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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 last park walk of the year, December 16, 2012, began with rain and temperatures in the low 50's. In spite of the dismal weather, Virginia Boyles, Mike Lowry, Richard Hudgins, Jane Frigo, James Strickland and newcomer Adam Bollinger donned raincoats and umbrellas to search for some end of the year treats. They were not disappointed. Waiting out the worst of the rain under a picnic shelter, the group was able to spot FOS Tundra Swans, American Wigeon and a Common Loon among the Mallards, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, Ruddy Duck and Pied-billed Grebe. Red-headed Woodpeckers, both adult and immature, continued to be in abundance. At the pier by the power lines, Mike Lowry was FINALLY able to photograph a Fox Sparrow. Skipping the Arboretum and Stable, the group walked to the Swamp Bridge to see the Eastern Screech Owl and hear the illusive Virginia Rail. Although only 47 species were identified, the group had a great morning and Mike Lowry added three more species to his list of birds photographed at the park. A complete species list follows.

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

Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Virginia Rail
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Eastern Screech-Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch

Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
American Goldfinch


The walk on Sunday, December 2, 2012, began with temperatures in the 40/50 degree range with the forecast predicting temperatures to reach the 60's. In spite of the clear, calm conditions, the humidity made it feel bone-chilling. A few hand warmers even had to be pulled out. The discomfort was worth it because 66 species were identified. including a couple of real treats. Bettye Fields, Bill Ferris, Tom Charlock, Joyce Lowry, Stuart Sweetmen, Judy Rumsfield, Cathy Bond, Marc Nichols, Jane Frigo, Barbara and Richard Hudgins, John and Marilyn Adair, Virginia and George Boyles, Angelina and Phil Bogart, Myles, Spencer and Melinda Quirion, and newcomer Jason Strickland participated in at least part of the morning. Ducks spotted included Greater and Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked and Ruddy, to name a few. Tom Charlock was able to find the Great Horned Owl at the Arboretum. Red-headed Woodpeckers, both adult and immature, were abundant. On the shore near the Discovery Center a small flock of Rusty Blackbirds provided excellent views. The greatest thrill, however, came at end of the morning when Joyce, Marc, Stuart, Jane, Marilyn and John, Myles and Melinda reached the Swamp Bridge. Miles spotting something in a box to the right of the bridge. It was a gray-phase Eastern Screech Owl!!!! Also a first, the group heard, then got a brief view, of a Virginia Rail right near the boardwalk. Can't ask for a better day! A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Black Duck
Mallard
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Hooded Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Virginia Rail
Killdeer
Ring-billed Gull

Mourning Dove
Eastern Screech-Owl
Great Horned Owl
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
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
House Wren

Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
Amaerican Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Field Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird
Common Grackle
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch


Sunday, November 18, 2012 at the park was calm and overcast. Temperatures hovered in the 50's. Dave Youker, Mike Lowry, Geoff Giles Cathy Bond, Jane Frigo, George and Virginia Boyles, Marilyn and John Adair, Richard and Barbara Hudgins, Phil and Angelina Bogart and newcomers Spencer and Myles Quirion participated in the morning walk. 51 species were totaled for the morning and included a FOS male Hooded Merganser. Three Killdeer were spotted in the field by the stable area. A House Wren was spotted again at the Discovery Center. Near the small boat dock a Field Sparrow was particulary cooperative. Surprisingly no Yellow-rumps were found--go figure! As always, it was a wonderful morning. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Scaup species
Hooded Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

Killdeer
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown-headed Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
American Goldfinch


The park walk on November 4, 2012 began under calm, cloudy skies and temperatures in the lower fifties. Daylight Savings Time ended so the morning walk began with adequate light. Tom Charlock, Terri Cuthriel, Geoff Giles, Stuart Sweetman, Rock Moelsin, George Boyles, Judy Rumsfield, Phyllis Roth, Michelle Shinn, Jeremy McLeroy, Jane Frigo, Eileen O'Toole, Richard and Barbara Hudgins, John and Marilyn Adair and Vermont visitor Larry Haugh participated in the morning adventure. All expected winter residents were spotted including Dark-eyed Junco, Brown Creeper, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Winter Wren, Red-breasted Nuthatch, YB Sapsucker, both Kinglets and White-throated and Swamp Sparrows. Ducks were lacking with Ring-necked and Ruddy Ducks and Pied-billed Grebes about all that was seen. A single female Scaup was spotted but no closer ID could be confirmed. No one saw a Canada Goose! Stuart scouted ahead and was able to add Wood Duck, Sharpie and Cooper's Hawk, Brown-headed Nuthatch, House Finch and Goldfinch to the group list. No one spotted an owl or eagle. All totaled, fifty-five species were seen at the park. Following the walk some of the group headed over to Phyllis Roth's to see a rare Rufous Hummingbird. The bird was very cooperative and gave those who went excellent views. Hopefully this little jewel will stick around and other birders interested can get over to see it. A complete species list follows.

Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
female Scaup species
Ruddy Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Laughing Gull
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
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
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch


What a beautiful fall day October 21, 2012 was! The reservoir was like glass and reflected the first red and yellow foliage of the season. The temperature was a chilly 55 degrees so light jackets were appreciated. A large group of 26 birders came to enjoy the morning and included newcomers Walter and Gwen Harris, Stella and Geoff Payne, Jeremy McLeroy along with old-timers Tom Charlock, Mike Lowry, Bill Ferris, Phyllis Roth, Stuart Sweetman, Geoff Giles, Eileen O'Toole, Rock Moelsin, Joyce Lowry, Elisa Enders, Betsy Garrett, Bettey Fields, Judy Andersen, Michelle Shinn, Jane Frigo, Marilyn and John Adair, Virginia and George Boyles, and Richard and Barbara Hudgins. For the entire morning the group totaled 57 species. First of season (FOS) birds included Ring-necked Duck, Ruddy Duck, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco. Most migrating warblers were gone. but Phyllis Roth spotted a late Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Red-headed Woodpeckers were abundant, both adult and juvenile providing excellent views. Also, a Hairy Woodpecker showed off a magnificant bill! Red- and White-breasted Nuthatches were seeb but no Brown-headed Nuthatches could be located. After a two month absence Northern Mockingbirds were finally seen again. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Ruddy Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin

Gray Catbird
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
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch


A major cold front moved through the area overnight bringing chilly, falling temperatures and dark, drizzling skies for the October 7, 2012, walk. Inspite of the dismal weather, thirteen birders braved the elements hoping to see some fall migrants or new winter residents. They were not disappointed. Elisa Enders, Tom Charlock, Nick Flanders, John Adair, Mike Lowry, Stuart Sweetman, Joyce Lowry. Richard Hudgins, Jane Frigo and the entire Cuthriel family, Mike, Terri, Shelby and Bryce, were able to compile a total list of 51 species for the morning. Bryce even spotted a rather large Cope's Gray Tree Frog that was a real treat! Because of the annual Fall Festival the bird walk took place across the reservoir at the campgrounds. Beginning at the boat dock, a dozen Great Egrets were seen leaving their overnight roost and taking to the sky. Pied-billed Grebes and a Belted Kingfisher were also spotted there. Nick and Elisa heard the "sneaker squeak" of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and all the group got to see a young White-eyed Vireo. All possible woodpecker species were spotted including adult and immature Red-headed and a FOS Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. A Red-breasted Nuthatch put on quite a show singing and "dancing." A Solitary Sandpiper made a flyover appearance that was unexpected. By far the most abundant species were the Thrushes-- "red-breasted" better known as American Robins, Eastern Bluebird, Swainson's, Gray-cheeked and Wood. FOS Yellow-rumped Warblers were seen and late season Scarlet Tanager and Indigo Bunting were noted. What a great day! A complete list follows.

Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Solitary Sandpiper
Ring-billed Gull
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Eastern Phoebe

White-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Swainson't Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher

European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Northern Parula
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Common Grackle
American Goldfinch


The walk on September 16, 2012 began with fog over the reservoir and the temperature a little chilly. Rock Moeslein, Louis Johnson, Mike Lowry, Tom Charlock, Eileen O'Toole, Cathy Bond, Richard Hudgins, Stuart Sweetman, Geoff Giles, Dorothy Sharp, Ernie Miller, Mike Cuthriel, Jane Frigo, Brent and Laura Slaughter, Phil and Angelina Bogart, and newcomer Joyce Lowry participated in the morning walk. The group ran into Marc Nicholas who had scouted the White Oak Bridge and trail and had spotted a Solitary Sandpiper and American Woodcock missed by the rest of the group. Stuart Sweetman also made a trip to the Swamp Bridge and was able to add both Barred and Great Horned Owl, Veery and Swainson's Thrush, Field Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird and Common Grackle to the group list. Ernie Miller spotted a Magnolia Warbler among the American Redstarts foraging and got some amazing pictures. All totaled the group identified 61 species including 5 warblers. A lone Green-winged Teal was spotted among a group of Mallards. Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawks were heard but not seen. For the second month no Northern Mockingbirds were spotted. It was a GREAT morning. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Mallard
Green-winged Teal
Pied-billed Grebe
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Solitary Sandpiper
American Woodcock
Laughing Gull
Royal Tern
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl
Chimney Swift

