[flickr photo=6970785963 align=center]
Participants shown below are: Front row, left to right - Sue Nordholm, Betty Peterson, Cynthia and Bob Long, Jenny and Chris Curtis and Jan Lockwood. Back row, left to right - Sara Lewis, Tom McCary, David Taylor, Deb Woodward, Anne Haupt, Leah Duckworth, Geoff Giles, Cheryl Jacobson and Janet Curtis.
Sixteen hardy participants lent their eyes and ears to our bird walk on a sunny but blustery day in our favorite park. The chill in the air seemed to cue the birds to stay quiet and cozy, except for five bald eagles, three red-tailed hawks and a northern harrier, all of which seemed delighted at a breeze they seemed to find ideal for hunting and soaring. They gave us some spectacular views, as did a gorgeous red-headed woodpecker, who stayed put in plain view for all to admire, as he stuffed himself on grubs from a high snag.
The marsh at Queens Creek was unusually quiet and devoid of bird activity, with the exception of a nice raft of red-breasted mergansers which seemed pleased with the fish offering in the creek and lingered a long time for all to admire. Two ospreys sat snugly in a distant nest and seemed disinclined to test the wind. Otherwise, the chilly wind and slow pace of bird activity on the marsh caused us to shift our attentions to other sunny and more sheltered spots in the park. That proved a good formula for an enjoyable walk with good spirits.
Trip leader Geoff Giles was particularly grateful for the super spotting of Jenny Curtis, who contributed many of the best birds of the day. Although numbers of birds were lower than usual, we did finish the day with a respectable 28 species. Spring migrants and our breeding resident species are doubtless just around the corner! Thanks to one and all for making this an enjoyable outing on a beautiful day!!