile radius. Living in the middle of town, it wasn’t a bird I was expecting to get on that list any time soon.

  2. We’re having another good year for Dickcissels in Wisconsin, too. Apparently that’s becoming a trend as drought conditions persist in the Great Plains.

    The first time I went to Alaska, I was flabbergasted to see yellowlegs of both species perching (and singing) on utility poles with those long, long legs. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Grasshopper Sparrow on a utility wire, though, despite biking past thousands of them (GRSP and wires) in Kansas!

    Hope your heat wave breaks soon!

    • Thank you! The heat has dissipated as of today. The Dickcissels and wire-perching sandpipers will surely appreciate it.

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