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

Veery
Swainson's Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Pine Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Common Yellowthroat
Summer Tanager
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch


The September 2, 2012 walk began with hot and steamy weather. Rain threatened but Marilyn and John Adair, Virginia and George Boyles, Richard and Barbara Hudgins, Bill Ferris, Dave Youker, Tom Charlock, Jon Steinbach, Judy Remsberg and Jane Frigo made it through the morning and spotted 42 bird species, two beavers and one colorful swimming snake. A Pied-billed Grebe was spotted early in the morning, making the group look forward to the return of the winter ducks. Pileated Woodpeckers were quite active. The group was treated to a good sighting of a pair of Summer Tanagers. Green Herons were also still in the area but no one could find a Northern Mockingbird! All participants were looking forward to cooler fall temperatures and the arrival of winter residents. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Mallard
Pied-billed Grebe
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Killdeer
Laughing Gull
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Belted Kingfisher

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

Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Pine Warbler
Summer Tanager
Chipping Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch


August 19, 2012 was overcast and cool. Temperatures began in the low 70's and never reached the 80's. Skies were overcast all morning and showers began by noon. 16 birders turned out for the morning. The group included a Phoenix, AZ visitor, Janee, along with regulars Dave Youker, Bill Ferris, Tom Charlock, Cathy Bond, Eileen O'Toole, Judy Remsberg, Chuck Engles, Michelle Shinn, Jane Frigo, Virginia and George Boyles, Barbara and Richard Hudgins, and Marilyn and John Adair. The group was able to identify 52 species. Belted Kingfishers gave quite a show. Red-headed Woodpeckers were seen in the same area as previously observed. Several American Redstarts were seen high in the trees, giving many observers the dreaded "warbler neck." A Prothonotary Warbler, missed during the last walk, was seen. Misses for the morning included Northern Mockingbird, Eastern Kingbird, Great Crested Flycatcher and Great Horned Owl. 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
Laughing Gull
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
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
Cedar Waxwing
Prothonotary Warbler
American Redstart
Pine Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbirdf
Common Grackle
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch


The temperature was already 81 degrees when the August 5, 2012 Newport News Park walk began. Seventeen birders participated in the walk and included George Pagos (visiting from Seattle, WA), Felicity Ericson, Nick Flanders, Elisa Enders, Tom Charlock, Bill Ferris, Stuart Sweetman, Eileen O'Toole, Mike Lowry, Marc Nichols, Jane Frigo, Richard and Barbara Hudgins, Marilyn and John Adair, and Virginia and George Boyles. 52 species were identified--20 "life birds" for George. The regular group enjoyed showing off East Coast species and hearing of those seen only on the West Coast. Overall the birds were quiet during the morning. A beautiful Bald Eagle and Red-shouldered Hawk were observed on a thermal. All seven woodpecker species were seen, The Great Horned Owl gave a brief appearance near the Japanese Tea House.Three Indigo Buntings were seen at the Swamp Bridge and a Yellow-throated Vireo could be heard but never seen. A lone Red-winged Blackbird was seen at the Swamp Bridge, also. Misses for the morning included Royal Tern, Tanager, Prothonotary Warbler,Yellow-billed Cuckcoo and Northern Mockingbird. A final drive through the Stable Area at the end of the morning yielded a male Eastern Towhee. A beautiful Black Rat Snake was seen climbing the base of tree near the path and disappeared into a hole in the bark. 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
Bald Eagle
Red-shouldered Hawk
Laughing Gull
Morning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher

Red-headed Wodpecker
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
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse

