12 December, 2010

Just Do It!

Today I decided to adopt the Nike principle. I had a spare couple of hours while the rest of the family were occupied elsewhere, so I had just enough time for another run provided I didn't go too far (no problem there) and provided I went immediately. Rather than procrastinate I figured I'd just get on with it rather than considering my options. So I did. The weather wasn't too bad. Once again a little too windy to make life easy, but it did help to keep the temperature down.
With limited time, I figured I'd head down to Breakwater then round to Princes Bridge at Shannon Avenue before heading back to Landy Field. My resolutions about hills went out the window in deference to sore ankles and I walked home - despite being short of time. Oh well, next time.
This time I resolved to pay more attention to counting bird species and less to my lungs and was somewhat rewarded. Of course larger birds are easier to spot as are those which are fairly common or those - like the Willie Wagtail - which are quite outgoing. One of the latter followed me along an open section of the path near Barrabool Road for some distance and seemed to find the going significantly easier than I did at that point as I was beating into a significant headwind. This fact was rather apparent when I later checked my pace for that section of the run. I don't like headwinds any more than hills.
Grey Butcherbird
By the end of my run, the total tally of species was as follows:
Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon
Crested Pigeon
Spotted Dove
Common Black Bird
Common Indian Myna
Mud Lark/Magpie Lark
Silver Gull
Willie Wagtail
Dusky Moorhen
Welcome Swallow
Little Pied Cormorant
Pacific Black Duck
Grey Butcherbird
as well as possible sightings of Little Black Cormorants in flight, a Starling or two and perhaps a female Superb Fairy Wren. I also heard plenty of Red Wattlebirds, Jacky Winters, some Rainbow Laurikeets and possibly more Fairy Wrens or, given what I know of the location, possibly Grey Fantails, however despite being highly vocal in all cases, none of them showed themselves.
As for the progress of my run, aside from not covering quite so much distance this time (11km) and at a somewhat quicker pace, the other point of difference was the number of people using the track. In contrast to Friday morning when half of Geelong seemed to feel the need for a walk along the river, there were very few pedestrians, a single cyclist and I was the only person foolish enough to be running on a Sunday afternoon. However, given that the alternative was to accompany a significant number of small children to see a kids' flick at the movies, I think I got the better deal. Admittedly this was a different part of the trail and in general the section from town to Breakwater does not see quite the same traffic flow as that from town to Queens Park, but even so, it was quiet. I did come across a father taking his daughter fishing at Breakwater and in fact almost became their first catch of the day when, preceded by his rather long rod, he wandered across the path without so much as a glance. I dodged and kept running. I don't think he noticed even then.
I wonder if they caught any eels...

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