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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).

2008 Walks


This Sunday, December 21, 2008, began with heavy rains. In spite of that, Richard Hudgins, Tom Charlock and Jane Frigo turned out to brave the elements and search for those illusive ducks.  Only Tom came prepared to brave the elements. Clad in his Gortex rainsuit, Tom bravely checked the reservoir. He was able to see the Mute Swans, Mallards, Pied-billed Grebe, Great Blue Heron and quite a few "little brown jobs" before calling it quits. Not the best way to end 2008; however, spirits are not broken, only bruised. We are all looking  forward to 2009 and a new year of discovery. Come join us! 


Winter seemed to have arrived at the park.  The weather was cold and windy on Sunday, December 7.  Richard Hudgins, George Roundtree, Mike Lowry, Eileen O'Toole, Marc Nichols, Nick Flanders and Jane Frigo braved the elements in hope of seeing the arrival of winter ducks.  The ducks did not want to cooperate.  Bald Eagles gave quite a show with 5 beings seen very early in the walk.  Woodpeckers, too, were seen, with all but the Hairy showing up.  The biggest surprise was that not a single Carolina Wren was seen or heard!  39 species were tallied.  A complete list follows.

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

Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
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

Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
American Goldfinch 


What a difference a day makes! Saturday the 15th was warm and rainy; for our walk on Sunday, November 16, 2008, it was clear, cold and windy. Leaves covered the paths and made walking slippery. Still, a hardy group of twelve were able to spot 47 species. Newcomers Pam and Greg Camblin joined Cathy Bond, Marc Nichols, Mike Lowry, Richard Hudgins, Nick Flanders, Julie Breeden, Tom Charlock, Eleanor Young, Joe Piotrowski and Jane Frigo were treated to quite a show by a Winter Wren. Brown Creepers were cooperative, too. One male Ruby-crowned Kinglet was quite put out by the whole group and flashed a whole head of red. Another big surprise was a group of three Meadow Larks! A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Hooded Merganser
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Accipiter species
Red-tailed Hawk
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull

Tern species
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Brown Creeper

Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch


For our November 2, 2008, walk, the day was beautiful and Fall was beginning to show its colors! The trees reflected in the reservoir were a spectacular sight. Richard and Barbara Hudgins, Denise (their niece from D.C.), Lee and Meredith Bell, Jim Harrison, Tom Charlock, Eileen O'Toole, Julie Breeden, DaveYouker, Mike Lowry and Jane Frigo were able to compile a list or 53 species. These walks are open to all. Consider joining the group! A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Gadwall
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
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

Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodecker
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
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Pine 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


What a difference a day makes! Fall certainly blew in this morning for our walk on October 19, 2008. The skies were clear and the winds were biting. Heavy coats and even gloves were put to use. Richard Hudgins, George Roundtree, Nick Flanders, Diane Mrva, Nicolas Ferree, Grace Ferree, Eleanor Young and Jane Frigo turned out to greet the dawn. Great Horned Owls began the morning with their hoo-hoo's. One owl was seen perching and then treated the group to a flight across the lake! Bald Eagles were also showing off as the morning progressed. At least four were seen in various stages of development. Six ducks species were spotted, although numbers were low. Finally, the leaves were just beginning to show their fall colors. So beautiful! Remember these walks are open to all. Come join us! A complete list of the 57 species follows and includes species seen by Nick and Jane on an extended walk to the Swamp Bridge.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
Mallard
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Laughing Gull

Ring-billed Gull
Caspian Tern
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Golden-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Pine Warbler
Palm Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparron
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird
House Finch


The Newport News Fall Festival was held this weekend (Oct. 4-5), with near perfect weather and a tremendous turn-out. The regular park walk on October 5, 2008 had to be held elsewhere. Nick Flanders, Marc Nichols, Richard Hudgins and Jane Frigo met at the campgrounds as an alternative. Although not nearly as many diverse habitats, 24 species were identified. The most noteworthy was a pair of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, first of season (FOS). Warblers seen included Northern Parula, Pine, American Redstart and Common Yellowthroat. Absent were sparrows, with only the Eastern Towhee seen. A complete species list follows.

