rants & recipes

More Bike Trail Wildlife, 20 & 15-Jun-08

Posted by trktos on 20-June-2008

20th June:
We rode about 33 miles today, west on the W&OD, 08:30-14:30, between miles 8 and 23. Trail wasn’t too busy, since it was a Friday … today, we saw:

  • 2-3 chipmunks
  • Red Winged Black Bird
  • Hawk
  • lots of cardinals; few squirrels, including one who tried to run into my front wheel.
  • a bird either working on her nest, or feeding babies, in a nest close by a bench we stopped at; couldn’t tell what kind of bird, though.
  • groundhog, snuffling about, on the side of the trail.
  • some kind of big fish, over a foot long, in a pond we frequently stop beside … it kept surfacing and slowly swimming amoung some really huge lily pads.
  • a vulture, being chased by some kind of brave little bird, who, at one point, landed on the vulture, hitching a short ride, while pecking away at the vulture’s back! Immediately afterward, the vulture had had enough, and flew off.
  • a small, maybe young? woodpecker, who was flying around and pecking every tree he landed on. Maybe it takes woodpeckers a while to learn what types of trees have bugs? This little fella seemed to be using trial and error!
  • 5 deer! The first group was of 3 large does (unless bucks are without antlers at this time of year?) crossing the trail. The second group was a mom and a fawn, probably one of the smallest baby deer I’ve seen (certainly had spots, although I couldn’t see them in the light) … they crossed the trail right by the Vienna Whole Foods.
  • lots of white, yellow and orange butterflies … also, lots of tiger lilies in bloom.


15th June:
Westward on the W&OD between 08:00 and 10:30. Trail was fairly busy and there weren’t as many critters about as last time. We saw a couple of scurrying chipmunks, along with the usuals.

We stopped at Whole Foods and got to watch some sparrows and a gray catbird “dumpster diving” – around the picnic tables, they would perch on the edge of the garbage can and then plunge in, looking for food. The catbird found something (really bright yellow, don’t know what it was but he thought it was worth flying off with). We also got numerous birdy-eyed stares from the sparrows – we were sitting at those tables and, clearly, should have been eating something and dropping lots of crumbs! Really cute, how they’d line up on a near-by bench, waiting to for their turn in the garbage can.

My bike’s in the shop, currently, for a week or so. :(

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