Sunday, April 1, 2007

April NASWC Bird Walk

Four of us went birding on Lake Creek this morning. It was extremely bright and clear which was a nice change from all the recent rain. The smaller birds were more easily heard than seen today but we had good luck with the larger ones. I took this picture of a group of Black Vultures we ran into by the creek downstream of the T&C playing fields. We also found a nice diversity of water birds including Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon, Greater Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, and Least Sandpiper. Along the banks we found Belted Kingfisher, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, and one Green Heron. (Green Herons are returning to the neighborhood and will roost and even nest in our trees pretty far from the creek. Recently a neighbor on Stillforest emailed me that he usually has a pair nest in his front yard. He finds crawfish and perch that the birds have dropped on his driveway!)

We found a Black-chinned Hummingbird in the woods near the same place I saw one last week. It's probably the same bird. On our way back 80 or 90 Double-crested Cormorants flew over us in a giant "V" formation heading north. What was most exciting to me was finding this Snapping Turtle when we got back to the creek crossing. It was walking on the crossing when we spotted it, then plopped into the water and sat quietly in an underwater trench while I took this picture. What a prehistoric-looking beast!

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