On the road

Actually, I did go back to Rock Creek Park this morning, but to a new bit with some different people.  Greg Butcher, the Conservation Director of National Audubon was kind enough to take me birding and on a stroll through the park next to Rock Creek itself.

We added to the warbler list with Tennessee Warbler being a good edition, but also Swainson’s Thrush, Pileated Woodpecker and Great Crested Flycatcher being good editions to my Rock Creek list.  And Red-winged Blackbird, Brown Thrasher, Solitary Sandpiper and Osprey being additions elsewhere.

I’ve been busy in Washington DC – but it’s been a good type of busy – birding, lunching, meeting people and a little bit of sightseeing.  Here are a few thoughts about the capital:

  • the White House is still there
  • the Capitol area is very nice
  • the Tabard Inn is quirky but would still be my first choice of Washington Hotel – no TVs, good food, nice staff and quaint.
  • there are amazing numbers of starlings and house sparrows in DC considering how rare they are getting in the UK
  • for fans of the West Wing, I met a Republican Josh Lyman figure (and if he is reading this blog – Drive with Strength!)
  • most of the conversations about the environment and nature conservation are similar to ones happening in the UK and Europe
  • I wish there were a Rock Creek Park close to Central London
  • The Museum of the American Indian is a lovely building but was rather disappointing – I didn’t learn much

But I have now swapped the smell of power in Washington for the smell of seaspray at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  I dawdled and got lost on the way but still managed some good large birds from the car – Osprey, Turkey Vulture, Brown Pelican and Killdeer.

It’s just occurred to me that if I were still working for the RSPB I would be on a Council weekend in South Wales.  I miss my friends, of course, but the Louisiana shrimps on the way down, in a diner, were very good, it’s shirt sleeve weather and I probably would have missed the pelicans in Wales…

The soundtrack in the car today was Bruce Springsteen (greatest hits) and Carly Simon (also greatest hits).


10 Replies to “On the road”

  1. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the food as well as the birds Mark. The Wales weekend looks like it has been rather wet – the drought has temporarily broken and we’ve had over 40mm rain in 36 hours in Dorset.

    If you’re still looking for an interesting (if depressing) museum of native American life, the Buffalo Bill Historical Centre in Cody Wyoming is well worth a visit – not far from Yellowstone.

    Thanks very much for your kind words on linked in.


  2. Outer Banks is one of my favourite places. Birding thereis great – Pea Island, Dismal Swamp, to name a couple. The closest the Americans get to machair!

    1. Martin – hi! It’s a bit different from the Western Isles! But it did rain this morning at Pea Island – which was nonetheless great.

  3. Mark, I have decided you must be a blogger of some repute. How do you get people to read and respond to birdwatching ‘letters from America’. I should write a book about it I were you.

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  5. I think other website owners should take this web site as an model – very clean and fantastic style and design, in addition to the content. You’re an expert in this area!

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