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Newport News Park

Sunday Morning Walks

 

 

Join us on the First and Third Sunday of each month at 7:00 AM at the parking lot behind the Ranger Station!

Thanks to Jane Frigo for providing these reports. For more information, contact Jane (757-873-0721).


The weather was more cooperative on July 17, 2016. It was hot and humid and winds were calm but at least the sun was shining. Mike Lowry, Stuart Sweetman, John Adair, Richard Hudgins, Marc Nichols, Jane Frigo, Pete and Charm Peterman and first timer Candice Hilliard enjoyed the morning and were able to identify 54 species. The lower reservoir level provided foraging opportunities for a Solitary Sandpiper! Many fledglings of various species were seen. The group enjoyed watching a mother Indigo Bunting trying to satisfy three fledglings right next to the Ranger lot bridge. Eastern Kingbirds were quite vocal as they tried to keep up with their young ones. A single Royal Tern worked the water and numerous Wood Duck families were spotted nestled in the area beyond the Spawning Pond. All 6 woodpeckers were accounted for. Two Prothonotary Warblers were seen. They have been scarce this year. Eastern Wood-Pewees, however, were abundant. One surprise was that not a single Canada Goose was spotted. A complete species list follows.

Wood Duck
Mallard
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Solitary Sandpiper
Laughing Gull
Royal Tern
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckcoo
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Cedar Waxwing
Prothonotary Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Chipping Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch


The summer of 2016 has been a soggy one. Scattered showers have kept the area green but have dampened yet another birding day. Skies were overcast and showers were predicted for July 3, 2016. Still, ten hardy souls showed up at 6 AM to make a quick walk to the Swamp Bridge before the regularly scheduled 7 AM walk. They included Mike Lowry, Dianne Snyder, Tom Charlock, Anthony Nixon, Jane Frigo, John and Marilyn Adair, Virginia and George Boyles and newcomer Penny Owings. The group made it to the bridge before the rain began but got thoroughly soaked trying to make it back to the cars parked at the Spawning Pond. Needless to say the list of birds was slim but not without some rewards like several Green Herons, an Indigo Bunting, Wood Ducks and an Orchard Oriole. Most of the group left immediately to return home and dry off but a few people stayed. They were joined by Shawn and Katrina Dash. The group birded from a picnic shelter before finally calling it quits at 8 AM. 26 species were identified and another 6 AM trip may be scheduled at a later date. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Mallard
Great Egret
Green Heron
Osprey
Spotted Sandpiper
Laughing Gull
Eastern Wood-Pewee

Great Crested Flycatcher
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren
American Robin

Northern Mockingbird
Common Yellowthroat
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Orchard Oriole
American Goldfinch


The official beginning of summer is just days away but June 19, 2016 was like spring with clear calm skies and temperatures in the 60's--barely rising to the 80's by afternoon. Bill Boeh, Dianne Snyder, Anthony Nixon, Elizabeth Wilkins, Mike Lowry, Marc Nichols and Jane Frigo had a delightful morning and identified 58 species. Multiple Green Herons were seen but Prothonotary Warblers were hard to find. A Royal Tern was definitely spotted. A Caspian Tern may also have been present but since no consensus could be reached it wasn't counted. The Discovery Center area yielded great views of the Red-headed Woodpecker, American Goldfinch, and Blue Grosbeak to name a few. Three species of snakes were also spotted. For those that might be interested, the group suggested trying to see the Swamp Bridge area at dawn. So, anyone wanting to make a quick run to the bridge BEFORE the next scheduled walk on July 3, 2016, please meet at the Spawning Pond at 6 AM. Those there at 6 AM will make a quick walk to the Swamp Bridge, spend 20-30 minutes on the bridge and then return to the Ranger parking lot for the normal 7 AM schedule. If you have any questions, feel free to call Jane Frigo 757-873-0721 for more information. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Mallard
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Laughing Gull
Royal Tern
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Yellow-throated Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
N. Rough-winged Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird

American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Prothonotary Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Northern Parula
Pine Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch


The stormy weather predicted for Sunday, June 5, 2016 never materialized but the morning was still overcast and muggy. Those coming to the bird walk included Cathy Bond, Shawn Dash, Mike Lowry, Tom Charlock, Anthony Nixon and Jane Frigo. The group struggled to identify 50 different species but never the less enjoyed the morning. Multiple Green Herons were seen and Canada Geese proudly showed off their offspring. The group enjoyed watching a Red-bellied Woodpecker at his nest cavity just off the path near the Ranger Station. Sadly the Great Horned Owl was not seen and there was no activity at the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest at the Swamp Bridge. The group was happy to see two Red-headed Woodpeckers flitted through the trees near the golf course. An Orchard Oriole gave quite a lengthy performance. Hopefully all participants will remember his song. Surprisingly only one Prothonotary Warbler was seen. A pair of Yellow-billed Cuckcoo was another treat for the morning. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Laughing Gull
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird

Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Prothonotary Warbler
Northern Parula
Pine Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch


A cold front moved through bringing the temperature on May 15, 2016 to the 50-60 degree range after the previous days 80's. Still it was a great birding day. 13 people showed up for the walk. They included Dianne Snyder, Jim Barnett, Tom Charlock, Stuart Sweetman, Mike Lowry, Phyllis Roth, Virginia Boyles, Anthony Nixon, Jane Frigo and newcomers Francoise Veland, and Art, Bernie and Faith Calhoun. The walk began with Wood Ducks! A group of over 10 was spotted. Later a lone female with 10 young were seen. Red-eyed Vireos were easily observed and Blackpoll Warblers were singing loudly. At the Arboretum the group got to see the Great Horned Owl at his favorite perch after a lengthy absence. Another highlight at the Aboretum was a Canada Warbler! Both Summer and Scarlet Tanagers were also spotted during the morning. The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest observed on the two previous walks was inactive and the assumption was that the birds had fledged. At the Swamp Bridge another Gnatcatcher was spotted constructing a nest. That one will bear watching on the first walk in June. There was also a possible Worm-eating Warbler.Two species missed were Indigo Bunting and Blue Grosbeak. A total of 67 species were counted. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Spotted Sandpiper
Laughing Gull
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Great Horned Owl
Chimney Swift
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Veery
Swainson's Thrush

