Monday, February 9, 2009

more birds

last night I took Artie the Wonder Dog for a run. He pulled me for five miles. When we got home he did a few dozen laps of the yard, then went a couple of rounds with his old blanket. I was exhausted, he was energized. Today my quads feel as if I just ran ten miles down Mt Evans - had to brake on every step against his enthusiastic trot.

There were redwing blackbirds churring in the reeds. That is the earliest I've ever heard them in Highlands Ranch. On the other hand, every year for the last eight at least, the date has been moving up. I know this because it's noted in my training logs. Since we're right on the edge of its year-round residency, I guess that soon they'll be here continuously, and I'll lose my 'first-robin' marker on spring runs. Well, 'runs' for a generously-defined value of run: I'm working my way down to walking.

I suppose I could switch to the American robins themselves. They are thrushes like the rwb (the English robin is considered an old-world flycatcher) so not too much of a leap; but the rwb has this characteristic midday song so that he who runs may listen. It's easier to ID by ear. Then too, the robins are moving fast as well, according to the Audubon report.

The report also notes the meadowlark population is plummeting. Theirs is the true summer note. I always look forward to hearing their liquid trills on the bike in Chatfield.

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