This afternoon I decided to go birding in the woods behind my house for the first time in a few weeks. The last time I went down there, migration was in full swing. Warblers and vireos were everywhere, singing up a storm. Many of the birds I had seen in May have now moved on. The ones that stuck around are now teaching their young how to be a bird.
When I went outside this afternoon, I immediately noticed the heat. It was almost 90 degrees with 70% humidity, so of course, I was glad when the clouds rolled in. I began my short walk down to the brook behind my house while keeping my eyes out for any nesting birds along the path. On the way down, all I could find were a few pairs of Tufted Titmice and a Black-capped Chickadee, but that would soon change.
After walking for a few minutes, I reached the platform that my dad built to have better access to the brook. I quickly heard an Eastern Towhee singing from the top of a tree across the stream, and then another a bit to the left. I was extremely excited to find both of these birds singing because it meant there was a good chance of them nesting. I quickly got a recording of the sound to add to my audio collection, before something else caught my eye. I quickly turned to my right to see a beautiful male Scarlet Tanager calling from the top of a tree just about 20 feet away from me. This tanager was only the second that I had seen this year and was by far the best look I had ever had.
Birds weren’t the only thing that I found out in the woods today. I had many other surprises, including the first Painted Turtle I had ever seen in my yard and many species of dragon/damselflies that I have yet to identify. I also found a few Wood Frogs and many other frogs that hopped into the water too quickly for me to identify.
Today I learned that nature is everywhere, including my yard. I suggest that everyone should look around where they live and see what wildlife you can find around your own house.