Although birding at 65 miles-per-hour is a challenge it is much easier to do when you are the passenger.
Yesterday, Mark and I drove to NY State to visit with his Mom. We usually make our visits with his Mom in one day, which means a lot time on the road, about 4 hours out and 4 hours back along the MassPike, NY State Thruway, and Taconic Parkway. While making this long trek, I am usually looking for birds soaring overhead, perched in trees, feeding on the ground, or swimming in flooded wetlands and waterbodies. My sightings are often quick but they certainly do help to pass the time while on the road.
Yesterday morning’s weather conditions (cold, dank, and drizzly) made for a quiet trek out to NY State. Our ride back home however was a bit more interesting. We saw a lone Raven and a kettle of 8 Turkey Vultures soaring over the Taconic Parkway; a flock of Wild Turkeys (with one displaying male) in a cornfield along the Berkshire portion of the NY State Thruway; and along the MassPike a few Red-tailed Hawks perched in trees and a Great-blue Heron flying westward towards the Connecticut River with nesting material ( a big stick).
As we continued our travels eastbound on the MassPike I was scanning the treetops in hopes to see an owl or two. Instead, at about milepost 101, I saw 6 to 8 Wild Turkeys roosting in treetops! Although my sighting was quick it is one that was burned in mind’s eye – those great big bodies, long square tails, and smallish heads facing eastward – and all silhouetted against the twilight sky! It looked as if they were still settling in when I saw them. I was thrilled and the sighting carried me the rest of the way home.
This was only second time I have seen Wild Turkeys in treetops and just like the first – I was caught completely by surprise!