Maybe it’s slowly creeping into me over past few years –I’ve become acutely aware of birds as I spin along on bike into park areas or rest for a short time near trees, bushes and tall grasses.
It’s like a candle has been lit in me. Especially this year, I notice bird shadows flitting in front, to the side, or above me. Or the sweeping chorus of multi-bird songs and warbles in the morning, as I spin slowly pass leafy thick bushes and trees along the way.
Morning Shock of Unexpected Hawks
Over a year ago, I cycled past what appeared to me, a reddish hawk that landed on a fence. I never stopped. And I regretted it since I had my camera in my pannier.
Suddenly this summer, at approximately the same spot, one, then shortly a second and shockingly a third Swainson’s Hawk, perched on the same fence by the golf course. Miraculously, they didn’t care about me only 5 metres away, shooting photo after photo.
I must have filled my memory card with several hundred shots of those hawks.
Leaning on Bike Routes and Parks for Birds
This year, I’m preferring bike routes and parks where various birds hang out often. The smaller ones like to fly into thick wild bushes along rivers and creeks to hide, but still sing happily along …or warn others of hulking humans like myself.
I have yet to capture in order to identify the breed of rare small flashes of yellow in a bird. So small and quick. I lost out capturing photos of 3-4 orange orioles one early morning. Not sure which type because they were constantly winging around the river grasses in their dance.
Once I was descending on bike, a 10% grade small hill and was suddenly halfway, stopped short by sight of 3 cedar waxwings, their plump beige bodies with tiny slash of orange and yellow tinged breast while one of them gobbled fruit in its beak.
I still can’t recognize nor care to spend time recognizing bird songs. Nor do I want the weight of lugging around a long macro lens on a camera. Binoculars only give me closer sight, not a snapshot for my memories. So not worth my investment dollars.
I’m not that much of a birding fan to be weighed down by more gear. I may concede to long wind pants for morning or evening haunts occasionally.
We’ll see. For now, I just want to sharpen my eyes to see more different birds hidden in their leafy kingdom. Maybe an owl will reveal itself in the trees one day.
Oh wait–was that just a yellow leaf that blew by or a yellow bird that I missed?
Resources for Bird Fans
Cornell Lab of Orinthology. Best web site to identify a bird species.
Calgary Ebird –or type your city name in URL address in browser, then Ebird. A geospatial map on top right of ebird page, for you to zoom in and hopefully, find some bird hotspots.