May 022018

It’s springtime: The weather is improving, the birds are moving and I’m on the chase. I tallied nearly 80 miles over 11 runs and added 25 more species for the year. Here are some highlights: 

  • My second run of the month was an 11-miler to Fletcher’s Cove on the upper reaches of the Potomac River in hopes of seeing the rare Great Cormorant reported the previous day. No dice, but I did find six new species: BLACK VULTURE, RED-TAILED HAWK, HAIRY WOODPECKER, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET and EASTERN TOWHEE.
  • A flyover MERLIN over the pond at Constitution Gardens – carrying prey – was an unexpected addition for the year.
  • A run around the Tidal Basin and around the Theodore Roosevelt Island loop allowed fly-by SPOTTED SANDPIPER, GREEN HERON, and BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON. A lone RUDDY DUCK was one of the last of winter and an OVENBIRD was one of the first of spring. Alas, a text alert upon my return informed me of a flock of BONAPARTE’S GULLS off the north end of the island, just feet away from the wooded trail. Drats.
  • A work-day run to a residential neighborhood where Mississippi Kite nested last year yielded no raptors, but a singing BLUE-HEADED VIREO was a nice addition, as well as the GREATER YELLOWLEGS in a marshy area on my return.
  • A 13-miler around Hain’s Point and the Tidal Basin afforded me a year-high of 36 species, including four new: EASTERN KINGBIRD, HOUSE WREN, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER and YELLOW WARBLER. 

I’ve seen more unidentified warbler butts than I care to admit, plus yet another flyover accipiter – my third for the year – that eluded identification.

While I am confident this effort isn’t a detriment to my base fitness, I am stopping to stretch a little more frequently than normal. I am sure “pishing” helps loosen hamstrings as much as listening to the soft chip calls of migrating warblers overhead. 

No peer-reviewed research to substantiate this claim but nonetheless I’ll keep researching this theory—especially in spring.

2018 “RUNNING LIST” – By the Numbers

Number of runs: 43
Total Mileage: 294.57
Total Species: 95
Avg Mileage: 6.85

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Northern Shoveler
American Wigeon
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Anna’s Hummingbird
American Coot
Spotted Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Caspian Tern
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Kingbird
Blue-headed Vireo
Steller’s Jay
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Common Raven
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Pacific Wren
Winter Wren
Carolina Wren
Bewick’s Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
House Sparrow
House Finch
American Goldfinch
Spotted Towhee
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Rusty Blackbird
Common Grackle
Black-and-white Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Northern Cardinal

 Posted by at 5:32 pm

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