2022 PeaksFest Bird Walk





50-55 degrees, windy, threatening rain. Cancelled.


But, unplugged from cancellation announcements, 5 intrepid birders arrive at the corner of Alderbrook and Florida Avenue. Michael, our leader, always prompt and ‘on-time’ was nowhere to be seen or heard (his golf cart). As we watch a Great Egret fly over us, we call him by phone. “It is cancelled”, he says. What do we do without Michael? Go home?


No, we nominate Sam as our substitute leader - he graciously accepts. He leads us (Allison, Tim, Valerie and myself) down Florida Avenue.






Even with the poor weather birds are singing. We tease apart each song, identifying those callers. We immediately hear the Great-crested Flycatcher with one of its calls – a bubbly call – probably perched in a tree nearby. We see and hear the male American Redstart with his red and black flashes of color, later Allison spots the female with her yellow, not red, flashes of color, flitting amongst the branches.


Tim spots a well-hidden Black-crowned Night Heron

in the marsh across from Battery Steele. This heron is standing perfectly still among the marsh grasses, barely visible. But once sighted, its red eye makes it look angry. Then a Glossy Ibis, that is not too glossy in the gray of the day, flies into the rear of the marsh. Without the sun we miss seeing the copper, green, and purple hues of this bird. Then the night heron moves to join the ibis – friends?


Tim finds another unexpected bird species – a pair of Bluebirds darting in and out of a Wood Duck’s nest box in the same marsh. Are they nesting in this large box? These small-ish birds usually prefer more petite boxes.


Valerie helps us identify bird songs with her Merlin ‘app’ - Yellow Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, more American Redstarts, Tufted Titmouse, American Robins, Song Sparrows, and an Eastern Wood Peewee


Turning left onto Brackett Avenue we hit a cold head wind, but we persevere to the marshes along the road. Tim shows us a site where a large turtle (painted turtle or snapping turtle?) dug a big hole for her eggs along the side of the road – breaking through the gravel. Precarious location to start of family.


Sam spots a Red-bellied Woodpecker on a broken-off dead tree along the forest edge. It leaves but we see a hole with what looks like a head – with a beak – peaking out.


Five minutes into the observation two parent woodpeckers arrive. Did they go into the hole or feed from the outside?


We continue up Brackett Avenue seeing an Eastern Kingbird,




more singing Song Sparrows,

American Goldfinches, European Starlings, Eastern Phoebe, and Mourning Doves.



After 2.5 hours we part ways – Tim leaving the group only to miss hearing a Black-throated Green Warbler near the Transfer Station. And even later Sam and I see our last bird – a Great Blue Heron.


Meanwhile Valerie continues to do a Brackett Pond Circle tour: “Lots of Common Yellowthroats, Yellow Warblers, and a few Black-throated Green Warblers. [At] one spot a very consistent Indigo Buntings [were] identified by Merlin BUT I can’t find them. Also [seen is] a nice pair of Hairy Woodpeckers in a tree… probably collecting food, but I didn’t see a nest. Tufted titmice also hanging out there and an Eastern Kingbird.”


By: Patty Wainright and Valerie Kelly

Reviewed by: Sam Wainright, Michael LaCombe and Marty


Thank you Sam, Tim, Valerie and Allison for a fun and great bird trip.



Valerie’s Bird List:


6:52 - 9:25 AM near Battery

9:40 - 10:30 AM at Brackett Pond

5

American Crow

Battery

5

American Redstart

1 female, rest males

6

Black-capped Chickadees

Brackett Pond & Battery

1

Black-crowned Night-heron

Battery

2

Black-throated Green Warbler

Brackett Pond & Battery

4

Blue Jay

Brackett Pond

1

Carolina Wren

Brackett Pond

1

Cedar Waxwing

Battery

10

Common Grackle

Battery

10

Common Yellowthroat

Brackett Pond & Battery

3

Double-crested Cormorant

Flyover-Battery

2

Eastern Bluebirds

Male & female at Wood Duck nest box

2

Eastern Kingbird

Battery

1

Eastern Phoebe

Battery

1

Eastern Wood Peewee

Battery

15

European Starling

Flying & on ground Battery

1

Glossy Ibis

Battery

12

American Goldfinch

Brackett Pond & Battery

8

Gray Catbird

Brackett Pond & Battery

1

Great Blue Heron

Flyover- near Battery

1

Great Crested Flycatcher

Battery

1

Great Egret

Flyover-Battery

10

Herring Gulls

Flyover Brackett Pond & Battery

4

Hairy woodpecker

Pair at Brackett Pond + Battery

10

Mourning Dove

Flying, perched & on ground

20

Northern Cardinal

Brackett Pond & Battery

2

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Nest with young & two adults near marsh on Brackett St

25

Red-winged Blackbird

One Female; rest males

5

American Robin

Battery

10

Song Sparrow

Brackett Pond & Battery

10

Tufted Titmouse

Brackett Pond & Battery

4

Rufus-sided Towhee

Battery

5

Tree Swallow

Flyover-Battery

5

Yellow Warbler

Brackett Pond & Battery

Heard or poorly seen so not confirmed

Indigo Bunting

House finch

Baltimore Oriole

Adult & chicks




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