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


The "dog days of summer" have arrived! The morning began with the temperature already 79 degrees and steadily rose to the 90's. Skies were clear and a breeze could only be found near the water. Phyllis Roth, Bill Ferris, Eileen O'Toole, Mike Lowery, Richard Hudgins, Rock Moeslein and Jane Frigo participated in the July 15, 2012 walk and were able to identify 48 species. Every walk has at least one unique experience and today's experience involved a Hairy Woodpecker. At the beginning of the morning's walk, a Hairy Woodpecker was spotted near the base of a tree right off the walking path. The bird was so engrossed in his foraging that our presence was not a distraction. The entire group was able to enjoy a long, unobstructed look at the long beak and red crown. Checking with the Sibley guide, Mike Lowry pointed out that the bird was a juvenile because the red patch was on the forehead, not the back of the head. We all learned something!! The Great Horned Owl was seen--always a treat--but not the Barred Owl. A beautiful Red-shouldered Hawk was spotted soaring, windows visible on his wings. A family of Blue Grosbeak's at the Discovery Center made quite a ruckus but overall it was a quiet morning. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Mallard
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Red-shouldered Hawk
Laughing Gull
Royal Tern
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
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 Crow
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Prothonotary Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Pine Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
American Goldfinch


The past several days brought intense storms to the area and July 1, 2012 was no exception. At 6 AM the sky was black, torrential rains were falling and the lightning intense! Didn't look promising a walk in the park. However, by 7 AM the skies were clearing and eleven people braved the weather for the walk. Bill Ferris, Eileen O'Toole, Richard Hudgins, John Steinbach, Rock Moeslein, Marc Nichols, Jane Frigo, Marilyn and John Adair and George and Virginia Boyles were able to identify 52 species for the morning. Damage from the storms was evident with the biggest loss being a huge tree overturned at the Spawning Pond. This was the tree that the Eastern Kingbird frequently nested in and was often seen perching from the upper branches. Temperatures were warm beginning in the low 70's and rising to the middle 90's. A couple brief showers helped cool off the birders and birds. A pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers along with a juvenile was seen. A Green Heron was spotted but not the huge numbers seen on the last walk. A pair of Great Horned Owls were squawking at the Arboretum. Purple Martins were flocking on the power lines. Several Osprey were seen, but again, no Bald Eagle. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Laughing Gull
Royal Tern
Mouning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Great Horned Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Adacian 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
House Wren
Eastern Bluebird

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


Happy Father's Day! June 17, 2012 began with temperatures in the mid 60's, wind's calm and the sky clear. The number of participants was rather low possibly because of the holiday or the fantastic VSO trip taking place in Front Royal, Virginia. Those turning out for the morning included Eileen O'Toole, Tom Charlock, Mike Lowry, Bryan Barmore, Jane Frigo and Derrick, Bill and Jill Wallis. Derrick wanted to see a Green Heron. By the end of the morning he had had his fill! Well over 10 were spotted among the 53 other species listed. Blue Grosbeak and Indigo Buntings were seen and comparisons made. The Mute Swans were back. All woodpecker species with the exception of the Hairy were observed. A pair of Royal Terns gave quite a show of their fishing skills in the reservoir. A big highlight of the morning was a juvenile Great Horned Owl in the Arboretum. No doubt he was a GHO but he lacked the adult "horns". Misses for the morning included Bald Eagle, hawks, and hummingbirds. It was still a wonderful way to spend the morning. A complete species list follows

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Laughing Gull
Herring Gull
Royal Tern
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
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
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren

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


What a difference a year makes!  Last year the first June walk was rained out.  This year, June 3, 2012, the morning is BEAUTIFUL!!  Skies are clear and calm and the temperature hovers in the mid 60's with the promise of warmth to come.  Another large group turned out to enjoy the morning.  Participants included Phyllis Roth, Stuart Sweetman, Nancy Gruttman-Tyler, Eileen O'Toole, Bettye Fields, Joyce Deputy, Judy Anderson, Judy Remsberg, Jane Frigo, Angelina and Phil Bogart, Virginia and George Boyles, Marilyn and John Adair, Richard and Barbara Hudgins and first timers Theresa Moore and James Abbot.  Theresa is visiting from Michigan and James is a recent college graduate from North Carolina.  James is a bander and worked extensively with Painting Buntings.  Needless to say the group was envious.  James extended an invitation to visit the Painted Bunting Banding Station in Willmington.  As with every walk there were some outstanding moments to the morning.  Pairs of both owl species, Barred and Great Horned, were seen with very cooperative views for the group.  The regular sequence of stops was changed with a trip to the Swamp Bridge following the Arboretum, ending with the Discovery Center and skipping the Stable area altogether.  Green Herons were everywhere!  A cardinal nest with new hatchlings was spotted near one of the bridges to the Swamp.  At the swamp an Orchard Oriole nest was seen.  It will be checked to monitor activity.  Also, Prothonotary nest box #25 was being checked out.  One surprise for the morning was a single female Hooded Merganser on the reservoir.  A pair of Wood Ducks also was observed in the open water.  A pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers were seen entering and exiting a hole in a snag off the point across the first observation bridge.  Stuart and James thought they heard a Virginia Rail at the Swamp Bridge.  58 species (including the possisble rail) were listed but several species were missed including Mute Swan, House Wren, Tanager.Towhee, Kingfisher and Bald Eagle.  A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Mallard
Hooded Merganser
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Virginia Rail (?)
Laughing Gull
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
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
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
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Northern Parula
Pine Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Chipping Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch


