Western Kingbird

WesternKingbirdThis morning I went for a walk with my dog, Joyful, in a large, open space area of Benicia near where I live. The residents call it “the field” and “the pond,” for that’s what it mostly consists of. The hills back there are high and rounded and very green. (It actually reminds me of Ireland.) From the top of one of those hills, you can see the Bay all around.

There is a stand of eucalyptus, too, where there are two rope swings, and a creek flows out of the pond down the hill. I like to walk along the dirt paths that meander through there, where orange poppies and yellow wildflowers and tiny purple star-flowers are all in bloom, and I especially like to go to the pond. The bird-watching is very good there.

At the pond, the red-winged blackbirds are nesting, and I’ve seen both barn swallows and tree swallows swooping over the dark water, and I’ve seen mourning doves, too, and a pair of red-tailed hawks. There are two kinds of waterfowl: coots and ducks (though most of the ducks are gone now that May has come and with it, hotter weather). When I climbed up the hill, away from the water, letting Joy run free ahead of me, we saw two birds playing in the grass and wildflowers. I got close enough to identify them by their gray heads, yellow bellies, and black tails and matching black beaks: Western Kingbirds!

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