My mother-in-law invited me to join the Great Backyard Bird Count. Over four days participants count and, if they can, identify the birds they see. I forgot to count Friday and Saturday, but today I downloaded a free bird field guide app on my iPhone and hurried outside. Almost twenty minutes of bird watching only yielded one bird — an American Robin.
The field guide told me the robin is turdus migratorious. The robin’s common phrases: plurrri, kliwi, plurrri, kliwi.
I don’t have bird seed or bird baths, and I do have two dogs. Maybe these circumstances weren’t inviting to my local winged friends. Maybe I will see more birds on the front porch.
Even though I only saw one bird, I found bird watching to be relaxing and fun. I’ve been doing yoga recently, and there is a certain focus on mindfulness. Bird watching is a good thing. It helped me slow down and focus on just one task: looking for birds. That’s all I had to do. Sit and watch. While I looked, I noticed the sky. I noticed the clouds. I noticed a plane flying. I noticed the sound of tires crunching asphalt. I noticed the way empty branches reach up, up to the sun. I noticed the first few minutes I was restless, and that feeling turned into stillness.