I took advantage of yesterday's fine weather to stretch my legs and wander the Birchwood Trail system a little. It was my first time there since before the evacuation. I was hoping to spot just one more bird species to get my year list up to the magical 50 mark, a new record for me.
The shade brought some welcome relief from the sun and the mosquitos were enjoying at as well. For the first half of my walk, other than a lone robin, all I seemed to see were mosquitos. My luck changed as I got down lower in to the valley and crossed Conn Creek. I hit a small section of trail that was teaming with chickadees. I've always seen these inquisitive little guys as a good omen since I can usually count on seeing another species or two mixed in with them somewhere. Chickadees just seem to get along swimmingly with most other small types of birds.
The light was bad (and my photography skills more bad) but after waiting out a small cluster of birds until they moved into a better line of sight I managed to spy a magnolia warbler and a mourning warbler along with another one I wasn't able to identify for sure, try as I did. But two of three isn't too bad and it was enough to bump my year list up to 50.
May is a pretty productive month as far as racking up species for the year list goes but with the fire and all the other excitement that that entailed I'm pretty pleased that I've seen as much as I have since I've returned home. According to Ebird, a great website I've been using this year to keep track of what I see, I'm sitting comfortably in 9th place among local birders for the year. Not all that bad considering my skill level and being unable to do any local birding for a large chunk of late spring/early fall.