Double-crested Cormorant (flyover)
Great Blue Heron
Red-tailed Hawk
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (FOS)
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe

Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Eastern Bluebird

American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Parula
Pine Warbler
American Redstart
Common Yellowthroat
Eastern Towhee
]Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle


Sunday, September 21, 2008, was perfect--clear skies, low humidity, gently breezes and cool temperatures! Barbara and Richard Hudgins, Marc Nichols, Margaret Ware, Julie Breeden, Eileen O'Toole, Mike Lowry, Ben Copeland, Dave Youker, Eleanor Young, Tom Charlock, Joe Piotrowski, and Jane Frigo spent the beautiful morning looking for fall migrants. Marc Nichols' early arrival for the walk was rewarded with a serenade by two Great Horned Owls. After their exchange, he was able to see them fly silently across the reservoir against the early morning glow. The rest of us could hear them hooting across the water. Other notable sightings included numerous American Redstarts and a cooperative Pileated Woodpecker. Forty-six species were identified. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Mallard
Pied-billed Grebe
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Laughing Gull
Royal Tern
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Great Horned Owl
Chimney Swift
Belted Kingfisher

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

American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Northern Parula
Pine Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Common Yellowthroat
Chipping Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow


Sunday, September 7, was clear and calm after tropical storm Hanna passed through the Peninsula with little impact. Jim Harrison, Cathy Bond, Julie Breeden, Mike Lowry, George Roundtree and Jane Frigo turned out to see what the storm may have blown in. The morning began with American Redstarts. Flitting from branch to branch with tails flaring, these tiny warblers put on quite a show. A Red-tailed Hawk also gave the group a long, unencumbered frontal view before showing his backside briefly and flying off. Another outstanding sighting was of a Yellow-throated Vireo singing his heart out. All totaled, the group had 44 species and one group of 3-4 small gull/tern species which could not be identified. A complete list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Mallard
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Laughing Gull
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher

Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Great Crested Flycatcher
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch

Carolina Wren
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Brown Thrasher
Yellow Warbler
Pine Warbler
American Redstart
Chipping Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow


Today's walk on August 17 began with a smaller group of bird watchers than the last walk. The sky was hazy and the wind extremely calm-- very typical of an August day in Tidewater Virginia. Julie Breeden, Eileen O'Toole, Marc Nichols, Jim Harrison, Tom Charlock, Phyllis Roth, Barbara and Richard Hudgins and Jane Frigo were able to identify 50 species by sight or song. Notables included three Green Herons, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart and Piliated Woodpecker. Eastern Wood-Pewees were abundant. Again, no Bald Eagle was seen and surprisingly no vultures. A complete list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Osprey
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Laughing Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
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 Crwo
Purple Martin
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch

Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Blouebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Pine Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Prothonotary Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch


The "Dog Days of Summer" are here. The morning's walk on August 3 began under hazy, humid skies. Eighteen early risers turned out. (Jim Harrison, Margaret Ware, John Steinbach, Mike Lowry, Rosalyn and Robbin Riddick, Miles Watts, Nick Flanders, Richard Hudgins, Julie Breeden, Eileen O'Toole, Diane Mrva, Richard and Nicolas Ferree, Tom Charlock, Marc Nichols, Eleanor Young and Jane Frigo) A pair of Pileated Woodpeckers started off the morning and were followed by a flyover pair of Green Herons. The still air and abundance of bugs provided food for the flycatchers. Ospreys were also easily seen, but no Bald Eagles. Sadly, the wild flower meadow by the Discovery Center has been completely cut down. Although it will grow back, it will be missed by birds, deer and birders. A complete the 47 species follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Mallard
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Red-tailed Hawk
Killdeer
Laughing Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mouring Dove
Yelow-billed Cuckoo
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy 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
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Pine Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch


Hot, humid skies greeted the July 20 morning's bird watchers. Julie Breeden, Nick Flanders, Mike Lowry, Richard Hudgins, Sharon Burton, Bryon Barmore and Jane Frigo met in the parking lot and had a welcome suprise. Yellow-billled Cuckoos finally decided to make their presence known. At least three individuals were foraging in the trees surrounding the parking lot. Everyone was able to observe the cuckoo's behavior. During the morning, they continued to be seen and heard, causing the group to actually become somewhat bored with them! The Osprey made an appearance after an absence at the last walk. Discussions concerning identification of tern species and swallow species made for a real learning experience. The morning ended with showers but a total species list of 50. A complete list follows.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Red-tailed Hawk
Laughing Gull
Common Tern
Forster's Tern
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

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

House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Northern Parula
Pine Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch


The July 6 walk began with light sprinkles that quickly turned to showers. Marc Nichols, NIck Flanders, Eileen O'Toole, Ken Sheide, John Steinbach, Eleanor Young, Jim Harrison, Jane Frigo and newcomers Robin and Rosalyn Riddick and Miles Watts dodged the drops and perservered to compile a group list of 51 species over four hours. Northern Flickers and Green Heron gave wonderful appearances. A Great Blue Heron landed in the Stable Road corral. Yellow-billed Cuckoos could be heard in the campground but never showed themselves. One unusual omission for the morning was the Osprey. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Laughing Gull
Rock Pigion
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee

Acadian Flycatcher
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
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Wood Thrush

American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Pine Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow


