Thanks to your contributions, we were able to order custom Rogue Birders #BirdOn shirts for the East Clark Elementary “Bird Nerds”! They received their shirts last week and Janice joined up with them to show them some new birds. She also got a few shots of them in their new gear!
In The Field With The Bird Nerds
On Thursday, July 23, I had the chance to meet up with the East Clark Bird Nerds! Chris had a full schedule and wasn’t going to be able to make it to Cleveland, so he asked if I could fill in. I was kind of reluctant. I’ve been kind of depressed and not feeling like myself lately. These kids already have amazing mentors – how am I going to contribute? I’m just a cranky old lady! But they were going to Sandy Ridge (kinda my home turf)! Of course I would meet up with them and try my best to help scope out some shorebirds!
We also met up with Najada Davis (Yes – THE Najada Davis of Kestrels in the Hood fame)! He was taking some photos and video – I’m sure it’s part of something amazing and new that he’s working on! As we made our way through the woods, we heard many familiar birds – Red-eyed Vireos, Eastern Wood-Pewees, American Robins. We talked about Scarlet Tanagers and how I can’t ID them by song (only by their chick burr call).
We heard reports of a Baird’s Sandpiper just West of the mound, so we had to get there to scope out the shorebirds, but we were quickly distracted by Eastern Kingbirds, an American Mink, Bald Eagles, Great Egrets, a Sandhill Crane, and a Caspian Tern! From the mound, we scoped the shorebirds, but did not see anything I was confident in identifying as a Baird’s Sandpiper (although it would have been cool to show the kids a Baird’s)! Due to time constraints, we headed back to the parking lot to meet up with Jen Brumfield. Jen presented the group with a check – from YOUR contributions to her GoFundMe drive (THANK YOU)!
Summertime Grasslands Birding
Storm clouds were rolling in, but our day did not end there. Margaret Peak Nature Preserve is not far from Sandy Ridge Reservation. I wanted the Bird Nerds to see some of our nesting grassland birds, so we headed over to Peaks. It was hot and I wasn’t going to make them walk the park, which I’ve dubbed “The Land of 1,000 Suns”, in midday heat. I told them we’d just walk to the bench and back. We had a target bird – Dickcissel!
As we pulled in, I heard an Indigo Bunting calling and one of the kids spotted it in the top of the tree. I told them how to remember their song: BURGER BURGER, CHEESE CHEESE, FRIES FRIES, PLEASE PLEASE! The Meadowlarks seemed to be hiding, but it was ok because they’d already seen Eastern Meadowlarks. DJ Bob was hiding too (the Bobolinks). We heard Grasshopper and Savannah Sparrows calling, but didn’t see them.
Then I heard a familiar tink coming from the grass – Dickcissel right before the bench – we found our target bird! It was carrying food to the nest!
By this time, the storm clouds were really rolling in. We managed to find a second Dickcissel and everyone got good looks in the scope before we headed back to our cars. We made it back right as the rain hit!
I had an amazing day with the East Clark Bird Nerds and I am happy I had the opportunity to join them on their adventure!
More photos from the day