Tuesday, December 29, 2009
B-r-r-r-r-ding along the Betar
They don't call us nature nuts for nothing! You had to be crazy to go birding today, with the temperature down around three above, and the wind chill somewhere around 30 below. I wondered how that river could possibly still be open, as I drove into the parking area for the Betar Path along the Hudson in South Glens Falls today. But because it was, guess what Sue and Lindsey saw flying over the open water looking for fish? A bald eagle! (But rats! I got there a minute too late to see it.)
Since those two had already found the big birding prize, we didn't stay long out there in the cold, but promptly headed for the Peppermill Restaurant for hot food and good conversation. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to chat when your lips and cheeks are frozen? Or so bundled up behind scarves and hats and hoods that the words can hardly be heard?
Once we were thawed, we did return to the Betar Path for just a little more birding. Lindsey and Sue saw some kind of thrush -- an odd sight around these parts this time of year -- and we all noticed a small group of black ducks paddling and feeding in an area of open water. But that was it. Birds may have tiny birdy brains, but they were smarter than we were today, and stayed snuggled somewhere under cover.
On my way home I took a little detour to follow the Hudson along Spier Falls Road, turning off at the Sherman Island boat launch to check on the ice along that shore. The river was still wide open and wind-whipped there. I hiked a bit back in the sheltering woods and came to this little stream with snow-covered branches fallen across it. I love how these ice formations have grown on the underside of the branches. (Be sure to click on this photo to see the bubbly texture of the rushing water.)
For another account of our bird walk along the Betar today (plus amazing accounts of bird-finding in general), go visit Lindsey's blog Migration Station. That woman knows her birds!