This morning's walk on June 15 began with light showers and overcast skies. In spite of the weather, Eileen O'Toole, Tom Charlock, Nick Flanders, Marc Nichols, Richard Hudgins, Mike Lowry, Russ Wood and Jane Frigo turned out to see what birds could be found. Between 7 AM and 9:30 AM the group had a 51 species list. Three Green Herons were particularly cooperative. A Great Horned Owl made a spectacular flight through the pine trees before being lost from view. And, just before leaving the park, a lone Pied-billed Grebe was seen on the reservoir. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Mallard
Pied-billed Grebe
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
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
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

Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Pine Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow


June 1 brought another great group of birders to the park to enjoy a beautiful morning. The rather large group included Diane Mrava, Nicolas Ferree, Nick Flanders, Courtney Thompson, Julie Breeden, Richard and Barbara Hudgins, Jim Harrison, Dave Youker, Marc Nichols, Raquel Rickards, Tricia Lane--visiting from San Francisco, George Rountree, Eileen O'Toole, Tom Charlock and Jane Frigo. The day was warm and sunny with just a light breeze. The group began breaking up around 9 AM with about half continuing until noon. Great sightings of an Orchard Oriole and Blue Grosbeak singing were highlights. Fifty-five species were listed by the end of the morning. A complete list follows.

Canada Goose
Mallard
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Hawk species
Red-shouldered Hawk
Laughing Gull
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker

Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird FOS
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird

Wood Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Northern Parula
Yellow-throated Warbler
Pine Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch


Sunday, May 18, 2008, was beautiful and thirteen eager birders turned out to enjoy the day. Dave Youker, Peter and Lorena Hawkins, Jim Harrison, Fred Blystone, Tom Charlock, Cathy Bond, Julie Breeden, Chuck Engel, Eleanor Young, Eileen O'Toole, Diane Mrava, Nicolas Ferree and Jane Frigo were able to identify 58 species in a little over three hours. Although some regular species were missing, like Brown Thrasher, Red-headed Woodpecker, Laughing Gull and Double-crested Cormorant, there were special treats like Magnolia Warbler and observations of Brown-headed Nuthatch, Carolina Chickadee and Downy Woodpecker nest activity. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Mallard
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Killdeer
Mourning Dove
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee

Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
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
Wood Thrush

American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Prothonotary Warbler
Ovenbird
Summer Tanager
Chipping Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch


With migration in full swing, on May 4, 2008, Phil Bogert, Phyllis Roth, Raquel Rickard, Marc Nichols, Jim Harrison, Cathy Bond, Eileen O'Toole, Libby Carmine, Eleanor Young, Fred Blystone and Jane Frigo combined skills and were able to find 72 species. The weather was perfect and the first bridge was extremely productive with: Prothonotary Warblers, Summer and Scarlet Tanager, Great-crested Flycatcher, Eastern Bluebirds and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.

In the reservoir a raft of twenty+ Wood Ducks were seen. At the Spawning Pond Bridge, the Great Horned Owlet was seen and photographed by Fred Blystone (photo at right ). While most participants headed home or to church around ten, Marc, Raquel, Libby and Jane continued on to the Swamp Bridge. They were led by Blue Jays to a Barred Owl! Notable omissions for the morning include Eastern Towhee, Song Sparrow and Orioles. No Eastern Kingbird showed either.

Fred also provided these photos of the group.

NN Park
NN Park2
The first bridge by Ranger Station
Spawning Pond Bridge

A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Mallard
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Killdeer
Laughing Gull
Royal Tern
Forster's Tern
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Great Crested Flycatcher
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
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
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing

Northern Parula
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Pine Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Palm Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Prothonotary Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Chipping Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow


The regular third Sunday walk at Newport News Park took place on April 20, 2008, in spite of the predicted rain. Eleven participants - Marc Nichols, Tom Charlock, Fred Blystone, Jim Harrison, Eleanor Young, Phyllis Roth, Mel Pettard, Libby Carmine, newcomer Margie, Raquel Rickard and Jane Frigo - dodged a few sprinkles to see a great list of 60 species of birds, a box turtle and two huge snapping turtles. New species for the year included Green Heron, Great Crested Flycatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Barn Swallow, House Wren, Gray Catbird, Northern Parula, Prothonotary Warbler and Blue Grosbeak. Complete list is shown below the photos.