American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Cedar Waxwing
Prothonotary Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Northern Parula
Blackpoll Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Canada Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
American Goldfinch


May 1, 2016 was cloudy and chilly but 12 people braved the elements to identify a total of 75 species. Participants included Mike Lowry, Ellis Maxey, Bill Ferris, Stuart Sweetman, Hannah Montalvo, Mary Lynch, Marc Nichols, Jane Frigo and Shawn and Katrina Dash and Sydney and Camden Buffamante. 14 warblers were seen along with first of season species Eastern Kingbird, Summer Tanager and Blue Grosbeak to name a few. Wood Ducks were abundant. A late season Ring-necked Duck was spotted. Both Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers were seen but no Waterthrush. The group visited the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest and watched hatchlings being fed. No activity was seen at the Tree Swallow nest. A Bay-breasted Warbler may have been seen but was not counted. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher

Eastern Kingbird
White-eyed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
N. Rough-winged Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Veery
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Ovenbird

Black-and-white Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Blackpoll Wabler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch


April 17, 2016 was a beautiful day to bird watch at Newport News Park. 20 people came out to enjoy the morning. They included Virginia and George Boyles, John and Marilyn Adair, Ned and Becky Rose, Gwen and Walt Harris, Lieve Kenney, Bill Ferris, Elizabeth Wilkens, Jacque VanMontfrans, Stuart Sweetman, Pete Peterman, Anthony Nixon, Cathy Bond, Jane Frigo, and newcomers Lee Morris, JoAnne Bricker and Doug Rogers. The group missed visiting the Arboretum because of a disc golf tournament, but were still able to identify 63 species. Ring-necked ducks were still in the reservoir along with a Pied-billed Grebe. A pair of Wood Ducks were also seen and always appreciated. Caspian Terns were observed among the Laughing and Ring-billed Gulls. Ruby-crowned Kinglets were singing and Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows were still around. Spring arrivals included Green Heron, Prothonotory Warbler and Great Crested Flycatcher, to name a few. The group took the White Oak Bridge Trail again and revisited the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest. At the same overlook Tree Swallows were seen using the Prothonotory Warbler nest box located in the area. The Louisiana Waterthrush was also seen in the same area as the last walk. Finally, a Red-headed Woodpecker was seen. A Cottonmouth snake as observed at the Swamp Bridge and a reminder to always keep an eye out on the trails. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Caspian Tern
Mourning Dove
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
White-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
N. Rough-winged Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird

Brown Thrasher
Cedar Waxwing
Louisiana Waterthrush
Prothonotary Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Northern Parula
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
American Goldfinch


Spring has begun but the weather didn't quite cooperate. Although a beautiful sunny morning, the temperature at 7 AM April 3, 2016 was in the low 40's and the brisk wind made it feel much colder. Hand warmers were definitely needed. In spite of that 13 birders came out to see the new arrivals. Participants included Marilyn and John Adair, Bill and Anne Boeh, Jason Strickland, Hannah Montalvo, Andy Hawkins, Richard Hudgins, Stuart Sweetman, Anthony Nixon, Tom Charlock, Shawn Dash and Jane Frigo. The group was able to identify 60 species. The group altered the usual walk route and took the White Oak Trail circle. On that path they not only found some shelter from the wind but also made some exciting finds all of which were photographed by Anthony and Bill. They included a Great Egret in beautiful breeding plumage. a pair of Louisiana Waterthrush, a cooperative and vocal Northern Parula and a Blue-gray Gnatcather building a nest. Yellow-throated Warblers were heard but no visual was made. An Eastern Phoebe was seen singing and Purple Martins were active. Many Double Crested Cormorants were seen flying in formation. One miss was the resident Northern Mockingbird. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
N. Rough-winged Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush

American Robin
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Louisiana Waterthrush
Northern Parula
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch


Rain beat down early in the morning of March 20, 2016 but by 7 AM it tapered off and 8 people turned out to see what birds could be found at Newport News Park. Those hearty individuals included Mike Lowry, John Adair, Shawn Dash Tom Charlock, Marc Nichols, Elizabeth Wilkins, Jacques van Montfrans and Jane Frigo. Although the early morning was cold (40's) and damp, the brisk winds held off until later in the morning. 61 species were identified. Cedar Waxwings were abundant as were Tree Swallows. Several Rough-winged Swallows were also spotted in the group. Brown Thrashers were everywhere. Both Tundra and Mute Swans were seen with many ducks still on the reservoir. It took until the end of the morning to spot any Hooded Mergansers.Two Laughing gulls were seen among the Ring-billed Gulls. A Great Horned Owl was heard across the water early in the walk but no visual sighting was made. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Tundra Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Mallard
Redhead
Ring-necked Duck
Hooded Merganser
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove

Great Horned Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
N. Rough-winged Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Golden crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
American Goldfinch


March came in more like a lamb than a lion. March 7, 2016, was chilly with temperatures in the 40's and skies overcast but clearing as the morning progressed. The good thing was the winds were calm! 26 people started out at 7 AM and 8 continued until 1 PM. Those participating were Wendy and Ellis Maxey, Ned and Becky Rose, John and Marilyn Adair, George and Virginia Boyles, Walt and Gwen Harris, Bill Ferris, Lieve Kenney, Jim Barnett, Dianne Snyder, Stuart Sweetman, Mike Lowry, Anthony Nixon, Hannah Montalvo, Marc Nichols, Tom Charlock, Richard Hudgins, Jane Frigo and newcomers John Honchul, Ella Reilly, Veronica Pearcy and Teresa Walters. Over the course of the morning 63 species were identified! Highlights were a Greater Yellowlegs seen on the mudflats created by the lowering of the reservoir. Hopefully more shore birds will be seen as this new habitat is discovered. A cooperative Red-tailed Hawk gave a wonderful photo opportunity. 100+ Tree Swallows were observed feeding and also occupying the power lines and vibrating their wings! Two Tundra Swans were studied before taking flight. Ducks were still in good numbers with the Redheads still the favorite. New arrivals included a Laughing Gull and Osprey. End of the day sightings included a Belted Kingfisher, male Wood Duck and Sharp-shinned Hawk. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Tundra Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon
American Black Duck
Mallard
Redhead
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Hooded Merganser
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Greater Yellowlegs

Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren

Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
American Goldfinch


What a pleasant day for the middle of February for our walk on February 21, 2016. Conditions were clear, calm and warm (50-60's). 20 people came out and identified 54 species. Those participating included John and Marilyn Adair, Anne and Bill Boeh, Pete and Charm Peterman, Wendy and Ellis Maxey, Tom Charlock, Lieve Kenney, Dave Youker, Anthony Nixon, Bill Ferris, Marc Nichols, Jane Frigo and first timers Diane Snyder, Christy Gardener, Sharon Neal, Sandy Petersen and Anne Owens. The morning began with the thrilling sight of Tundra Swans! Ducks were also in good number with multiple Redheads seen. The noisiest birds of the day had to be the Brown-headed Nuthatches. Missed on the last walk they were seen and heard all through the park. Young Bald Eagles were spotted multiple times but no hawks or Black Vultures. Also missed was the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Hairy Woodpecker. It was good to see a pair of Belted Kingfishers. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Tundra Swan
Gadwall
American Wigeon
American Black Duck
Mallard
Redhead
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Hooded Merganser
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush

American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch


February 7, 2016 was not too bad for the middle of winter!. The temperature was chilly (30-40) but winds were calm. Skies stayed overcast but visibility was good. 57 species were identified during the morning walk. The highlight was a cooperative Fox Sparrow observed at the Discovery Center. Other cooperative birds allowing lengthy observations included a Winter Wren and a Swamp Sparrow along the Swamp Bridge journey, a nice flock of Cedar Waxwings at the Arboretum, and some large groups of American Robins and mixed blackbirds. Ruby-crowned Kinglets were seen in several areas but only a single Golden-crowned Kinglet could be found and that was at the very end of the walk. Eight duck species and six woodpecker species were seen. Misses included owls and Red-headed Woodpeckers. As usual it was a good day. Those participating in the morning were Lieve Keeney, Bill Ferris, Anthony Nixon, Stuart Sweetman, Mike Lowry, Tom Charlock, Jane Frigo, Frank and Linda Schaff, Shawn and Katrina Dash and newcomers Jordan and Heather Pralle. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon
American Black Duck
Mallard
Redhead
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Hooded Merganser
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull

Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird

Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
American Goldfinch


Three eager birders were at the park on January 17, 2016, before the gate was opened! In the end 15 people and one dog enjoyed the chilly morning. They included John and Marilyn Adair, George and Virginia Boyles, Pete and Charm Peterman, Mary Ellen Lynch, Bill Ferris, Marc Nichols, Stuart Sweetman, Tom Charlock, Elizabeth Wilkins, Jacques van Montfrans, Jane Frigo, Anthony Nixon and his sister's friendly, well behaved dog Hobbs. The temperature began in the low 40's and continued dropping throughout the walk. Skies were overcast and actually produced sleet before changing over to drizzle which eventually led to actual snow! The group lasted until 10 AM. They were able to identify 43 species in that time. Two Tundra Swan were spotted flying over. Two Redhead ducks and Lesser Scaup were spotted among a good sized group of Ring-necks and Gadwall. American Robins were the most abundant species for the morning. A large flock of Cedar Waxwing numbering over 40 were gathering at the Arboretum. Both adult and immature Bald Eagles were seen. A special thank you to the Adair's for bringing donut holes to share.The treat helped sweeten up the miserable weather. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Tundra Swan
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Mallard
Redhead
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Hooded Merganser
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
American Crow
'Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren

Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
American Goldfinch


Thanks to Tom Charlock for this report!

Newport News Park Sunday bird walk Chief Frigo was away and counting in Matthews County on January 3, 2016, but the fair, near-freezing morning drew 13 enthusiasts: John Adair, Jim Barnett, Virginia and George Boyles, Tom Charlock, Richard Hudgins, Cheryl Jacobson (Williamsburg Club), Wendy and Ellis Maxey, Mark Nichols, Anthony Nixon, Pete Peterman, and Jason Strickland. Our first look at the water was free of fog – and pretty spare as regards birds, too. Then Anthony managed to spot a Bald Eagle flying at tree top level across the reservoir. Cheryl saw a warbler and after careful deliberation decided it was an Orange-crowned. Sights and sounds of small songbirds and woodpeckers picked up by the time we’d circled over to the footbridge. Wendy heard a curious thud from the bridge, and it turned out to be real mishap: The hoar frost had caused Richard to spill flat onto the planks. He received a nasty laceration and decided to call it a day. (At lunch in Panera the next afternoon, Richard was in superb humor and seemed very much himself).

A stiff westerly breeze picked up and the main group proceeded to the “arboretum.” But Jason, Anthony, Mark and Cheryl remained along the water, where they saw Gadwall, Widgeon American Black duck, Ring-necked duck, Pied-billed Grebe.... Those staying with the water were decidedly the winners, as the arboretum revealed little more than masses of Robins (and some Red-winged Blackbirds) scooting from tree to tree. The main crew finally enjoyed the ducks when they arrived at the Discovery Center. At the walkway near the spawning pond, a Great Blue Heron put on a close, noisy, pterodactyl show. John drew out a Winter Wren from a stump. The temperature was in the 40s when at the swamp bridge, where Pete saw a Marsh Wren in the reeds that was identified by call. We observed a total of 49 species, but there were no accipiters, buteos, or owls.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon
American Black Duck
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Hooded Merganser
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
American Coot
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Marsh Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Cedar Waxwing
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch


