I and the Bird

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Quick Trip Yields Nothing Much...

Between football (and a nice come from behind by the Patriots), baseball (sox 9 royals 3), the US open men's final (Roddick is putting up a good fight) and general laziness I found an hour this afternoon to go birding. Now, I wasn't expecting much. The middle of the day in September is not an idea time for birding, but I'll take what I can get. I headed off over the Anacostia and into Kenelworth Water Gardens.

But it was closed. C'mon now, 4 oclock on a Sunday? What's the point of closing so early? Cut me some slack here...the water gardens was the only place in the district where I could see some waders. Alas, I headed over to the barren wasteland that is Kenelworth Park.

The road into the Park has gone from bad to miserable. Potholes and erosion have really shredded the road and caused people to create a sort of jeep trail on the grass...not good. I parked down near the barrier (I couldn't bird the fields because of 109203 soccer players) and headed off into the wilderness.

I saw that the stream was pretty low, so I worked my way through the dense vegetation on the right bank (scaring a Black Rat Snake in the process) and onto the muddy streambed. It's sad how much trash there is down there. Sometime in the near future I'd like to organize a clean-up of the area under the bridge down there...let's discuss that later.

I quickly saw the only warbler of the day, and beautiful black-throated green calling softly and actively hopping through the branches. Just a beautiful bird. Along with this bird, I saw an eastern pheobe, catbird, 4 cardinals and a ruby-throated hummingbird. No complaints, if anything else standing silently in a muddy stream in the middle of DC will clear your head and let you appreciate this city for providing such a spot, as dirty as it is.

After climbing out of the streambed I took a walk down down the paved path and caught a glimpse of a red-shouldered hawk being chased from a tree. Pretty bird, and a nice hour in the outdoors.
KAG is only open from 7-4, every day of the week. I wish it were open for evening hours, but unfortunately it is not. The same goes for the Arboretum (8-5). They might not have the funds to keep staff around for longer hours, though with federal funding they ought to be able to do that.
yeah it's a real pain. in the back of my mind i know when kenelworth and the arboretum close, but i always forget and show up anyway, because they close sooo early. i can understand about $ for staffers, but few people are really needed at these places, especially kenelworth. I dunno.
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