We started our morning off in a favorite stop of any Bird Nerd at the museum...Bird Alley. I asked each KidSummer kid to choose a bird to illustrate by having a seat, studying the bird and putting colored pencil to paper. Kids' artwork is among my favorite things and although not every young person is comfortable creating a sketch of a bird... they eventually came around. They all did a BEAUTIFUL job! Check out their creations in the photos below.
I wanted to cross over to visit the southern trails of the museum - the Lee Baldwin Trail. It was another typical hot August morning, and the Beech Trees on that hike really provide wonderful cool spots, not to mention a naturally artistic setting. The Bird Nerds were intent on playing the game Camouflage, so they did for a time. It took us a while to get into the woodsy trails though, because as we were approaching the shady relief, I could hear a Belted Kingfisher. The other day, we only saw 2 for mere seconds. That was a tease! When I heard the bird, we paused. I wanted everyone to be familiar with the rattle of the call of the Belted Kingfisher. I hope they all can remember it for future sightings... then - one of the Bird Nerds spotted her! A SPECTACULAR Belted Kingfisher, which we thought was probably a juvenile. This bird was hot and was open-mouthed breathing. We were all quiet and I would say we stayed to watch this incredible bird for nearly 10 minutes. We even shared the news with hikers on the trail, which they greatly appreciated!
I was so proud of our group. No one was getting too impatient, asking if we could continue on. We all stayed and admired the gift of the Belted Kingfisher sighting. I explained how I am not a competitive bird watcher and asked everyone what they thought about how to handle it when a bird you don't often get to see, stays in one spot for a while.
"...to savor every moment that you see it.". I couldn't agree more. We did leave the spot before the bird did, so we could let her relax in her shade, and she wasn't there when we crossed back over the bridge on our hike. We got our time in, and we got 'to savor every moment' we had with her. (double click photos to enlarge)
Belted Kingfisher (!!!)
|Choosing the right bird in Bird Alley|
|Choosing a an ocean (pelagic) species|
|Bald Eagle beginning to take shape|
|Admiring the Belted Kingfisher|
|Can you spot the Belted Kingfisher?|
|Enjoying the fragrance of the Sweet Pepper Bush|
|"It's BEAUTIFUL! It smells like it looks"|
...from a young Bird Nerd
|We did not want to leave the view of that Belted Kingfisher|