Audubon Christmas Counts are in full swing and many people must be participating! Only four came out December 20, 2015 for the morning park walk. They were Barbara and Richard Hudgins, Tom Charlock and Jane Frigo. Even this small group was able to identify 39 species for the morning. The weather began with freezing temperatures, warming into the mid 40's, but not much wind which made it more tolerable. The birds seemed scarce. Eastern Bluebirds were even hard to find and were not seen until the end of the morning at the Swamp Bridge! Canada Geese were on the reservoir along with some nice groups of Ring-necked Ducks, Gadwall and Hooded Mergansers. Several American Wigeon were interspersed. Misses included Brown Thrasher, Mourning Dove and Hermit Thrush to name a few. A nice end to the morning was a flock of Cedar Waxwings among the Eastern Bluebirds at the Swamp Bridge. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Hooded Merganser
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle

Ring-billed Gull
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
American Goldfinch


It was a beautiful day at the park on December 6, 2015. Clear skies, calm winds and cool temperatures (40-50's) made for a great morning to be out. Those participating included Bill Ferris, Mike Lowry, Sharon Burton, Bryan Barmore, John Adair, Tom Charlock, Richard Hudgins, Andy Hawkins, Sally Young, Betsy McAllister, Bill Boeh, Ann Nicklin, Shawn Dash, Marc Nichols, Rock Moeslein, Jane Frigo, Pete and Charm Peterman, and Cathy and Terri Bond. A pair of Bald Eagles were spotted early on and treated the group to some vocalizations. Marc Nichols was able to find a Barred Owl in the woods behind the Discovery Center. The Marsh Wren was relocated at the Swamp Bridge. Ducks were still scarce with Gadwall the most abundant. Other species included a flyover Bufflehead, a few Ring-necked Ducks and a couple of American Black Ducks. At the very end of the walk a small group of Hooded Mergansers were located at the Spawning Pond. The species count for the morning was 54.

Canada Goose
Gadwall
American Black Duck
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Bufflehead
Hooded Merganser
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Barred Owl

Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Marsh Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
American Goldfinch


November 15, 2015 began with an unexpected frost! The reservoir was beautifully blanketed with fog. It took a while for the birds to wake up but the day, as usual, turned into a great morning with 55 species identified. The most notable sightings for the morning included a pair of Northern Pintail, a Marsh Wren at the Swamp Bridge, and an Orange-crowned Warbler! American Robins and Dark-eyed Juncos were everywhere. First of season (FOS) Brown Creepers were spotted early in the day along with Golden-crowned Kinglets and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. A Winter Wren was seen at the first bridge. The group couldn't find the Hooded Mergansers or Ring-necked Duck seen at the last walk but Gadwall were still present. Sadly, owls and the Red-headed Woodpeckers couldn't be found. Those participating in the walk were A. J. Brewington, Lieve Keeney, Dave Nissen, Stuart Sweetman, Mike Lowry, Anthony Nixon, Richard Hudgins, John Adair, Elizabeth Wilkins, Jacques VanMontfran, Shawn Dash, Pete Peterman, Jim Barnett, Tom Charlock, Jane Frigo, Denis and Charlotte Boudreau and Leigh and George Fenigsohn. A complete list of birds follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Black Duck
Mallard
Northern Pintail
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Marsh Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush

American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch


Clouds moved in on November 1, 2015 and made for a gloomy morning. The good part was that winds were very calm and the temperature was pleasant--in the lower 60's. Off and on drizzle was annoying but no heavy rain materialized before the last group called it quits. Those attending for at least part of the morning included Anne and Bill Boeh, Frank and Linda Schass, Wendy and Ellis Maxey, Marilyn and John Adair, Ned and Becky Rose, Elizabeth Wilkins, Jacques VanMontfrans, Mike Lowry, Stuart Sweetman, Steven Moore, A. J. Brewington, David Knopp, Barbara Lewis, Sherry Rollins, Richard Hudgins, Pete Peterman, Bailey Jackson, Laura Nusz, Tom Charlock, Jason Strickland, Courtney West, and Jane Frigo. The total species count was 60. The morning began with a pair of male Hooded Mergansers! Other notable waterfowl included American Black Duck, Gadwall, Pied-billed Grebe and a lone Ring-necked Duck. Both Red-tailed Hawk and Cooper's Hawk perched patiently to provide excellent looks through scopes. A rare Merlin was seen on the power lines. Another great sighting was a Blue-headed Vireo at the Arboretum. Several photos were taken. At the same area an interesting non-avian spotting of a groundhog was enjoyed. Dark-eyed Juncos and Yellow-rumped Warblers were abundant. A great view of a Palm Warbler was had along with a cooperative Hermit Thrush. A very large group of Rusty Blackbirds was spotted near Swamp Point! Sadly misses included Brown Creeper, Red-headed Woodpecker and any owls. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Gadwall
American Black Duck
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Hooded Merganser
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Merlin
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-billed Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue-headed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird

Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Common Yellowthroat
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird
Common Grackle
American Goldfinch


October 18, 2015 was COLD and WINDY!. The temperature stayed in the low 50's and winds were brisk at 10-15 mph. At least the skies were clear. Fourteen people braved the cold to see what may have been blown in. They included John Adair, Mike Lowry, Anthony Nixon, Tom Charlock, , Stuart Sweetman, Sandy DiCarlo, Shawn and Katrina Dash, Jane Frigo and first timers Lee and Susan Morris, Su Cox, Jay Sanchez and Bailey Jackson. First of season (FOS) species included Gadwall, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Winter Wren, Golden and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Swamp Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow. Dark-eyed Junco's had been seen the previous day but couldn't be located on Sunday. Eastern Phoebe's were quite cooperative along with a Winter Wren and numerous Kinglets, giving participants great observations. A late Northern Parula was seen and several Pine Warblers were spotted. A complete list of 51 species follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Gadwall
American Black Duck
Mallard
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon

Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Northern Parula
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch


