Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bird Tour

This morning drove to the Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC) to meet up with Naturalist Dave Spier.

Our first stop was at a pulloff by Black Creek Marsh. Getting out of the car two American Black Ducks flew off with three Mallards. Two Wood Ducks also flew overhead.

Using old Rt. 31 we drove to East Swamp, present here were five Yellow-rumped Warblers, one of which was eating poison ivy berries.
Among the dead trees there was a Red-bellied Woodpecker. Dave pointed out a lone Canada Goose on the northwest corner of the pond; Dave felt it was odd to see just one goose.

Continuing west on Rt. 31, came to the Montezuma Marshes (Black Creek). There at the west end of the marsh perched on top of a dead tree trunk was a Red-tailed Hawk. At first from a distance the hawk appeared to be an extension of the tree trunk.
We also saw four Cedar Waxwings at this location.

Parked on the shoulder of Rt. 31 between the canals to view eight Wood Ducks on the back edge of the north wetland and one Great Blue Heron.

Our next stop was Malone Unit #1. Roughly 50 Red-winged Blackbirds but there was a Brown-headed Cowbird. Dave mentioned that blackbirds have nine primary feathers rather than ten.

Coming upon the Savannah Spring Lake Rd. impoundments activity increased. Twenty-our Mallards flew out of the flooded vegetation. Present in the air flying across north field were a Killdeer and a Northern Flicker. We also observed two Blue Jays.

As we drove into Martens Tract there were two Ring-necked Pheasants walking along the roadside.
Dave mentioned these might be released birds. Upon leaving ten White-crowned Sparrows came in. Dave noted that most or perhaps all were first winter birds. Their brown crowns which Dave described as "butch-cuts" and pink-orange bills produced a colorful display.

Returning on the Savannah Spring Lake Rd. observed two Red-tailed Hawks, one was extremely close but became hidden by the sun once we stopped. At the Savannah Spring Lake Rd. impoundments there was a Northern Harrier. This juvenile raptor's orange body glistened in the sunlight.

Driving back to the MAC stopped at the south parking area of East Colvin Marsh and walked to the Tim Noga blind. Evidently hunters have been adorning the outside of the blind for hunting season. Dave noted the water level has been raised to provide an area for ducks.

Another fine morning spent in and around the Montezuma Wetlands. Today's sightings provide four firsts for me - the White-crowned sparrow, the Yellow-rumped Warbler, the American Black Duck, and the White-throated sparrow. Plus thanks to Dave cataloging today's observations on eBird, my eBird account hit 100 species.

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