The temperature is between 90 degrees and 100 degrees today. I went for a walk at the park [with the circular asphalt path]. I lost track of how many times I walked the circle. I was going for 8 times (2 miles), but I think I went ten (2 3/4 miles) instead. Keeping count when it is excessively hot is NOT easy.
I like walking in this type of heat – one, there aren’t that many people, two, the birds are often exhilarated because they are ALONE, or they are too HOT, and act PECULIAR and three, walking in the heat is a workout. Right now, I really want to EXERCISE this body of mine…
There is a family of Blue Jays at the Park. I am 99 percent sure of this. Why? I saw one flying from a bush in the middle of the circle, to a bush at the edge of the circle [possibly stopping at a small tree in-between]. He was joined by one more Blue Jay, then another. Right on their heels was a fourth Blue Jay, a smaller one! Their coats were fully grown, i.e., the Blue Jay magnificent blue, white and slight gray striped feathers! I try so hard to describe Blue Jays in poems, in essays … I can talk about their personalities – abrasive, storm the castle paratroopers, very family oriented up to a certain point, demanding, and at times joyful. They have one call – they scream. Sometimes, right on the heels of that scream they break out in a melodic song. It is an incredible contrast. Should it be said that Blue Jays have split personalities, eh, the SCREAMER and the SINGER… !
I saw one really RED Cardinal (a male) and then one not so red Cardinal (a female). After seeing those two, I might have seen two more Cardinals. However these Cardinals were not really together, like the Blue Jays were. Therefore I might hazard a guess that Blue Jays are more family-oriented than Cardinals? I don’t know though – as a hard-nose scientist might say (big grin), I don’t have enough data to really say that… however, what I saw today, made me wonder if this was true…
A Red-Winged Blackbird crossed the path in front of me. This often happens when I reach this particular spot. It is where the marsh/pond is, to the right, and the trees and grass to the left [of the path]. Many of the birds hide in the trees, bushes, and tall grass of this marsh/pond. And for some reason, the Red-Winged Blackbird often feels like going for a “ride” (RIDE THE WIND, BEAUTIFUL BIRD!) from time to time – especially when I’m walking in the park!
I tished as I passed the tree he was in. He tished back. Or is it a “click” sound instead? Hmm.
A Grackle strutted in the grass. His beak was open. Is that how a bird sweats? I think that’s how dogs and cats sweat.
On the other side of the path I saw a flutter of a Robin across the grass, then the Robin “disappeared”. I was perplexed by that, because I thought he was near the bushes, in the sunlight. (There is “dirt” there – part earth, mulch, wood chip.) However, what I saw, there, looked like a rumpled piece of cloth. Part of the cloth was pulled UP.
I think was really HOT by then, because as I walked closer, I wondered if that was a bird, and for a minute I was apprehensive about it being a dead bird. (I had forgotten about the Robin!) Then, when I got closer, I realized it wasn’t cloth, but feathers, and the “pulled up” part was the bird’s head and beak. Then I realized it was the Robin, who was lying FLAT on the ground, his wings spread out.
He had fluttered across the grass and landed on that “dirt” … in that pose!
He hastily got to his feet, and tried to walk away from me. His wings were disheveled. He tried to fold them together, against his body. He did this once, twice. The third time, he was “properly groomed” and underneath the bush, in the safety of the shadows.
I’ve been speculating on why that Robin was like that. He could have been ill. He could have been too hot. He also could have been a youngster! I’m just glad, he “got his act together,” before I left. I won’t worry about him too much.
I have to laugh, somewhat, about my accumulating bird data. I imagine that some folks might read this post and go, YAWN. However, I am a lover of birds, an amateur bird-watcher. The real FANATICAL bird-watchers are fiends when it comes to their data and sometimes it is very much JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM.
I can’t do that. I like to record when and where I see a bird, of course. But I also like to wonder, to speculate, to really observe WHAT they are doing … like that goofy Robin with his wings all messed up…