EDMOND — A shout went up from the north parking lot at J.L. Mitch Park, even before the birding enthusiasts had begun their walk.
“There's one — over there!”
A bird — one of the more than 200 varieties that have been identified inside the 280-acre northwest Edmond park — had been spotted low in the trees, and members of the group reached for their binoculars.
Susy Hall, of Edmond, is a member of the group that walks every day along the trail through the park at 1501 W Covell Road. She said birders aren't too particular about the birds they encounter on their excursions.
“We're here to see what we see,” she said.
She and her husband, Jeff, walk about a mile a day, while others in the group walk longer distances.
Not only is cold weather not an impediment, but birding seems to be better when it's cold.
Windy days are good because birds stay low in the trees.
Birding is generally best in the early morning, she said. When they wake up, “they're hungry and are looking for food.”
Later in the day they're resting in the treetops and are harder to see.
“This is our exercise,” she explained as the group started out.
“We don't realize we're exercising because we're having so much fun. It's free, and it's close to our house.”
Hall said Mitch Park is an excellent place to see birds because of its lush habitat.
Birders generally don't trespass, she said, “so it's great to be able to come here.”
Hall said her interest in birds started when she took a college ornithology class and increased about 10 years ago as she sought a hobby when her youngest son approached high school graduation.
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Cornell Lab of Ornithology Bird Guide