Sunday, January 9, 2011

Winter Track Practice

Two days ago at a Lyons’ preseason track practice, Masai and I heard a Western Scrub-Jay up on the shrubby hillside at the beginning of our 10-minute warm up. A few minutes later we saw another dive down off the top of a bare deciduous tree with a peanut. This was our first SWSA Western Scrub-Jay of the year. Instead of doing a threshold (near race pace) workout with Masai and his fellow high school runners, I ran three and half miles by myself through Bohn Park and Old South Road in 28 minutes. I did not see or hear anything of interest in Bohn Park, but saw three new SWSA birds on Old South Road with Canyon Wren calling on the sandstone cliffs, a Song Sparrow barking somewhere in the willows along the Saint Vrain River, and the best, a calling Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Near the end of my run, I saw an American Kestrel (my 5th SWSA bird of the day) swoop right over Masai's head while he was running on the track, which he happened to miss. Also, Canada Geese were busy mowing and fertilizing the softball fields. Even though it was in the thirties (balmy by recent standards), I could not stop my watch, as my fingers were numb and useless. I ended my 5.9-mile run netting 13 species with 5 being new SWSA species.

Birds Seen/Heard While Running:
Canada Goose – 50
American Kestrel (new) – 1
“Red-shafted” Flicker – 2
Western Scrub-Jay (new) – 2
Black-capped Chickadee – 4
Brown Creeper – 1
Canyon Wren (new) – 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (new) – 1
American Robin – 3
European Starling – 9
Song Sparrow (new) – 1
Dark-eyed Junco – 10
House Finch – 2

2011 SWSA Totals:
Species = 27
Miles Run = 17.6
Time Running = 149 minutes
Masai adds:

During my threshold workout, I was unable to devote much attention to birds. But, I still got the aforementioned Western Scrub-Jay, and also a couple of calling American Tree Sparrows (something Welch didn’t get).

SWSA Totals:
Species = 21
Miles Run = 17.85

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