The first park walk in October (this year October 3) is typically held at the Campground because of the Newport News Fall Festival of Folklife. But this year the 42nd festival was canceled because of the threat of Hurricane Joaquin. Fortunately, Joaquin missed the area but a fierce Nor'easter still brought strong winds, rain and tidal flooding. Inspite of that, eleven people showed up for the walk! They included Bill Boeh, Anthony Nixon, Marc Nichols, Tom Charlock, Pete Peterman, Jane Frigo, Ned and Becky Rose and first timers Angel, Brent and Lucius Werlein. The group braved the elements until calling it quits about 9 AM. A quick visit to the main areas (Reservoir Loop, Arboretum, Discovery Center and Spawning Pond) produced 37 species including the Great Horned Owl and five warblers including a first of season Yellow-rumped Warbler. A Green Snake was seen at the Discovery Center. Ned and Becky made a quick run to the Swamp Bridge after the main group left. They ran into a Cottonmouth and added a Common Yellowthroat to the total for the morning. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Mallard
Pied-billed Grebe
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Cooper's Hawk
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern

Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren

Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Black-and-white Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Northern Parula
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Northern Cardinal


The park was quiet on September 20, 2015. The temperature was mild--70's--winds were calm and the sky was cloudy. The birds must have been sleeping in. The reservoir had cleared to some degree and the shore bird bonanza of the last walk was over. Those participating in the morning walk totaled 27 and included Lee and Meredith Bell, Ned and Becky Rose, Shawn and Katrina Dash, Bill and Janet Harper, Jason Strickland, Mike Lowry, Joan Stone, Betsy Garrett, Bettye Fields, Elive Keeney, Marc Nichols, Tom Charlock, Jim Barnett, Richard Hudgins, Anthony Nixon, George Keiske, Bill Ferris, Stuart Sweetman, Geoff Giles, John Adair, Jane Frigo and Kentucky visitors Gene Dennis and Judy Coleman. The group identified 47 species. The best bird by far was a female Scarlet Tanager. She was preening for a long time on an open branch and gave everyone in the group time to observe her through a scope. The Green Heron was still around and a Baltimore Oriole was spotted! A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Mallard
Pied-billed Grebe
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Laughing Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove

Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Eastern Bluebird

American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Common Yellowthroat
Pine Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch


The Labor Day weekend walk on September 6, 2015 turned out to be great one!. A cold front moved through leaving lingering cloudy skies, temperatures in the upper 70's and an unexpected abundance of migrating shore birds and several warblers. An remarkable 66 species were identified by the 28 participants. The large group included several first timers and a good number of seasoned birders. Pariticipants were Geoff Giles, Sharon Burton, Bryan Barmore, Hannah Logan, Cathy Nicholson, Cheryl Jacobson, Elive Keeney, Suzanne Masten, Ed Quaintance, Bill Boeh, Bill Ferris, Phyllis Kohlman, Richard Hudgins, Marc Nichols, Stuart Sweetman, Christopher Smith, Matthew Gobla, Ron Rytter, Jullie Slate, Hannah Montalvo. Jim Barnett, Jane Frigo, Gerry and Joyce Wright, John and Marilyn Adair, and Pete and Charm Peterman. The shore birds included Solitary Sandpiper, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper and Dunlin! The shore birds were walking on the algae that is covering the reservoir. Warblers included Northern Waterthrush, Black-and-white Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Yellow Warbler, Pine Warbler and Black-throated Green Warbler. Misses for the morning included Great Egret and owls. A complete species list follows.

View photos that Bill Boeh took on the walk, including American Goldfinch, Summer Tanager and butterflies.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Mallard
Pied-billed Grebe
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Solitary Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Sanderling
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Dunlin
Laughing Gull
Mourning Dove

Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Creat Crested Flycatcher
White-eyed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Veery
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Northern Waterthrush
Black-and-white Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Yellow Warbler
Pine Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch


August is the month for vacations. A small group of birders, including George and Virginia Boyles, Tom Charlock, Richard Hudgins, John Adair, Jane Frigo and Marc Nichols were the only partcipants for the second walk of the month, August 16, The weather was nice for this time of year...temperature early in the morning just 65 degrees and rising into the mid 80's by afternoon. Winds were calm and skies clear. The birds seemed to be on vacation too. Only 44 species were identified. The best birds of the morning were the Sandpipers, Spotted and Solitary. The reservoir was still covered with duck weed and algae. The sandpipers were walking on top of the stuff! Several photo were taken. The Solitary Sandpipers outnumbered the Spotted Sandpipers. The Mute Swan was seen but misses included Northern Mockingbird, Bald Eagle, Indigo Bunting and Blue Grosbeak. Even a Red-winged Blackbird could not be seen or heard. Hopefully, September will be more productive as migration begins. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Red-tailed Hawk
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Laughing Gull
Mourning Dove

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Blue Jay
American Crow
Purple Martin
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Pine Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch


The "dog days" of summer have arrived. August 2, 2015 was humid, hot and still. A good group turned out to bird watch and included Richard Hudgins, Tom Charlock, Bill Ferris, Anthony Nixon, Marc Nichols, Stuart Sweetman, Sandy DiCarlo, Elizabeth Wilkins, Jacques VanMontfrans, Jane Frigo, Mike and Ian Lowry, Shawn and Katrina Dash, Zac, Katie and Jason Conklin and newcomers Jim Barnett and Barbara Smith. 57 species were identified by the group and a possible Canada Warbler. The Red-headed Woodpeckers had fledged but were still spotted in the same area as the last walk. At long last, a Belted Kingfisher was seen, but the Great Horned Owl was missed. An excellent sighting of Brown-headed Nuthatches was enjoyed. Prothonotary warblers were seen and photographed but remained silent. Near the end of the walk a sizable group of Chimney Swifts filled the sky. On a "non" bird observation, a gravid cottonmouth snake was seen at the Swamp Bridge. She looked like she was ready to deliver her young at any time. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
American Black Duck
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Laughing Gull
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Prothonotary Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Chipping Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch


