Sunday, July 10, 2016

Birding on Broadmeade Walk

Despite being one week late, this morning 5 folks joined me for the monthly group walk. We met at the Braes Valley parking lot of Lake Creek Trail and unexpectedly spent over 3 hours on the trail and ultimately finding 34 species of birds. We enjoyed overcast skies and a slight breeze which was quite comfortable. Here are some highlights.

While waiting for the group in the parking lot I kept hearing squeaky calls coming from the line of willow trees at the creek's edge. We discovered they were a pair of juvenile Cooper's Hawks, probably recently fledged from a nearby nest. Through the first half of our walk we kept seeing these hawks, usually being chased by smaller birds. (Cooper's Hawks specialize in hunting other birds, so they usually get harassed by them when seen.) Here's the only photo I got of one of them:

Cooper's Hawk Juvenile

In the Town and Country playing fields near the second creek crossing we saw a Snowy Egret feeding in the creek bed. This particular bird has been in this area of the creek for months. We recognized it by the bare area of its throat, probably from a past injury.

Snowy Egret with Scar

Western Kingbirds were plentiful on the trail, and I think we saw two separate family groups. We got to see some of them harass the Cooper's Hawks, and we were entertained by one eating a large cicada, throwing it up the air to reposition it several times. Here are a few shots:

Western Kingbird eating Cicada - 1

Western Kingbird eating Cicada - 3

Western Kingbird eating Cicada - 4

We saw a few Eastern Bluebirds on the trail, including this juvenile bird by the large baseball field:

Eastern Bluebird Juvenile

I hoped this bird might be from a local nest, so on our way back we investigated a possible nesting cavity I had discovered a couple months ago. Sure enough, there was the blue tail of a female probably on eggs! And if you look closely you can see the wingtips and even the bill in the back on the left:

Eastern Bluebird in Nesting Cavity - 1

What a fun morning!
Here is our complete bird list.
And here are a few more photos.


Unknown said...

When is your next bird walk, and where can I meet you?

Mikael Behrens said...

Thanks for your interest! I try to lead a bird walk the first Sunday of each month. Send me an email if you'd like to be on my bird walk email list. (See the Contact link above on the right.)