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.



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 p.m.  
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 p.m.  
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 a.m.  

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