Sunday, January 11, 2009

NASWC Bird Walk

This morning was the first NASWC bird walk of 2009! (I delayed it a week since the Granger CBC was last weekend. Some pictures from that are here.) 10 of us had a great time enjoying the cold clear morning and seeing a nice variety of local birds. We were out for over 3 hours and found 42 species. Here are some highlights:
  • Along almost the entire Lake Creek Trail we saw many Eastern Phoebes, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Orange-crowned Warblers, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. It was a great opportunity to learn these common winter resident birds -- especially distinguishing the Orange-crowned Warblers from the Kinglets.
  • We saw these Greater Yellowlegs foraging in the creek. They let us get pretty close for some great looks.
  • There were 11 Northern Shovelers on the creek, near the first dam downstream of the playing fields. I have only seen ducks here sporadically since the Parmer Village and Lake Creek Trail construction projects, so finding them here was very encouraging.
  • While we watched the Shovelers an Osprey flew in and circled over the creek for awhile. A few of us got to see it dive into the water and come up with a fish, then fly off to eat it. We had good luck finding hawks this morning -- we also saw a Cooper's Hawk and a Red-tailed Hawk near the same spot.
  • In the woods near the last dam, we got pretty good looks at a single Blue-headed Vireo, another winter resident bird, but one that is not as easy to find as the phoebes, warblers, and kinglets.

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