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Nature Notebook – Birding Notes

By: Chris Hume

Here is poem that I wrote this summer after coming back from a wonderful nature volunteer trip.

Pat Matheson and I really enjoyed helping with the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas work – we learned a LOT!

It was a great group consisting of 5 volunteers, 2 co-leaders and 2 birding experts (Larry and Diane) from the Lambton Wildlife group in Sarnia. We camped (for 5 nights) at Lake St. Peter Provincial park (in between Bancroft and Whitney) and had two beautiful lakeside campsites. The first day we all went out together – to be introduced to doing point counts and to learn about the work that we would be helping with. After that we had a wake up call each morning at 4:30 am – we then grabbed breakfast “to go” and were generally out and starting to work between 5:30 and 6 am. We would meet back at the camp between 12 noon and 1 pm. Then we could prepare a fabulous brunch/lunch. We could canoe/swim/hike and/or do more birding in the afternoon. Then the evening would be taken up in with meal preparations and fantastic conversations!!!

Sadly Diane Haselmayer – a Lambton Wildlife member and one of the leaders of our trip in June died suddenly in Peru August 30th. This poem was greatly inspired by Diane and my experiences doing thet Breeding Bird Atlas work.

Birding Notes

I used to think you had to see
The Cardinal, Bluebird or Chickadee

But recently I learned something profound
That you can walk in the woods and know birds by their sound

Next time you hear “Quick… Three Beers”
You’ll know that the Olive-Sided Flycatcher is near

Or “Here I am.. Where are you?” again and again
And it will be the Red-eyed Vereo nine times out of ten

A quick “Whippity whippity whipit”
And you’re sure to find the Common Yellow Throat in a nearby thicket

A little chipping all around
And it could be the White-Throated Sparrow making this sound

But with a little pishing you could be surprised
By a Black Throated Blue appearing before your eyes

A melodious sparkling song in a glen?
It can only be the lovely Winter Wren

A quick short “Mew” in a tree
And the Catbird has let you know that it is he

Oh and a “pee a wee” you hear from afar
Is the Eastern Wood Peewee Flycatcher singing a few bars

It’s time to bring this birding notes poem to an end
So I can go out on the trail to make some more bird friends!

By Chris Hume

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