Sunday, May 07, 2006

One for the birders, and a bit about smoked salmon cheesecake

Neither food nor poetry, at least not poetry yet, and nothing too edible spotted... I have been taking an introductory birding class, and here's what they tell us we saw on our last field trip today, a rainy, cold morning in Beacon Hill Park:

Glaucous-winged Gull
Mallard Duck, male and female
American Wigeon, male
Northwestern Crow
Violet-green Swallow
Barn Swallow
Vaux's Swift
Great Blue Heron
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Rock Pigeon
Common Bushtit
Golden-Crowned Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Eurasian Starling
House Finch
Spotted Towhee
Wilson's Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Western Tanager
Orange-crowned Warbler (heard)
Downey Woodpecker, male
Spotted Towhee
Winter Wren (heard)
Plus I saw a raven when I got home; I'd seen four of them being chased all the way down the Gorge Waterway by a flock of crows just yesterday. The best part of our field trip was seeing where the heronry was: we spotted about 20 nests in a single tree, several of them with herons in situ. Apparently they counted over 90 nests in that area last year.

Meanwhile, I thought I'd point you to a terrific smoked salmon cheesecake recipe, which I employed to much critical acclaim at the launch. It's not hard to make but important I think that you not overcook it, so I reduced my oven to 300 instead of the 350 the recipe recommends. Also I substituted bottled (roasted+peeled) red peppers for the green peppers called for. Refrigerate it for a couple of hours before serving (one of those wonderful things that you can make the day before) and it will firm up nicely.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Carla said...

Birds are so compact to contain freedom, flight and colour. Here, they are still returning from being gone all winter. I saw a red shafted flicker this morning, hobnobbing with a robin.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Brenda Schmidt said...

If I ever visit your fair city again, I hope you'll show me where you saw the Vaux's Swift.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Rhona McAdam said...

Carla you know EVERYTHING! Red shafted flicker eh? Don't birds just have the coolest names? We saw a sharp-shinned hawk on one of our outings.. what a curious part of anatomy to focus on.
And Brenda those swifts were swirling around above Beacon Hill Park and the buildings nearby: the instructor thought it was a strange place for them. I'd be happy to show you anytime!

10:17 AM  

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