Thursday, July 07, 2016

Valley of invisible birds

I was looking for birds, without much luck. I could hear them, even driving if the windows were open. A woman on the road had pointed out a couple of good birding sites; there were tanagers and goldfinches, she said. I saw nothing but flashes of yellow, rustling leaves.

A swatch of once-cleared land for the power lines looked like a good bet. I parked and hiked down the hill.

Birds gossiped and called all around me. None were visible. But ...

Deer in power line valley.

A well-travelled trail led off the main route into deep shade. I followed that, then another trail, this one barely visible, branching off down the hill. And came out onto the shores of the Oyster River.

Sandstone and shallow water.

I stopped at Woodhus Creek, which enters the Oyster a short distance upriver from this point, in the early spring. The water was up to the top of the banks, racing and tumbling down, roaring. The sound was deafening.

This week, the banks are dry, although the creek is still too deep to cross dry-shod. The Oyster River is wider and deeper, but shows the same pattern; sandstone banks, swept clean by the winter surge, smooth and dry under the summer sun.

The current is still strong enough for a good tumbling wave or two.

Sandstone rocks, carved and polished by water power.

More bird-free birding pics, tomorrow.


  1. yes this is warbler and vireo habitat, hard going. Little birds singing from the inside of shrubs. You need a comfy cushion and sit down time for this place

  2. I hear invisible birds around here all the time. Don't know how they can sound so loud but stay hidden!

  3. Sometimes they sound as if they were a couple of feet away, just in front of me, but there's no sign of them, or even of movement.


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