Despite a tornado watch and being surrounded rain, seven folks joined me for the monthly bird walk on Lake Creek Trail. We met at the Braes Valley trail head and spent about an hour and a half on the trail and finding 24 species of birds. With rain imminent, I didn't want to risk bringing my camera along so I didn't get any photos from the group walk. But here are some highlights.
We could just barely see a Red-shouldered Hawk was still sitting on the nest near the parking lot. I hope we see it again next month.
We got to hear a House Wren singing near where the trail cuts to Briar Hollow Drive. Winter species like this one usually don't sing while they're hear. (We mostly just hear their various calls.) But this time of year they sometimes sing before heading north. It's always a treat to hear it.
Two newly returned summer species we saw were Chimney Swifts twittering in the sky and a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron in bright breeding colors on the creek bed just east of the footbridge.
Despite loud crowds cheering for baseball games on both sides of the creek, we watched about 50 Least Sandpipers foraging in the creek bed on their way north.
The weather became our focus on the way back. We felt the temperature drop substantially as we went west back over the footbridge. And back at the parking lot my phone beeped with a tornado warning! We skipped lunch and departed, and the storm arrived minutes later.
Here's our complete bird list.
That same afternoon the sun came out and it was gorgeous! I returned to the trail and ran into Helen Mastrangelo who was also on the morning walk. We found 41 species of birds including my first Black-chinned Hummingbirds of the season and some great looks at a migrating Osprey. Here are some photos from the afternoon. And here's our afternoon bird list.