The sun was shining when the May 20, 2012 Newport News Park Walk began but shortly the weather changed. The morning was plagued with intermittent periods of a heavy mist. That didn't deter the morning's participants that included Elisa Enders, Richard Hudgins, Tom Charlock, Eileen O'Toole, Bill Ferris, Phyllis Roth, Stuart Sweetman, Cathy Bond, John Steinbach, Dorothy Sharpe, Jane Frigo, Virginia and George Boyles. As expected, Prothonotary Warblers were abundant as were Great Crested Flycatchers, Tufted Titmice and Carolina Chickadees, many of which appeared to be young fledglings. Osprey filled the skies and one was observed eating a breakfast of fish on a limb near the Ranger Station Bridge. At the Arboretum, Elisa Enders spotted a Magnolia Warbler that was a highlight for the morning. An American Redstart was seen near the same location. Indigo Buntings were seen at the Discovery Center, but the Blue Grosbeak just couldn't be found. At the Swamp Bridge a beautiful male Orchard Oriole was seen. Hopefully he and a mate will nest in the area as in the past. Other misses included Northern Parula, Great Horned Owl (Marc where were you!) and Kingfisher. Inspite of that, 64 species were identified and it was still a GREAT morning. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Laughing Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
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
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
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
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher

European Starling
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Pine Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
American Redstart
Prothonotary Warbler
Waterthrush species
Common Yellowthroat
Summer Tanager
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch


A heavy mist hindered the early part of the park walk on May 6, 2012. Birds along the reservoir were hard to find through the precipitation but the rather large group of birdwatchers were undaunted. Newcomers Jill and Derrick Wallis, Joshua and Dave Lauthers, Sandy Graham and Rick Knoroloski joined fellow birding regulars Bill Ferris, Mike Lowry, Tom Charlock, Cathy Bond, Eileen O'Toole, Richard Hudgins, Libby Carmines, Betsy Garrett, Bettye Fields, Anja Praesto, Marc Nichols, Sharon Burton, Bryan Barmore and Jane Frigo and were able to identify 74 species. First of season arrivals FOS) included Green Heron, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, N. Rough-winged Swallow, Wood Thrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Summer Tanager, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting and Orchard Oriole. Yellow-rumped warblers were still hanging around rather unexpectedly but White-throated sparrows were gone. The Downy Woodpecker spotted on previous walks was seen feeding young at the nest hole. Prothonotary Warblers were abundant and provided the group with excellent views. Beautiful male Wood Ducks were seen along with their young. Sparrows were scares with only Chipping Sparrows seen. 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
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Killdeer
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Royal Tern
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
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
Yellow-throated Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
N. Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird

Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Northern Parula
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Pine Warbler
Palm Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Summer Tanager
Chipping Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch


Skies were clear, temperatures began in the low 60's and warmed up steadily, and a gentle breeze made the April 15, 2012 Newport News Park Walk nearly perfect. Another large group showed up to enjoy the day and included Anja Praestra, Bettey Fields, Betsy Garrett, Judy Andersen, Ana Colon, Eileen O'Toole, Mike Lowry, Tom Charlock, Laura Huff, Gar Secrist, Glenda Clifton, Dave Youker, Cathy Bond, Melissa Mullins, Jane Frigo, Barbara and Richard Hudgins, John and Marilyn Adair, George and Virginia Boyles, Laura and Brent Slaughter. Osprey were everywhere but the morning was a no-go for a Bald Eagle. Winter duck residents appeared to be gone, along with kinglets and sapsuckers; however Dark-eyed Juncos, Yellow-rumped Warblers and White-throated Sparrows still remained. New spring arrival's included Great Crested Flycatcher,Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Common Yellow-throat, Barn Swallow and Prothonotory Warbler. The Barred Owl was seen again, but not the Great Horned Owl. Total species recorded was 58--far fewer than last year's 77. A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Mallard
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Red-tailed Hawk
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Royal Tern
Mourning Dove
Barred Owl
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
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
Northern Parula
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Pine Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Juno
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
American Goldfinch


