Monday, September 15, 2014
Bird Watching in (Semi) Urban Settings, Part One: The Pasture
I don't live in a very interesting place, especially for a geologist. It's a flat valley floor (a corner of California's Great Valley) given over to agriculture and urban development. It might have once been an open prairie, but today it consists of a small farming town east of Modesto surrounded mostly by almond orchards and corn fields. On the whole, it isn't much of a place for finding birds.
What's the take from this? No one could ever mistake my little suburban pasture as an exciting place (notice how I picked sunset shots to dress it up). But it is a wonderful thing to know that an adventure of sorts lies just beyond my neighborhood block, and such a principle is probably true for most people wherever they may be living. Urban jungles still have some green space, and some hint of the original diversity of birds species may be found there. I have two or three other sites that have revealed some interesting bird sightings. I'll review them shortly in another post.
I'm intending to follow up with what I've been doing to my poor friends on Facebook and make a nearly daily posting of the latest bird sightings, which will include oftentimes the same birds (I'm actually starting to recognize some of them). So here are two of yesterday's birds, common visitors in the pasture: Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus). There were a dozen or more searching for bugs in the flooded corner of the pasture. Their call has become a familiar sound on my walks.