There are often funny stories about birds in the papers, as well as reports of recent local sightings. These usually appear in weekend editions where harder news is replaced by news that is a bit softer and more entertaining. That's my take, anyway. Here are some recent examples.
Let me put things in context. I started out early on 8/16 making the usual stops along Bainbridge Blvd. I continued south across Veterans Bridge and headed toward Inland Rd. I was making the circuit I often make. I spent a fair amount of time on Inland, much of it waiting and watching. I didn't mind, though. The sun was up, the tide was low, and I was hopeful. Always hopeful.
I said these words in a previous blog: 'Birds are now settling in to their nest-building, egg-laying, and brood-raising responsibilities.' By now, the beginning of August, most of those brood members have left the nest, and are on their own (more or less), though some certainly remain. (Some species have multiple broods. And some are late breeders.)
That's the title of an acclaimed memoir by author Chris Offutt, and the title of blog #13. You'll see why shortly. But first, a photo of the same river once, with a female Mallard aloft just above it.
We've covered some ground here. Thank you so much for reading. And thank you to those who have told me personally (Marjorie, Rebecca, Larry, Steve, Mickie the Master Naturalist, the two Sarah's, Bob S., CBG and others) and through your comments (Abby, Glenn, Phil, Marlene the nature writer, Katiegirl, Dii and others) how much you're enjoying the blog. I realize this is a well-worn expression, but this is a labor of love. I love doing this. And hopefully the labor is yielding results. Now, cue the trumpet fanfare. Ladies and gentlemen...this photo's for you (a newly fledged Purple Martin hawking insects over Pardise Creek Nature Park in Portsmouth)!
I also had the pleasure recently of meeting Dre. No, not Dr. Dre. But when Dre told me his name, that's how I remembered it--by associating it with the name of the famous rapper and producer. From Compton. I'd call Dre a master crabber. Boy was he good, not to mention that he seemed like a great guy.
I had the pleasure recently of meeting a lady named Barb. She approached me as I was watching and photographing an active Osprey nest on the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth. We struck up a conversation. I shared with her that I was with the Elizabeth River Project, that I monitor Osprey nests on the river and elsewhere, and that two nestlings were about to fledge from the nest I was watching. 'Any day now', I excitedly told her.
That's the title of a well-known poem by American poet James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916). And we are, of course, knee deep in June! Here are a few lines from one of the verses. Fitting lines for inclusion in a bird blog.
Before we answer that question, here's a fun sequence of 'arrival through departure' shots I took at the end of Inland Rd. and right on the river. This is an Eastern Kingbird looking for nesting material.
Volumes have been written about the things that we have done and continue to do to pollute--and damage--the environment. This is a prime example of that kind of behavior. This reminds me of trips I've taken to the Great Dismal Swamp. I've seen everything there from household trash and construction debris (including large chunks of sidewalk), to carpeting, truck tires, and a Sea-Doo.