Thanks to Fred Blystone for providing these photos from the morning's walk.

grp2
grpsm
Jane Frigo in the lead
Walking towards the water
Prothonotary1
Prothonotary2
Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary singing
Grp3
Turtle
Looking for birds
Snapping Turtle

Here's the list of all birds seen on today's walk :

Canada Goose-with goslings
Wood Duck
Mallard
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
tern species
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Great Crested Flycatcher
White-eyed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jan
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
N.Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird

American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling'
Northern Parula
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Pine Warbler
Palm Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping S[arrpw
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch


The regularly scheduled Sunday park walk on April 6, 2008, at Newport News City Park began under drizzle and heavy cloud cover. Four hearty souls, Richard Hudgins, Tom Chalock, Fred Blystone and Jane Frigo, braved the 50 degree temperatures to see what spring migrants had arrived. FOS arrivals included Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Rough-winged Swallows. 43 species were recorded.  A complete list follows.

Canada Goose
American Wigeon
Mallard
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle (Imm.)
Hawk species--Sharp-shinned or Cooper's
Red-shouldered Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove

Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
N. Rough-winged Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush

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


On Sunday, March16, 2008 the second monthly walk at Newport News City Park began under cloudy skies and temperatures in the 40's. Tom Chalock, Jim Harrison, Richard Hudgins, Marc Nichols, Eileen O'Toole and Jane Frigo braved the damp and dreary morning and still managed to identify 48 species before giving in to the sprinkles. Notable absent species included Brown Creeper, Winter Wren and Red-headed Woodpecker.  A total species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Mallard
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Killdeer
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher

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

Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Pine Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Brownn-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch


We had a wonderful Sunday morning walk at Newport News City Park on March 2, 2008.  The day was perfect with clear, calm skies and temperatures cool but not frigid.  The group was rather large and included Julie Breeden, Richard Hudgins, Richard and Nicolas Ferree, Lee and Meredith Bell, Eileen O'Toole, Dave Youker, Ben Copeland, Nick Flanders, Tom Charlock, Phil Bogert and Jane Frigo.  From 7 AM to 10:15 AM the group had identified 60 species.  Notable spottings included at least 13 Brown Creepers and 6 Winter Wrens.  The feeling among the group was that these species may be getting ready to move out.  Five members of the continued the walk going to the Swamp Bridge and back. They added 2 more species to the already impressive morning list.  The following is a complete species list.

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

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

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


The weather was variably cloudy and cool for the February l7 walk. There was a slight wind.  Fred Blystone, Eileen O'Toole, Julie Breeden, Marc Nichols, Barbara Hudgins, Richard Hudgins, Nancy Gruttman-Tyer, Mel Pettard and his daughter Robin who was visiting from Oregon met me for our regular park walk. We were all hoping to see a repeat visit from the Great Horned Owls of the last walk but no luck. We had great views of both Kinglets and all three Nuthatches. All totaled we saw 44 species.  At the end of the walk we ran into photographer Ken Sheide who had walked beyond the Swamp Bridge and picked up a few other species. The following is our total list.

Canada Goose
Swan species--KS
Wood Duck--KS 
Gadwall
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck--KS
Hooded Merganser
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Kildeer
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove

Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Pine Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird'
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch

Following the regular walk, Marc, Julie, Nancy and I decided to make a few side trips.  We headed to Rexford Drive and saw the Monk Parakeets.  It took a few minutes for them to show but we were not disappointed.  We then went to the Denbigh boat ramp.  There we watched a pair of Bald Eagles with hopes of seeing the mating courtship.  We also saw two Red-tailed Hawks and a Northern Harrier.  Our last stop was the Riverview Park.  We were hoping to see Meadow Larks but couldn't find them.  We saw beautiful Eastern Bluebirds and had a terrific look at an American Kestrel.  Just before leaving we witnessed a Sharp-shinned Hawk swoop towards an unsuspecting European Starling.  It was  touch and go but the Starling lived to see another day. 


The February 3 Sunday morning Newport News Park walk was very productive. The group stayed until 11 am. Great day with cool and no wind. We had a great turnout too. Cathy Bond, Eileen O'Toole, Diane and Nicolas Ferree, Nick Flanders, Ben Copeland, John Porter, Jim Harrison, Mel Pettard, Marc Nichols, Richard Hudgins, Fred Blystone, Jane Frigo and a new person, Ann McDonald. 

We totaled 60 species with a couple of exciting sightings. We had a Fox Sparrow that we saw high in a tree at the first bridge. Having him so high up in the tree was unusual and to hear him sing was also a treat. Then at the Arboretem we found the Great Horned Owl. Several of the photographers had said that they had seen him there but to date our group had not found him, until today. The owl gave us all a great show.  In fact, we think there were two and  probably a nest close by.  It will be worth watching this spring.  The pine tree is near the road just before the Japanese tea house and pond. 

Finally, we got to see an immature Eagle go after a Great Blue Heron while over the lake near the Spawning Pond. 

Here is our total species list:

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Tundra Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon
American Black Duck
Mallard
Hooded Merganser
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle (I)
Killdeer
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl

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

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