On Sunday morning about 20 folks met at the Lake Creek Trail trailhead at the end of Braes Valley for the monthly Birding on Broadmeade group walk. It was cold and clear which was a nice break from the overcast and rainy conditions most of last week. I was pleased that there were a few folks who had never been birding before. We spent a couple hours on the trail finding birds and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Here are some highlights. I try to arrive about half an hour before the group, and I was pleased to capture this sunrise through the trees.
We started the walk with a nice view of a flock of female Red-winged Blackbirds. (These can be tricky to beginning birders because the look like bird dark streaky sparrows.) Near the same spot on the trail we found this male Northern Cardinal sitting in the morning sun, soaking up the heat.
In cold weather birds often fluff their feathers out away from their body to hold more insulating air. That's why this cardinal appears so round.
As we made our way further down the trail we saw a few Yellow-rumped Warblers, Cedar Waxwings, American Goldfinches, and we heard a Northern Flicker and a Hermit Thrush, all winter resident species. Jackie Davis played the Hermit Thrushes song on her iPhone and was able to coax it out of the low dense brush so most of us could see it. I got this photo.
As we approached the footbridge we saw Red-bellied, Downy, and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, all year-round residents. We heard at least two winter resident House Wrens, and a few of us briefly saw a Field Sparrow. We didn't find very much from the bridge except an Eastern Phoebe, so we continued onto the Town and Country playing fields property to see what we could find in the exposed creek bed. We got great looks at our year-round resident Killdeers as well as winter resident water species American Pipit, Wilson's Snipe, Greater Yellowlegs, and Least Sandpiper. Here's a photo of the Greater Yellowlegs.
On our way back to the trailhead we got some close looks at a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and more Yellow-rumped Warblers. Here's our complete species list.