Louis J. Halle said in Spring in Washington that “[i]f this canal had been designed for the observation of birds rather than for commerce … it could not have been better done”. How true! And how fitting it is that today I captured my 101th bird species along the C&O Canal.
On film or digital media, that is (I do not harass wildlife).
Well, I know 101 is a very humble number, but let me add a few qualifications:
- I am neither a birder nor a bird photographer, I go out hiking quite a bit and like to take pictures of scenery and animals (including birds), but “birding” as such is not my primary concern.
- I have seen many birds that I have not been able to photograph.
- I have also photographed birds that I have not been able to identify (I only include in my tally the ones I can definitely identify).
- I have not included birds in captivity that I photographed.
OK, so with these out of the way, here’s the story —
It rained heavily the last couple of days and the river was swollen. But I decided to take a stroll on the towpath anyway. I started from Edwards Ferry in the morning. Soon, I started seeing woodpeckers, chickadees and cardinals.
A grayish bird soon caught my eye in the understory, I quickly took a few pictures, and this turned out to be a blue-gray gnatcatcher:
This was my 100th bird species (see qualifications above before you laugh).
But this day belonged to yellow-rumped warblers — they are everywhere and not very shy at all:
It is beautiful along the canal at this time of the year. Virginia bluebells are everywhere, as are many other wildflowers.
Of course, this being at the water’s edge, the common suspects are abound, such as this painted turtle:
Not too bad for a leisurely walk, wouldn’t you say?