Sunday, October 5, 2008

NASWC Bird Walk

This morning 9 of us enjoyed the cool and slightly breezy weather for the October NASWC bird walk. We walked a little over 2 miles, starting from the Lake Creek Trail parking lot at the end of Braes Valley. We followed the trail downstream all the way through the playing fields to the last dam on the creek where we turned around. We found 39 species and here are some highlights:
  • About half-way to the footbridge I heard the clicky call of a Summer Tanager in a willow tree along the creek. We stopped and watched, and slowly moved forward, but the tanager moved as well. It flew across the creek as we got a little closer and nobody got a look at it. Summer Tanager is a rare migrant in the neighborhood, and this one is a little late heading south.
  • Near the footbridge a couple of us got a quick look at a Lincoln's Sparrow that briefly popped up out of the dense low brush. This is the most common native sparrow that winters here, and this one was the first I've seen this season.
  • From the footbridge we saw a male Red-bellied Woodpecker on a dead willow tree and I got the picture above.
  • Twice we had hawks of the Accipiter family fly by us, so fast that I could not tell if they were Cooper's Hawks or Sharp-shinned Hawks. (Both of these species winter in the neighborhoood.) One scared up many blackbirds and starlings in the playing fields as it flew downstream.
  • On our way back we finally got a decent look at a male Belted Kingfisher that we had heard several times earlier. I got this picture:

  • I was excited to find a male American Kestrel on one of the playing field light posts. These small exotic-looking falcons winter in the area and are usually pretty easy to find. But for some reason I did not see one in the neighborhood at all in 2007. It was nice to see one returning.

1 comment:

Michael Ziegler said...

I am so disappointed that I was not able to make the walk this morning! I had met Juan and his young daughter yesterday on the T&C trail, and he told me that you host the walk the first weekend of each month. Unfortunately, I forgot to set the clock and missed the time.

Maybe next month!

Mike Z