April Fool's Day turned out to be perfect and not at all "foolish."   The morning was alive with active birds and eager birders.  23 people, including a group of Master Naturalists from Newport News, participated for at least part of the morning.  Newcomers included Kate Staron, Paula Reichardl, Fred Coy, James Cole, Tom Bailey and Jacob Durren.  The old-timers included Bill Ferris, Rock Moeslein, Mike Lowery, Geoff Giles, Phyllis Roth, Felicity Ericson, Tom Charlock, Anja Praesto, Jane Frigo, Marilyn and John Adair, Richard and Barbara Hudgins, George and Virginia Boyles, Terri and Cathy Bond.  57 species were identified along with a brown water snake and a busy muskrat.  Most winter ducks seemed to have moved on leaving a lone Ringed-neck hen.  Woodpeckers were well represented and a cooperative Downy Woodpecker was observed excavating a tree with what the group hopes to be his future home.  Two spring warblers included a Yellow-throated Warbler and a Black-and-white Warbler.  Dark-eyed Juncos and White throated Sparrows were still around so winter is not totally over.  One of the best sightings was of a Barred Owl family near the Swamp Bridge.  George Boyles got an exceptional picture of these beautiful birds and a life bird for him and Virginia.  A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Wood Duck
Ring-necked Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
American Coot
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Barred Owl
Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush

American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler
Pine Warbler
Palm Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
American Goldfinch


The arrival of daylight savings time made the beginning of the day's walk a bit darker on Sunday, March 18, but allowed for more conversation among participants. Tom Charlock, Elisa Enders, Nick Flanders, Marc Nichols, Stuart Sweetman, Bill Ferris, Bettey Fields, Betsey Garrett, Richard Hudgins, Dorothy Sharpe, Jane Frigo, John and Marilyn Adair, Virginia and George Boyles and newcomers Anja Praesto, Judy Remsberg and Harriet Benson made the most of the beatiful day. 69 species were noted for the morning--that didn't end until after noon and a walk to the Swamp Bridge. The walk was worth it--with a sighting of the Great Horned Owl near the golf course and a FOS Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Brown-headed Nuthatch at the Spawning Pond. There were several Bald Eagle sightings including adult and immature. Hermit Thrushes were everywhere. All woodpeckers were accounted for and most winter residents including ducks, Tundra Swans, both kinglets, Brown Creeper and of course, Yellow-rumped warblers. No spring warblers were seen, A complete species list follows.

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Tundra Swan
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Hooded Merganser
Common Loon
Pied-billed Loon
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot

Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
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
Tree Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown-headed Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren

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


March came in like a lamb but by Sunday, March 4, 2012, the lion reared it's ugly head.  The day was chilly with temperatures hovering in the mid forties and a steady, light rain.  In spite of that, Mike Lowry, Bill Ferris, Nick Flanders, Tom Charlock, Dave Youker, Shirley Divan, Geoff Giles, Dorothy Sharpe, John Adair, Jane Frigo, Virginia and George Boyles all braved the elements for a four hour walk in the drizzle.  Everyone was glad to see Nick again.  His presence has been missed while he pursues his graduate studies in North Carolina.  His expertise led to the addition of several species that may have been normally overlooked with such poor conditions.  Ducks were well represented and a lift off of Tundra Swans was beautiful against the gray skies.  The most memorable sighting of the morning was a group of nearly thirty Black and Turkey Vultures perched in the trees at the Stable Road area.  A closer investigation revealed the reason for their large numbers-- deer carcasses at the edge of the woods  One major miss for the morning was a Great Blue Heron.  A total of 51 species were recorded which included a possible Fox Sparrow.  A complete list follows.

