Medina River brings a singer and a lifer

Recording birds always brings me such joy. I continue to scratch my recording itch nearly every weekend. This weekend I returned to Medina River Natural Area to see what opportunities may appear.

Medina river natural area trail
On a pretty day. Definitely not the sprinkling, gray, muddy day from this blog post.

The morning was gray, drizzly, and slightly chilly. I spent around five minutes gearing up at my car once I arrive. This time, I remembered to bring the strap for my microphone. My recording and observation gear have to be put on in layers. This is the final order I ended up with:

  • Recorder across my body on the right side
  • Binoculars around neck
  • Headphones
  • Microphone across my body on the left side

This arrangement allowed me to keep the cables away from each other and provided enough freedom of movement for both my binoculars and microphone when they were needed.

I trekked along the trail for a while, keeping an ear out for any potential recording subjects. It can be discouraging when you’re walking for a while and haven’t made any recordings. But…I’ve learned to be optimistic and patient. Oftentimes, I get a great recording near the end of my trip that makes the whole thing worth it. This was one of those days.


perched eastern phoebe
An Eastern Phoebe I saw at Phil Hardberger Park | 5/3/21

I picked up the song of an Eastern Phoebe off to the left side of the trail. I stopped to record it, as it was making interesting vocalization patterns. You can see the fun down-trill after the melodic whistle. It was a treat to stand a listen to this cute bird sing its song. I am more familiar with the Black Phoebe from my time living in California, so it was an opportunity to familiarize myself with it.

A lifer for the ear

A bird I’ve seen a few times before, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, made an appearance during my visit. While I was recording a Red-shouldered Hawk, this bird popped up on my scanning.

At times like these when you’re trying to locate a specific bird, it’s best to remove any headphones while you listen and watch for the bird.

Once I had a decent view of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in my binoculars, I was able to confirm the scan.

The recording below is far from ideal, but at least the bird is clearly heard without much noise pollution.

Hawks always cry

Every time I visit this birding hotspot, I see and hear the Red-shouldered Hawks. Often, they interact and quarrel with the American Crows. Today, one specific hawk was flying around vocalizing. I stopped to capture a quick clip of its cry.

Have you heard any cool birds recently?

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