Apr 042018

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

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

 Posted by at 5:50 pm

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