Today was a beautiful day for a ride. The sky was clear¬winter blue with temps in the 70’s and a constant chill breeze making it seem even milder. The sweet warm smell of cedar was thick on the air along the trails. So glad I don’t get cedar fever.
As I rode, I watched a ghostly pale moon slowly climb the afternoon sky, and I decided to count birds species as I did last June on the day after the Summer Solstice.
That day, I saw 20 birds on a 20 mile ride. Today, two days before the first day of winter, I saw 8 birds in 14 miles:
Turkey Vulture… circling lazy, selecting from a veritable buffet of dead deer along the road
Black Vulture… three circling, as lackadaisical as their cousins
Common Grackle… swarming the parking lot at HEB
Great-tailed Grackle… also at HEB, but looking more regal in their iridescent purple than the common ones
American Coot… paddling the lake
Mockingbird… cut fast across the trail and away to the trees
Mallard… a small flock kicking it in a secluded bend in the creek shielded by cedar
American Crow… exploded from a tree on the edge of a meadow, caw-cawing in angry circles as I rode below
It was a good day for the black birds.