If you’re a running birdwatcher in Washington D.C., August is a dim month. Thankfully my wife and child had to relocate near San Francisco for most of the month, where I was able to work remotely for over a week. Most importantly, at least for this effort, I was able to fit in four runs on the West Coast, my first since January 2 in Seattle.
It had the potential to grow my 2018 list and, despite having a couple runs limited to late afternoon runs after work, it didn’t disappoint:
- Run 1 – 10 miles west into the mountains near Menlo Park added 11 new species. Highlights included WRENTIT, NUTTALL’S WOODPECKER, OAK TITMOUSE, and hunting WHITE-TAILED KITES.
- Run 2 – 9.5 miles near Stanford (during a hot late afternoon) where I added only BAND-TAILED PIGEON.
- Run 3 – 8.2 miles up and over Satellite Hill near Stanford, in the late afternoon after work (again). Turns out, not a great time to find birds but I did see my second COOPER’S HAWK of the year.
- RUN 4 – 11.75 miles to the shores of the South Bay where I tallied a year-high 40 species, including 11 new. The best birds? RIDGWAY’S RAIL, AMERICAN AVOCET, BLACK-NECKED STILT, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, PYGMY NUTHATCH and WESTERN BLUEBIRD.
I returned to Washington D.C. riding high as a (white-tailed) kite, but the soul-crushing heat and humidity – and lack of birds – brought me back down to Earth pretty abruptly.
2018 “RUNNING LIST” – By the Numbers
Number of runs: 89
Total Mileage: 611.67
Total Species: 166
Avg Mileage: 6.9
Great Black-backed Gull
Great Blue Heron
Great Crested Flycatcher
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cape May Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler