Sunday, February 1, 2009

NASWC Bird Walk

This morning 10 of us enjoyed a cool and clear morning finding 42 species of birds for the February NASWC Bird Walk. In the past I've had only 1 person, or even no one show up for these walks. But now several times we've broken into the double digits. That's great! Here are some highlights from this morning:
  • We found 4 species of ducks. In the new drainage pond in front of the Parmer Village model homes there were 20 Ring-necked Ducks, 13 American Wigeon, and 5 Gadwall. Later on we got distant looks at about 6 Northern Shovelers on the creek.
  • An early sign of spring was that many birds were singing. Several times we heard Carolina Wrens and Northern Cardinals singing at the same time, offering a great opportunity to learn how to distinguish between these 2 similar-sounding species. This Red-winged Blackbird flew in, perched right above us, and sang for about 5 minutes.

  • We saw more American Robins this morning than I've seen all winter. At one point a flock of about 60 flew right over us.
  • This Northern Flicker, an uncommon winter resident woodpecker in the neighborhood, perched across the creek right out in the open. It was a little too far away for my camera, so the picture I got is pretty low resolution.

  • An Osprey flew over us several times, low above the creek. We did not see it dive for a fish this time, but it was still beautiful to see.
  • We watched a Belted Kingfisher dive and take minnows out of the creek 4 or 5 times in a row. Each time it flew back to its perch and we could see something small and silvery wriggling in its beak for a few seconds before being swallowed.
  • Where Lake Creek Trail meets the eastern edge of the T&C playing fields we saw several small bird species, including Yellow Rumped Warbler (actually showing off their yellow rumps in the sun), Orange-crowned Warbler, Field Sparrow, and American Goldfinch.


Sally Breed said...

Have you been counting the 6+ Wilson's Snipes in the creek near the foot bridge at the T&C playing fields parking lot at the end of Meadowheath? Or are they really common there now?

Mikael Behrens said...

Hi Sally! We did get a brief look at 1 Wilson's Snipe downstream from the footbridge. Snipe are pretty common on the creek during the winter and I count them whenever I see them. We did not make it to the footbridge yesterday, but it's one of my favorite spots in the neighborhood to bird. I've seen some great birds just standing on it.