Forest Park in the Rain
It rained on Thursday and Friday and again on Saturday. By Saturday afternoon, not having birded since Charlie’s visit, I didn’t care if I was going to get soaked: I wanted to get out and see some birds no matter how wet I ended up getting. So, at two in the afternoon I grabbed my binoculars and camera and headed out into the light rain for Forest Park where the birds were scarce and the trees were dripping.
Despite the rain it was kind of warm, which meant that whenever I thought I saw a bird and put my bins up my glasses would fog up and I would see nothing. Eventually I twisted the eyecups of my bins out and started pushing my glasses up each time I looked through the bins. Unfortunately, most of the time what I ended up looking at was a leaf that had been hit by a large drop of water falling from the canopy. Between that and the huge numbers of squirrels that call Forest Park home I kept getting psyched out, thinking I had a bird and being disappointed. And when I did see a bird it was almost invariably an American Robin or a Blue Jay, nice birds to be sure but in the height of fall migration one hopes for warblers dripping from the trees, not raindrops and common birds.
Eventually I did manage to track down the tail end of a small flock of birds moving through the undergrowth together, feeding as they went. A single Black-throated Blue Warbler was joined by an Ovenbird, a Tufted Titmouse, two Downy Woodpeckers, and a Carolina Wren. Try as I might I couldn’t conjure any more birds from the very small flock. Eventually I found myself a nice spot to place the plastic bag I brought with me for sitting on, with a nice big oak trunk to put my back against and large leaves above me to keep the rain off my head. And there I sat for about half an hour, seeing several squirrels, a chipmunk, and couple of Northern Flickers. Not exactly sightings worth writing home about.
Walking home through the park I was pleased to see a single first year Magnolia Warbler, but not pleased enough to extend my stay and my soaking. On my way past the waterhole I did notice that a bunch of the rain had actually collected there, meaning that over the next couple of days as the rest of the forest dries out the waterhole should be active with migrants seeking a drink and a bath. I also noticed the detritus of someone else’s fun time in Forest Park and started to wonder if I had the wrong idea of what I should be doing there.
Nah, birding is much better, right? Right? Hello? Ah, forget it…I just hope the sun starts shining again soon.