Foot willing, I got back to my “three runs a week” average in March. That, with two half marathons this month, poured a solid foundation for finding new species. Every run, though, left from the same point in the asphalt heart of D.C. While I’m proud that I’m not driving to target new species, this low-impact strategy does limit my ability to scour a wider variety of habitats.
Still, a long run to the National Arboretum afforded great views of a Lark Sparrow, a rare bird in the District that’s wintered near the same intersection for a few months. Another run, this time to Roosevelt Island, provided a distant view of a vocalizing flock of Rusty Blackbirds, a species that is declining across its range and only my second-ever sighting. A pair of Pileated Woodpeckers nearby were also new for the year.
A half marathon to Kenilworth Aquatic Garden provided two long-sought raptors: a soaring Turkey Vulture and a recently-returned Osprey. The mud of the tidally-influenced marsh was submerged so the recently reported shorebirds – Wilson’s Snipe and Greater Yellowlegs – couldn’t be found.
The Rock and Roll Half Marathon towards the beginning of the month was also a success. Only my second race at this distance, I still beat my PR set a decade ago by six minutes.
Plus, at Mile 10, I added a Common Raven for the year.
2018 “RUNNING LIST” – By the Numbers
Number of runs: 32
Total Mileage: 215.27
Total Species: 70
Avg Mileage: 6.68
Great Black-backed Gull
Great Blue Heron