Sunday, January 7, 2018

Birding on Broadmeade Walk

11 folks joined me for the monthly group walk this morning. We met at the Parmer Village end of Lake Creek Trail in a cool southeast wind and under an overcast sky. We met at 8:00 AM and spent about 2 hours on the trail. We found 39 species of birds.

Everyone was interested in seeing the female Rusty Blackbird that Steven McDonald found on New Year morning. So instead of following our usual pattern, we walked directly do the east-most low water crossing in the Town and Country playing fields where the blackbird has been seen ever since Seven found it. On the way we found a mixed group of American Robins and Cedar Waxwings land in the top of a tree and I got this poor photo:

American Robin and Cedar Waxwings

When we got to the Rusty Blackbird spot initially I didn't find the bird, but while scanning with my spotting scope I found a single Wilson's Snipe foraging along the edge of the creek bed near a group of about a dozen Least Sandpipers. Most of the group at least got glimpses of the snipe through my spotting scope which was fun. Wilson's Snipe can be a hard bird to see because they like to stay hidden in marshy or creek-side vegetation. And I haven't seen many on the trail in the last few years.

Finally someone in the group spotted the Rusty Blackbird a little further downstream. Everyone got great looks at it through my spotting scope, but it was a bit too far away for good photos. Here's one of my photos from Jan 1:

Rusty Blackbird

The blackbird was the highlight of the walk, and a life bird for a few folks there. I was so happy she was still in the same spot! I assume it's because it's a good place to forage and has plenty of protective cover along the creek bed edges.

It was fun seeing a few wild ducks on the creek, just three species: American Wigeon, Gadwall, and Northern Shoveler. On our way back we watched a large distant flock of at least 90 ducks flying north. They were too far away to identify. Maybe they were heading to Ganzert Lake?

Here's our complete list on eBird.

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