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

Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-billed 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
Golden-crowned Kinglet

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


Overcast skies and blustery winds greeted park walk participants on February 19, 2012.  Although the temperature was 45 degrees, it felt much colder!  Tom Charlock, John Adair, Stuart Sweetman, Marc Nichols, Jane Frigo, George Boyles and Virginia Boyles braved the elements and were rewarded with 42 species.  The wind kept many of the smaller birds away but ducks were much more abundant!  By far the most exciting sighting of the morning was a lone male Redhead at the first bridge.  He preened just feet from the bridge giving everyone a lengthy, upclose look.  At the same spot a Great Egret showed off breeding plumage tail feathers. Some unusual misses included Yellow-rumped Warbler, Northern Mockingbird, and woodpeckers including Red-headed, Hairy, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Northern Fllicker.  A single Laughing Gull was spotted among the Ring-billed Gulls.  The beaver was seen again and several trees showed he had been hard at work.  A complete species list follows.

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

Bald Eagle
American Coot
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatach
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle


The walk on Sunday, February 5, 2012, began with temperatures in the mid-forties and a heavy mist coating everything. Although skies never cleared completely, they did dry up enough to make the morning's walk a go. Tom Charlock, Bill Ferris, Geoff Giles, Marc Nichols and Jane Frigo spent the chilly morning identifying 50 species. The shore line was uncharacteristically calm with the exception of a very perturbed beaver that smacked his tail so hard and unexpectedly that everyone jumped! Woodpeckers were well represented with all 7 species seen. The Great Horned Owl was VERY vocal early but remained hidden for the morning. The fields at the Arboretum were covered with Red-winged Blackbirds and American Robins. Scattered among the group were European Starlings and Brown-headed Cowbirds. Tundra Swans were not spotted but Mute Swans were. Ducks were in better numbers and included Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wiugeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser and Pied-billed Grebe. A complete species list follows.

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

Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Red-headed Woodpecker
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

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


Happy New Year!!  Thanks to Tom Charlock for taking charge of the January 1, 2012 park walk.  He did a GREAT write-up and certainly made me wish I had been there.
 
January 15, 2012 was a great day, too.  Newcomer Jim Holden joined veterans Mike Lowry, Marilyn and John Adair, Bill Ferris, Tom Charlock, Geoff Giles, Barbara Hudgins, Felicity Ericson and Jane Frigo for a chilly morning.  Skies were clear and winds variable but temperatures were cold.  The morning got off to a great start with both immature and adult Bald Eagles seen.  The Great Horned Owl was heard but failed to be found in the Arboretum.  Ducks were in much better numbers with Hooded Merganser's taking the lead with over twenty-five seen.  At the stable area a significant group of sparrows were clustered in the heavy grass.  Among the many Chipping Sparrows was a possible Clay-colored Sparrow.  More study was needed to make a definitive identification.  At the Discovery Center a FOS Fox Sparrow gave quite a show!!   A total of 48 species were identified for the morning.  A complete list follows.

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
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot

Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
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
Brown Creeper

Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
House Finch


Thanks to Tom Charlock for leading the group and submitting the following report!

The slap of a beaver's tail at a quarter past seven coincided with the quick dissipation of rather thin fog over the Park reservoir on New Year's Day 2012, allowing Club members to easily spot Tundra Swans, Hooded Mergansers, Belted Kingfishers, Pied-billed Grebes and a Bald Eagle. The mercury was initially in the mid 30s and the sky had been clear for much of the previous night, giving a sharp temperature inversion that trapped a most loud but pleasant concert of birdsong at the bridge near the ranger station. There a Red-headed Woodpecker bravely challenged a Pileated, noisily driving the larger bird back across the pond to its mate. This pair then treated us to a clock-like, percussive assault on a mature pine tree, alternately from right and left. Seven species of woodpecker were seeb, with the Hairy Woodpecker caught only on the returning noon walk from the swamp bridge (temperatures in the upper 50s with light wind and thin cirrus). Forty-five avian species were identified by the holiday skeleton crew of Tom Charlock, Bill Ferris and Marc Nichols. They also "rediscovered" the full skeleton of a Virginia Deer, first reported by William and Mary students near the park stables a few months earlier. A species list follows.

Canada Goose
Tundra Swan
Gadwall
American Wigeon
American Black Duck
Mallard
Hooded Merganser
Pied-Billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull

Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Great Horned Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Carolina Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Pine Warbler
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
American Goldfinch


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