The weather hasn’t improved since our arrival here, but that hasn’t kept us from getting outside. We’ve gone hiking at two parks and Erin and I have biked a good twenty miles in the last couple of days. There are great trails around here, especially for biking, that put to shame anything we have at home. From my perspective, of course, all these outings were essentially birdwatching expeditions. It’s still migrating season, so there are lots of birds around. I’ve even managed to add a few species to my list (e.g., Great Egret, Eastern Meadowlark, and Canada Warbler) even though upstate New York and Iowa share most species.
I don’t think my father-in-law was terribly impressed when I decided that the muddy trails with branches strewn across them from the recent flooding were great places to find birds. Oh, and there were hordes of mosquitoes. But it was also the best warbler watching that I’ve had in a long time.
Last night we sat on the porch for quite a while watching quite a spectacular lightning show. I’m quite sure that I’ve never seen that much lightning before in one night. Finding out later that the storm caused six deaths in the area added a more sobering perspective to the experience. We got some pretty gusty wind for a while and saw a great deal of lightning; Parkersburg got devastated by a tornado. It’s only about half an hour from here.
If you’re looking for another place to go, I think there is an estuary north of Beaver Hills Country Club along Beaver Creek in Cedar Falls. It takes a little longer to get there, however.