Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tilghman Island

Pickering Creek Audubon Center schedules Bird Walk-n-Talks to introduce participants to groups of birds such as woodpeckers, feeder birds, and on Saturday, diving birds.  We headed off to Tilghman Island with trip leader Terry Allen in search of these birds despite wind gusts of almost 40 mph. 

In spite of the weather, Terry managed to spot an impressive number of species including Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Long-tailed Ducks, Lesser Scaup, and Surf Scoter. 
We also noted Dunlin, Sanderling, Tree Swallow, Coot, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Tundra Swan, and Black Duck.
After leaving Tilghman, we drove to Pickering Creek to find the Virginia's Warbler but came up empty, it was just too windy.  We did note Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, and many Hooded Mergansers, and were surprised to hear a deafening chorus of frogs.  Join Pickering's next Bird Walk-n-Talk on March 11th for Wetlands and Wading Birds, or March 31 for bird banding.  Many thanks to Terry Allen for his bird spotting skills, and Pickering's Educator Mandy Smith.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Fort McHenry

Most people know that Fort McHenry is the birthplace of the National Anthem, but did you know it is also a great place to go birding?  This morning, Ben Pescover and Jim Peters led a bird walk along the water, the grassy areas, and the wetlands, which Mr. Peters has been slowly restoring over the past 12 years - it is a special area not to be missed.

Some birds spotted were Bufflehead, American Wigeon, DC Cormorants, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Coot, House Finch, Red-winged Blackbird, Carolina Wren, Junco, and Robin. 

One interesting discovery was the remnants of a Ring-billed Gull that had fallen prey to a Cooper's Hawk. 

Here's another view of the wetlands, note the emissions from the distant cruise ship.  The wetland area is closed to the public except during scheduled walks.  Saturday morning walks are from 8AM-12PM on Mar. 17, April 21, and May 19.  Wednesdays there are walks in the morning at 8AM on Mar. 7, April 4, May 2, and June 6th.  And Wednesday evenings at 6PM on May 2, May 9, May 16, May 23, and May 30.  After the walk, be sure to visit the museum!