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Birding After Knee Replacement Surgery

Those of you that follow this website or use the Big Year Birding App know that we post to this site every couple days . . . namely because we are out Birding every couple days.   But we haven’t posted in three weeks . . . here is why.

I have a bad left knee, caused by running almost daily since Middle School.  I’ve finished 4 marathons (dropped out of another), a dozen half marathons, lots of shorter races and approximately 30,000 miles.   Things haven’t been helped by my love pizza, cheeseburgers and beer.

My knee started acting up about 5 years ago.  Surgery only made things worse and running has become increasingly painful and slow.  Even birding has became difficult . . . a three mile hike in California to see the Dancing Grebes was excruciating.

So on March 7, Ingrid drove me to Mercy Hospital in Portland for a complete right knee replacement (I did take my binoculars so I could watch birds out the window in Portland’s Back Bay).

The first few weeks of recovery were slow, painful and frustrating . . . as you can’t do much but lie on your back and ice the knee. Walkers, canes and physical therapy makes birding impossible.

Today, 19 day out, I grabbed my binoculars and camera and went out for a late afternoon local birding excursion . . . and it was great to get out.

My birding juices started flowing when a Pileated Woodpecker visited our suet feeder . . . a first.  We’ve had Red-Bellied, Hairy, and Snowy Woodpeckers and even an occasional Northern Flicker, but never a Pileated.  Normally a very skittish bird, this one hung around for 10 minutes.

The afternoon excursion produced a First of the Year White-Throated Sparrow, a Common Grackle and an American Robin (spring is coming).