Tee and I went birding with The Naturalist in Rock Creek Park a few weekends ago.
I’ve missed Rock Creek Park! It’s one of my faves. I love how you can be in the middle of the park and forget that you’re even in DC.
However, when looking forward to this outing, I wrongly expected to have an experience similar to my previous RCP adventures – usually a long hike while talking with friends about everyday life.
This is not how it works when you are with birders.
We drove down and met the Naturalist in the parking lot, and she and Tee instantly began identifying bird calls, bird songs, and birds themselves. I awkwardly had to get REAL direct about my need to find a place to pop a squat, because I know these two well; a chitchat about the birds within a thirty-yard radius of where they’re standing can last twenty minutes.
Additionally, each time one of us started to tell a story about something non-bird-related, we would experience three to five interruptions due to one of the others spotting a pair of Carolina wrens or a red-breasted woodpecker or a dove sitting on its nest. (All true stories.)
This happens on my evening walks with Tee as well. We like to take a walk on the NCR Trail after dinner every evening, but we have to stop every five steps to peer through her binoculars at chickadees and woodpeckers. This prompted our new hashtag – #NeverNotBirding – meant to encompass all the avian discoveries made while doing all the other things we enjoy doing outdoors.
Anyway – I’m still totally hooked on this birding thing. Tee, the Naturalist, and I all got to perch and watching a dozen frolicking goldfinches flitting around in a cluster of trees in RCP. I love that this whole birding endeavor is such a balanced activity – being physically active, learning something new, communing with nature, and being with friends. Love, love, love. Such good balance!
At our old house, I used to see a bluebird frequently as I entered our driveway. Now that I’ve started joining in on Tee’s birding excursions, I’ve been dying to see a bluebird again. The adoption wait has been really overwhelming and stressful lately, and I think I associate bluebirds with hope. (See my bluebird post here!)
I finally saw a bluebird (an Eastern Bluebird, to be exact) on one of my runs last weekend. Fingers crossed that bluebirds really are a symbol of happiness and cheer to come!