Bird Songs Workshop,
Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary, Beaverdam Knoll & Blue Ridge, Asheville, NC
Sunday, June 12, 2011
A visit to Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary is always a good start to any day and Sunday morning proved a little quieter with passing traffic than most days- always good. Despite our early start there were not a lot of birds singing, so our 10 minutes of quietly sitting on one of the platforms only produced good singing by Gray Catbird and Northern Cardinals! Thankfully more birds started to sing as we walked around the sanctuary with both Orchard and Baltimore Orioles being heard and seen well. Red-winged Blackbirds sang their rusty songs and a Carolina Chickadee sang its distinctive 4 note song. Changing pace we headed up to the Blue Ridge and into the leafy world of our deciduous forests. Here listening to birdsong is so important as seeing the singers is usually very difficult due to the dense foliage. We heard the high pitched stair step song of the Blackburnian Warbler and the rhythmical song of the Cerulean Warbler and managed pretty good views of both of these canopy species. Indigo Buntings are often the exception as they sing from high atop a bare stick, so we were treated to great views of these canopy singers. Others seen and heard included Veery (downward spiraling song), Yellow-billed Cuckoo (loud clucking in the treetops), and Blue-headed Vireo (sweet phrases and pauses). I know learning bird songs can be overwhelming, so it's best to take baby steps- one at a time, but it adds a great new dimension to a morning out birding.