Today 10 folks showed up for the March NASWC Bird walk! We spent a little over 2 hours covering about 1 mile of Lake Creek Trail starting at the Parmer Village development. The weather was absolutely beautiful and we got some great looks at some neat birds. Here are some highlights.
While waiting for everyone to arrive we watched a beautiful male Green-winged Teal in the drainage pond. There were also a female American Wigeon and three Northern Shovelers.
By the creek near the dam we kept flushing Wilson's Snipe as we got closer to the water. There must have been about a dozen of them. Then I was surprised to find what looked like a beaver dam! I know beavers have been in the area before, but this is the first time I've seen something they've built. I took this photo:
Shortly after 40-50 Cave Swallows appeared, probably from underneath the bridge. I think the 20 that have been wintering here have been joined by some north-bound migrants. We also saw 3 Barn Swallows this morning, the first I've seen in the neighborhood this year.
We hung around by the last dam on the creek for awhile and were treated to some close fly-overs by an Osprey hunting for fish. I got this photo:
We also watched a Great Blue Heron hunt and eventually catch and swallow a good sized fish that created a nice big lump in its throat as it swallowed it. The heron was showing its breeding plumes and was beautiful to see in the morning light.
Nearby we kept hearing and finally tracked down and saw a male Ladder-backed Woodpecker. In the woods by the creek we got brief looks at a Winter Wren and a couple White-throated Sparrows. We also got great looks at a Yellow-rumped Warbler.
On our way back I was pleasantly surprised to find 3 Ring-billed Gulls soaring over the soccer fields. And in the pond by the cars a few new ducks had appeared, including 2 nice male American Wigeons and 1 male Blue-winged Teal.