Oh, what a hot, wet summer so far! July 19, 2015 was clear but steamy. Precipitation for the area is six inches above normal. In spite of that, 16 people braved the morning to see what could be found. They included John Adair, Dave Youker, Mike Lowry, Bill Ferris, Pete Peterman, Elizabeth Wilkins, Jack Van Montfrans, Stuart Sweetman, Anthony Nixon, Jane Frigo, Ellis and Wendy Maxey, Bill and Anne Boeh, and Barbara and Richard Hudgins. 59 species were identified. The Great Horned Owl had returned to his favorite tree. Seeing him is always a treat and never taken for granted. A Barred Owl was heard on the return from the Swamp Bridge but the group was too hot and tired to backtrack and attempt a spotting. A pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers were observed hovering and catching insects on the wing! After a sufficient mouthful was captured, they flew to a nest hole and were greeted by a hungry nestling straining to be fed. The group had never witnessed this behavior more typical of a Belted Kingfisher or Eastern Kingbird. Later a lively discussion was held over a Laughing Gull in what appeared to be "winter aspect" plumage. Mike Lowry had a copy of Vol. 2 of Peter Pyle detailed identification guide. We learned that the bird was not a confused first year gull, but a second year bird. Apparently first year birds can keep their winter plumage through the following summer. Always something new to be learned! There were good looks at Yellow-billed Cuckoo's and several Green Herons. Sad misses for the morning included Prothonotary Warbler, Bald Eagle, Mute Swan and Blue Grosbeak. A complete list follows.

View photos that Bill Boeh took, including Wood Duck, Red-headed Woodpecker, Great Horned Owl and Yellow-billed Cuckoo.

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Red-tailed Hawk
Laughing Gull
Royal Tern
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Common Yellowthroat
Pine Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Red-binged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch


Skies were clear and the temperature a comfortable 70-80 degrees but humid, for the July 5, 2015 walk. Recent showers left the reservoir high but the paths only muddy in spots. Twenty people participated in the morning walk--John and Marilyn Adair, Pete and Charm Peterman, Stuart Sweetman, Sandy Graham, Bill Ferris, Marc Nichols, Richard Hudgins, Jason Strickland, Jane Frigo, the Teller family--Casey, Audrey, Ella, Lily and Zol, and newcomers Jackie and Maerin Hill, and Kentucky visitor David Stewart. 62 species were identified, with the best spotted at the very end. As the die-hards were returning from the Swamp Bridge, an Anhinga was spotted circling. The bird made several low circles over the swamp before continuing its upward spiral into the high clouds. Pictures were taken confirming the long snake-like head and white back feathering. The Great Horned Owl almost escaped detection, but John Adair was able to find it nestled among the pine needles. The Barred Owl was only heard. There were some misses including Bald Eagle and Ruby-throated Hummingbird. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Mallard
Anhinga
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Laughing Gull
Royal Tern
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-belllied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
N. Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Prothonotary Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Northern Parula
Pine Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch


On June 21, 2015, Jane Frigo took some well needed time off so Stuart Sweetman led the Sunday morning walk. The day started out hot with temps. already at 80 by 7am. We new it was just going to get hotter so we kept up a good pace and finished up by noon with a high of 92 degrees. There was a strong breeze all day which helped out with the heat and mosquitoes but it did cause us to miss a few species along the way. We were unable to locate any swallows out over the water but we did have two tern species at our first stop. I feel our biggest treat for the day was the return of the Great Horned Owl to its favorite pine tree behind the tea garden. This time the was a second owl in an adjacent pine. Possibly a nesting pair that have returned to the open area of the arboretum from deep in the woods where they raised their young. We started with 15 participants and ended up with 54 species for the day. Participants were Stuart Sweetman, John and Marilyn Adair, Bill Farris, Richard and Barbara Hudgins, Shawn Dash, Tom Charlock, Rock Moeslein, Anthony Nixon, Casey Martin and the Teller girls Audrey, Ella, Lily and Zol. Species for the day were:


June 7, 2015 was perfect! The previous nights rain left the park sparkling and the reservoir filled to overflowing. The birds were very active and the morning yielded a total of 63 species. Those participating in the morning included Stuart Sweetman, Bill Boeh, Bill Ferris, Richard Hudgins, Phyllis Roth, Anthony Nixon, John Adair, Jane Frigo and first timers Donna Kastelan, Richard Ryan, and the Teller family--mom Casey and her four daughters Audrey, Lilly, Ella and Zol. A beautiful pair of Blue Grosbeaks were seen at the Discovery Center. Also a Red-tailed Hawk was being unmercifully mobbed. The attack continued for quite some time and the group really felt bad for the poor hawk. Mobbing behavior led to another great sighting...a Barred Owl. On the way to the Swamp Bridge and searching for the Northern Parula, Stuart Sweetman focused in on the noise and found the Barred Owl between the trail and the golf course. It has been a long time since an owl had been seen so it was a real treat! The Yellow-billed Cuckcoo, Yellow-throated Vireo and Indigo Bunting were the rewards for those making it to the Swamp Bridge. An interesting miss for the morning was Bald Eagle. A complete species list follows.

View photos that Bill Boeh took on the walk, including male and female Blue Grosbeak, Prothonotary Warbler, and Barred Owl.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Laughing Gull
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Barred Owl
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Yellow-throated Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starlinng
Cedar Waxwing
Prothonotary Warbler
Northern Parula
Pine Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch


May 17, 2015 was a great day to bird watch at Newport News Park. The temperature was comfortable, beginning in the upper sixties and rising to the low 80's. 63 species were identified with several misses of expected species but great looks a few outstanding individuals. Blackpoll's were abundant and actually seen! (They will be gone by the next walk). Wood Duck, Yellow Warbler and Yellow-throated Warbler, Eastern Kingbird, Great Crested Flycatchers, Prothonotary Warblers and Orchard Orioles provided good showings. Misses included Laughing Gull, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Gray Catbird, Eastern Towhee and Indigo Bunting. Good birds heard only included Yellow-throated Vireo, Wood Thrush and Veery. A Greater Yellowlegs may have been heard but was not counted. A Brown Thrasher nest was found. Swallows were observed fighting over a swan feather. Non bird sighting included numerous Monarch butterflies and one HUGE Snapping Turtle. Those participating in the morning included Stuart Sweetman, Brenda Crook, Shawn Dash, Pete Peterman, Tom Charlock, Kathy Dansey, Morocco St. Andre, Saundra Winstead, Marc Nichols, Jane Frigo, George and Virginia Boyles, Zackary and Katie Conklin, John and Marilyn Adair and Anthony and Kathryn Nixon. Complete list of species follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Mourning Dove
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher

Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Yellow-throated Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Veery
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird

Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Prothonotary Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
American Goldfinch


Wonderful weather was enjoyed by the birding group assembled on May 3, 2015. Winds were calm and the temperature began in the mid 50's and slowly warmed to the 80's. The leaves on the trees were filling out but had not reached their full extension so observations were somewhat easy. A total of 70 species were identified and included several FOS visitors. At the first bridge the group got a wonderful view of both a male and female Summer Tanager. Later in the morning patience and perservence allowed the group to see a beautiful male Black-throated Blue Warbler. At the Swamp Bridge Orchard Orioles put on a show with an adult pair and a first year male seen. Most species were seen but the Ovenbird, Black-and-white Warbler, Blackpoll and Yellow-billed Cuckcoo were only heard. The pair of Wood Ducks in the trees on the last walk were not spotted nesting but were seen in the Spawning Pond at the end of the day. Prothonotary Warblers were abundant and one was observed entering nest box 23. Those participating in the morning included Shawn and Katrina Dash, Jason and Zachary Conklin, newcomer Kathy Gallo and regulars Bill Ferris, Tom Charlock, Pete Peterman, Jeff Honig, Lana Bennet, Stuart Sweetman and Jane Frigo. A species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Cooper's Hawk
Laughing Gull
Royal Tern
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-headed Woopecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Caarolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Ovenbird

Black-and-white Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Northern Parula
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparow
Savannah Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch


April 19, 2015 was a beautiful day for birding. The temperature stayed in the comfortable 60 degree range and winds were moderate. The only thing distracting was the pollen!!! It was so thick that at times it looked like fog and moved across the ground like a dust storm. Inspite of that 25 people turned out to enjoy the morning. They included Bill Ferris, Mike Lowry, Sandy Robertson, Stuart Sweetman, Rory Johnson, John Adair, Shawn Dash, Anthony Nixon, Tom Charlock, Cathy Bond, Marc Nichols, Bill Boeh, Jane Frigo, Wendy and Ellis Maxey, Ned and Becky Rose, Gwen and Walter Harris, and newcomers Tracy McIntyre, Helmut Walter, Ellis Burna, Kenneth Carroll and Zachary and Jason Conklin. A Red-tailed Hawk gave an outstanding show. He was being mobbed by Blue Jays but seemed relunctant to leave the area. An adult Bald Eagle was seen trying to snatch a fish from an Osprey. A pair of Wood Ducks, often hard to seen, were observed at length. In fact, the group got to watch them navigate a tree limb and possibly drop into a nest cavity. Some FOS visitors included Great Crested Flycatcher, House Wren, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Prothonotary Warbler and Northern Parula. The group also saw 2 raccoons, 4 cotton mouth snakes and a couple black snakes. Bill Boeh captured terrific pictures of some of these creatures, including the pair of Wood Ducks below. You can view all of Bill's photos in this album.

All in all a great day. 66 species (listed below) were seen.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
Mallard
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern
Mourning Dove

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
N. Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Prothonotary Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Northern Parula
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch


At last a beautiful morning for a bird walk! Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015, was clear and calm. The temperature was a bit chilly at the start--30's--but warmed nicely as the morning progressed. A light fog covered the water but soon burned off and gave the group some interesting waterfowl to observe and discuss. There was quite a discussion over two Grebes seen. The final decision was a Horned AND a Red-necked Grebe. Outstanding FOS included Green Heron, Purple Martin, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Palm Warbler and Yellow-throated Warbler. No Yellow-bellied Sapsucker or Brown Creeper were seen, but the Winter Wren and Ruby-crowned Kinglet remained. At the Arboretum Brown Thrashers appear to have taken over the Northern Mockingbirds favorite tree and were carrying in nest material. 25 people participated in the morning. They included first timers Janet Tucker, Bella Rosso, Lylliane Battle and Tina Chisman, and old-timers Jason Strickland, Sandy Robertson, Bruce Glendening, Bill Ferris, Shawn Dash, Anthony Nixon, Tom Charlock, Stuart Sweetman, Sandy DiCarlo, Hannah Montalvo, Marc Nichols, Cathy Bond, Bryan Barmore, Sharon Burton, Jane Frigo, Wendy and Ellis Maxey, Marilyn and John Adair, and Virginia and George Boyles. The group identified 67 species. There was some discussion at the end of the morning about a lone swan circling VERY high above the Swamp Bridge area. Could it have been a Tundra??? A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Mallard
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
American Coot
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull

Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
N. Rough-winged Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch


The regularly scheduled Sunday walk was held on Saturday, March 14, because of the One City Marathon being held March 15. Tom Charlock, John Adair, Pete Peterman, Anthony Nixon, Sandy Robertson and Jane Frigo met on Saturday and identified 46 species. A light rain was falling early so the group did their watching from the shelters. All the ice was gone from the reservoir. Twelve waterfowl were identified and several Tree Swallows circled above the water. A pair of beavers were also hard at work. Brown Thrashers were singing. Multifple Eastern Towhee's were at the Discovery Center. Again no owls were found. There is a nesting Great Horned Owl easily observed at Sandy Bottom Nature Park in Hampton. Several of the group headed that way at the end of the morning. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon
American Black Duck
Mallard
Redhead
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Hooded Merganser
Double-crested Cormorant
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove

Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren

Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch


Mother Nature has been brutal this winter! On March 1, 2015, the park was covered with over five inches of snow and the reservoir was totally frozen except a small section near the campground boat landing. Needless to say any ducks that could be found were frantically pedalling there. The previous Wednesday's snow storm brought 5-9 inches to the area and temperatures for the remainder of the week struggled to rise above freezing before falling well into the teens and twenties at night. Today at 7 AM skies were overcast with rain forecast to begin around 9AM. The temperature hovered around 32 degrees but the winds were mercifully calm. A tremendous thank you goes out to park officials for having Constitution Avenue and the main parking lots cleared of snow. Tom Charlock, Anthony Nixon, Ellis Maxey, Stuart Sweetman, Marc Nichols, Pete Peterman and Jane Frigo plowed through the snow to identify 36 species before 9 AM when the drizzle arrived and the group called it quits. A complete species list follows.

