Saturday, July 9, 2011

Maine-iac Running

I had intended to get in regular runs while attending the Hog Island Audubon Camp, not only to add to my Sweaty Sanderling list, but also to keep in shape for a 5K I was running two days after I returned to Colorado. As it turned out, however, there were absolutely no chances to lace up on the island. The schedule was packed, and the fractured network of trails on the island could be utterly bewildering if one strayed from the main path (as I have a tendency of doing). In fact, one of the attendees of the adult Field Ornithology session decided to go for a quick jog through the woods behind the main campus, and nobody saw her for another four hours. I resorted to running between buildings and of course, I was hoping that something cool would be in sight on the adjacent Muscongus Bay, like a Black Guillemot, but this only happened when I was walking between buildings!

I did manage to get in a quick four-mile run while staying at the Seitz residence the morning before camp started. Speeding along a busy rural road with absolutely no shoulder whatsoever, I instantly started picking up new SWSA species. Eastern species that I rarely encounter were now calling on all sides . . . Northern Cardinals and Eastern Towhees leading the pack. In fact, the towhee was a lifer for me! A Ruby-throated Hummingbird flitted from flower to flower in a blooming shrub; a Prairie Warbler trilled somewhere off in the distance; an Ovenbird gave its loud, eerie call from somewhere nearby in the thick oaks edging in on the road; an adult male Eastern Bluebird peered down from its perch on a nearby power line; and a Red-eyed Vireo called from some fruit trees in someone’s front yard. I even heard what could only have been a distant Mourning Warbler, but as I am unfamiliar with their song, I missed out on that lifer possibility. I finished the run with six new SWSA species, and one lifer.

Oh, and by the way, Hog Island was awesome! If you ever have the chance, do it!

Atlantic Puffins on Egg Rock Island
There is absolutely no running allowed here, as there are active nests on the ground everywhere.

SWSA Totals
Miles Run: 525
Species: 182