Birders on horseback

Birders on Horseback (Photo Pablo Acala)Asbury College tours combine two favorite activities

From Lexington Herald-Journal (Posted on Kentucky.com)

Asbury College is offering its Birdwatching by Horseback tours again after a successful first year.

“I’ve always enjoyed bird watching, and I love horses and I put the two together and it worked out pretty well. Sometimes the birds cooperate, sometimes they don’t. It depends on the weather and time of year,” said tour guide Sarah Reeves.

She said this is a good time to go out before the leaves and shrubbery come back

A tour last week lasted a little less than three hours and encountered a short rain shower, which limited the bird viewing for the first hour.

“We didn’t see much in the woods; we heard a lot of red birds and robins and chickadees, things you might see in your back yard. After we got around to the pond area, we saw some ducks and geese, a hooded merganser, which is a kind of unique duck in that it dives underwater to feed,” Reeves said.

Also seen were turkey vultures, killdeer or ring-necked plover, cardinals, mockingbirds and others.

“The red-winged (blackbird) was really neat to watch. I never realized they move their wings when they make their call,” said Toni Pederson, one of three people on the tour.

Tours are held four days a week through mid-April. Trail horses are provided; binoculars, boots and weather-appropriate clothes are encouraged. Cost is $25 a person. Up to six riders are permitted for each ride. To register for a day, contact Sarah Reeves at (859) 278-4914.

See related audio slideshow online at http://www.heraldleaderphoto.com/2008/03/23/birdwatching-by-horseback

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