Mute Swan
Gadwall
American Wigeon
American Black Duck
Mallard
Redhead
Ring-necked Duck
Hooded Merganser
Double-crested Cormorant
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Ring-billed Gull

Mourning Dove
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren

American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Field Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird


Anyone out today, February 15, 2015, had to be crazy! The temperature was 18 degrees and the winds were sustained at over 20 mph. Not letting the elements get the best of them (at least for an hour) Shawn and Katrina Dash, Tom Charlock, John Adair, Mike Lowry, Anthony Nixon, Marc Nichols and Jane Frigo battled their way against the frigid temperatures and howling winds to identify 38 species. Surprisingly the reservoir was not frozen...yet, but rough waters made viewing difficult. The highlight was a pair of Redhead Ducks. Smaller birds, like the White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper and both species of Kinglets, were scrambling to get food. Near the Arboretum several of the larger birds were lining up in the cedar tree and exposed ground to soak up what little warmth the sun provided. It was impressive to see an Eastern Bluebird, Hermit Thrush, Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay and numerous American Robins sharing a sunny spot. A final swing by the Spawning Pond produced a Belted Kingfisher, Dark-eyed Junco and a Great Blue Heron. A surprising miss was Mourning Dove. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Mallard
Redhead
Ring-necked Duck
Hooded Merganser
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle

Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird


At last a decent morning bird walk! February 1, 2015 was very cold--temperatures in the mid 20's--but skies were clear and winds were calm. Shawn Dash, Bill Ferris, Tom Charlock, Stuart Sweetman, Mike Lowry, Anthony Nixon, Lana Bennett, Jane Frigo, Charm and Pete Peterman, Wendy and Ellis Maxey, and John and Marilyn Adair identified 59 species over the morning. The day began with a beautiful Pileated Woodpecker followed by multiple Bald Eagle sightings. Three eagles were perched in one tree while two others stood on the frozen reservoir. Several large concentrations of ducks occupied the few open water spaces and allowed for great viewing through scopes. All possible woodpeckers were seen. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was quite vocal. Several Brown Creepers were spotted along with both species of Kinglets. Quite a discussion was held over whether a photo taken by Anthony Nixon was of a Sharp-shinned or a Cooper's Hawk. The consensus was to agree to disagree and mark it Accipiter Species. An outstanding view of a Rusty Blackbird vocalizing was enjoyed. Sadly no owls and no Fox Sparrow were found. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon
American Black Duck
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Hooded Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Double-crested Cormorant
Geat Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Accipiter species
Killdeer
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher

Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breastd Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird

Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Pine Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird
Common Grackle
American Goldfinch


The morning of January 18, 2015, began with heavily overcast skies that quickly developed into annoying drizzle and finally fully developed showers. Inspite of the predicted bad weather ten hardy souls braved part of the morning and were able to identify 36 species. Those participating included Virginia and George Boyles, Sandy Robertson, Anthony Nixon, Tom Charlock, John Adair, Marc Nichols, Jane Frigo and newcomers Lana Bennett and Braxton Allport. A nearly adult Bald Eagle started the morning off. Several duck species were spotted but few passerines were seen on the ground. A search of the Great Horned Owl was unsuccessful and there was speculation that he may have found a different roosting site. The group identified only 32 species before being defeated by the rain. Marc Nichols continued on his own making it to the Swamp Bridge and adding four species to the list--Mute Swan, American Black Duck, Great Egret and Eastern Bluebird--making the total 36. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Gadwall
American Wigeon
American Black Duck
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Hooded Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret

Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch

Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
American Goldfinch


The first HRBC Sunday bird walk of 2015 (January 4) in Newport News Park was preceded by a gentle warm front that advanced the mercury to about 60 F by 7:00 AM. The front had somehow displaced leader Jane Frigo to a formal count in Matthews County, leaving stalwarts Bill Ferris, Richard Hudgins, Cathy Bond and Tom Charlock to find their own, and initially bird-free, way in a very dense fog. Little more than a few Hooded Mergansers, Ring-billed Gulls and a muskrat could be identified from the shoreline behind the ranger station. Some fields on the disk golf course hosted noisy action by about a hundred Red-winged Blackbirds, most of which were male. A moderate rain shower hit; the wind increased and blew most of the fog away. With a few patches of blue sky then appearing at the Discover Center, the birds finally exploded from hiding; fortunately Bill was there to identify them. Beneath the power line, a big Fox Sparrow cavorted on the grass among a group of Song Sparrows; White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos were in the adjacent brush; a Red-headed Woodpecker moved about the trees nearby. We saw an immature Bald Eagle, American Widgeons, Ring-necked Ducks, Gadwalls, Pied-billed Grebes and Mute Swans on the way to the “spawning pond”, and enjoyed a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker on the walk back to the lot at around 10:00 AM. 39 species were observed. (Report by Tom Charlock. Thanks, Tom!)

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Hooded Merganser
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Ring-billed Gull

Herring Gull
Mourning Dove
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird


2014, All Reports for January - December Walks

2013, All Reports for January - December Walks

2012, All Reports for January - December Walks

2011, All Reports for January - December Walks

2010, All Reports for January - December Walks

2009, All Reports for January - December Walks

2008, All Reports for January - December Walks