Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Birding on Broadmeade Walk

On Sunday morning about 20 folks joined me for the monthly group walk on Lake Creek Trail. We met at the west trail head at the end of Braes Valley at 8:00 AM and spent a little over 2 hours covering about 1 mile of the trail. We observed 39 species of birds and here are some highlights.

Before we left the parking lot a juvenile Cooper's Hawk flew low into view being chased by an American Crow. The birds were about the same size.

Northern Cardinals seemed to be everywhere, and we could almost always hear at least one singing. More species of birds are starting to sing again as we progress into Spring, and we also heard Carolina Wrens, Black-crested Titmice, Carolina Chickadees, and White-winged Doves as we progressed down the trail. We stopped to watch a group of Cedar Waxwings in a small group of hackberry trees eating the berries. A single Northern Mockingbird was lower in one of the trees also eating hackberries. I got this photo of it reaching for a berry:

Northern Mockingbird eating Hackberries - 1 - 2

Its eye looks dim because it was closing its nictitating membrane, a second semi-transparent eyelid that birds have, as it poked its face through the twigs to grab a berry.

When we got to the Town and Country playing fields, we stuck close to the creek banks and Terry Banks heard a Common Yellowthroat call note. There ended up being two male Common Yellowthroats in the creek bed which some of the group got brief looks at.

On our way back we got to see a pair of Eastern Bluebirds near the parking lot at the end of Meadowheath. Here's the male in a budding ash tree limb:

Eastern Bluebird - 1 - 1

And here's the female which perched much closer on a parking sign:

Eastern Bluebird - 2

Near the footbridge I saw a flock of European Starlings, but one of the birds looked a little different. Then I was pretty sure I heard a Brown-headed Cowbird. The flock was too distant for me to see many details on the birds, and I took some photos. It turns out, the flock was mostly Brown-headed Cowbirds, which I didn't realized until I examined my photos:

European Starlings and Brown-headed Cowbirds

We didn't see any returning summer species yet. Maybe next month!

Here's our complete eBird list.

And here are a few more photos on Flickr.

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