Saturday, May 2, 2009

Birding Class #6: "Palm Wonderful!"

The following is a transcript from Jerry McWilliams, our birding instructor and guru of all things wing'd.
It was cool, but we had some sun, which made it comfortable birding. Another nice gathering of birders including, Bernhard & Janet, Kate, Philip, Toni, Julie, Michele, Joao, Julie Dell, Judy, Jean, and Linda.
Jerry's other half, Linda, Guru of All-Things-Greenand soon to be co-author of Presque isle, Naturally!

We started off with a beautiful pair of Baltimore Orioles at our meeting place then a stop at the banding station where they were just setting up, so we decided to stop back later and have another check. At the owls nest we found the adult bird sitting high on the nest, exposing its entire head and upper body. Apparently the young owl was nestled down and beneath the parent, since we didn't see it. The trails were quite slow this morning with only a handfull of warbler species, though we did see numerous Palm Warblers (See top photograph). We had great views of perched American kestrels and an immature Bald Eagle that circled over Pine Tree Trail.
Very distant shot of the kestrel. This immature bald eagle circled over Pine Tree Trail quite a few times.
At beach 11 we saw a distant flock of Common Terns and what looked like a Peregrine Falcon that put up all of the gulls. There were still some ducks hanging around off beach 11, but mostly scaup and Bufflehead. Even the banding station was slow with their best bird being a Grasshopper Sparrow. We did get some up close and personal looks at a House Wren and a Gray Catbird.
We recorded 55 species of birds today:
Canada Goose--several throughout
Mallard--a few at various sites
Redhead--one in Thompson Bay
Greater Scaup--three or four in Thompson Bay
Lesser Scaup--about a dozen in Thompson Bay
Bufflehead--about 20 off beach 11
Red-breasted Merganser--a couple along beach 11
Wild Turkey--a male on the sand mound at Beach 10 parking lot
Common Loon--one bird calling in Presque Isle Bay off the banding station
Double-crested Cormorant--four seen from Pine Tree Trail
Great Blue Heron--at least three flying over Thompson Bay
Great Egret--one over Pine Tree Trail
Bald Eagle--one first year bird over Pine Tree Trail
Sharp-shinned Hawk--one flew in front of the car near beach 11
American Kestrel--two or three along Pine Tree Trail
Peregrine Falcon--one possible bird over Gull Point
American Coot--several off beach 11
Killdeer-- a few heard and seen
Ring-billed Gull--a few at Gull Point
Herring Gull--several scattered around the park
Caspian Tern--a few flying over Gull Point
Common Tern--30 flying well off Gull Point
Mourning Dove--two or three along Pine Tree Trail
Great Horned Owl--one on the nest
Downy Woodpecker--territorial rapping at several sites
Northern Flicker--one along Pine Tree Trail
Blue Jay--several flying over Beach 11 and a few at Niagara Pond
American Crow--several scattered throughout
Tree Swallow--several overhead
Barn Swallow--several overhead
Black-capped Chickadee--at least a couple along Pine Tree Trail
White-breasted Nuthatch--one heard on Pine Tree Trail
House Wren--one heard on Pine Tree Trail and one at Fry's landing
Ruby-crowned Kinglet--a few along the trails
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher--single birds on each trail
Hermit Thrush--one on Pine Tree Trail
American Robin--several at various sites
Gray Catbird--two or three along the trails
Brown Thrasher--one on Dead Pond Trail
European Starling--several on the ground at various places
Nashville Warbler--one at Fry's landing
Yellow Warbler--fairly common everywhere, but most heard only
Black-thoated Blue Warbler--one at Fry's landing
Yellow-rumped Warbler--a few along the trails
Palm Warbler--fairly common everywhere and the most frequently seen warbler
Common Yellowthroat--one singing on Pine Tree Trail
Eastern Towhee--three or four heard singing along the trails
Song Sparrow--a couple on Dead Pond Trail
Swamp Sparrow--one or two along Niagara Pond
White-throated Sparrow--one heard along Pine Tree Trail
Red-winged Blackbird--several scattered throughout the park
Brown-headed Cowbird--several around the park
Baltimore Oriole--singles and pairs at several locations
Purple Finch--one immature male singing on Pine Tree Trail
American Goldfinch--one over beach 11 parking lot

The Black-Throated Blue: our obsession with this bird cost us a view of the Nashville Warbler. C'est la vie!
Toni and I have been extremely busy getting ready for the Festival of the Birds! It promises to be a very exciting event and last year was "Sold Out". I'm not sure how many tickets remain, but if anyone is interested in attending click here for details and registration information. Toni and I will be presenting a workshop on Nature Blogging. Also, some of our works, along with those of other local artists, will be on display during the festival and for the next six weeks. If you can't make it to the festival but want to see the largest variety of migrating birds around, you must visit Presque Isle State Park within the next three weeks!! Things are a hoppin'! If you do plan a trip and need a some directions or advice for hot spots, drop Toni and I an e-mail.

1 comment:

MaineBirder said...

Excellent images!

We will not be coming to the event this year as we had originally planned. Hope you all have a great time!


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