Birding between the Storms

Last night, a line of strong thunderstorms passed through Columbia, Missouri, and more are expected this afternoon.  I thus took advantage of the hiatus to visit two of my favorite local birding areas: Perry Phillips Lake and the Forum Nature Area.

Cloudy, warm conditions and a light southwest breeze made those visits quite pleasant and the birds were especially active following last night's heavy rain.  Among the seasonal firsts were green herons, Baltimore orioles and Tennessee and black-throated green warblers; other highlights included soras, a red-shouldered hawk, indigo buntings and a mother wood duck with her ten ducklings.

I encountered about forty species during the course of my visits and completed them within a few hours.  We have to take what nature gives us and a balmy interlude between storm systems offered both productive birding and enjoyable exercise.  Even more beneficial, the storms are bringing much needed rain to central Missouri.