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Sunday Morning Bird Walks
Newport News City Park

Join us on the First and Third Sunday of each month at 7:00 AM at Newport News Park. 

Meet us in the parking lot behind the Ranger Station!

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

2023 Bird Walks Summary

May 5, 2024

 

Migration was in full swing on May 5, 2024.  Eighteen people met at the park  at 7 o’clock ready to see and hear what had arrived and possibly to learn something about bird watching.  They included newcomers Beth Watson, Jessica Hairston, Philip Sheridan and Raj Kapu.  Returning watchers included Cindy Schulz, Dianne Snyder, Stuart Sweetman, Phyllis Roth, Tina White, Pete Peterman, Sarah Ware, Tom Charlock, Sue Tomlin, Jane Frigo, John and Marilyn Adair and Rachel and William McKellar.  Low hanging clouds made it difficult to make out colors but there was enough light to show the many birds moving around in the canopy.  Sound identification proved to be very important.  With the help of Merlin and the experienced birders the group had a hint as to what to look for.  Over the course of the morning 74 species were identified.  Many identifications were made strictly by sound but many birds did provide opportunities for clear visual identification.  An Osprey was seen flying with a fish in his talons and then pursued by a Bald Eagle who stole his catch.  A pair of Red-tailed Hawks were soaring on the thermals.  Both Summer and Scarlet Tanagers were spotted.  An Eastern Kingbird and Ruby-throated Hummingbird were especially cooperative for the photographers.  The group did decide to walk the entire White Oak Trail for an opportunity to get more birds.  11 warblers were identified.  Cedar Waxwings were in large numbers as were flycatchers and vireos.  Just before reaching the Spawning Pond the Barred Owl was heard hooting but wasn’t found.  Marc Nichols entertained the group by showing a HUGE black snake at the Discovery Center.  A complete species list follows.  *indicates just heard

 

The trip report link is: https://ebird.org/tripreport/224787

Canada Goose

Wood Duck

Mallard

Mourning Dove

Yellow billed Cuckoo*

Chimney Swift

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Killdeer*

Laughing Gull

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Glossy Ibis

Turkey Vulture

Osprey

Bald Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk

Barred Owl*

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker*

Northern Flicker*

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Eastern Phoebe*

Great Crested Flycatcher

Eastern Kingbird

White-eyed Vireo

Yellow-throated Vireo*

Red-eyed Vireo

Blue Jay 

American Crow

Fish Crow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Purple Martin

Tree Swallow

Barn Swallow

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown-headed Nuthatch*

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

House Wren*

Carolina Wren

Gray Catbird

Brown Thrasher

Northern Mockingbird

Eastern Bluebird

American Robin

Cedar Waxwing

American Goldfinch

Chipping Sparrow*

Swamp Sparrow

Orchard Oriole

Red-winged Blackbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

Common Grackle

Ovenbird 

Northern Waterthrush

Black-and-white Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

American Redstart

Northern Parula

Blackpoll Warbler

Back-throated Blue Warbler

Pine Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-throated Warbler

Summer Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

Northern Cardinal

Blue Grosbeak

Indigo Bunting

 

 

April 21, 2024

 

April showers were the name of the game on April 21, 2024.  They were to hold off until 9 or 10 AM but a light drizzle began almost immediately.  In addition  the temperature remained in the upper 40’s to low 50’s!  In spite of that 13 participants braved the elements and identified 48 species before quitting around 9 or 10 AM and covering only the Ranger Station and the Discovery Center.  They were Tina White, Zachary and Abby Rausch, William and Rachel McKellar, Chris Blackman, Twyla Blume, Bill Boeh, Sue Tomlin, Chris Krueger, Marc Nichols, John Adair and Jane Frigo.  Marc Nichols did continue on to the Swamp bridge and was able to add 10 more species to the total bringing the number for the morning to 58.  Poor lighting and wet opticals made hearing identification all the more important.  The male Wood Duck was spotted among the grasses he and his mate were seen in the last walk.  Hopefully that means they may have a nest nearby. Ducks appeared to be gone with only a lone Pied-billed Grebe seen with the Mallards, Cormorants and geese.  White-throated Sparrows and Yellow-rumpled Warblers were still around. Great-crested Flycatchers, Ovenbird and Yellow-throated Warblers had arrived for the summer.  One other note, not a single Great Blue Heron was seen.  The most interesting sight was all the swallows!  They were zipping past the group, perching on wires just overhead and lining up on the pipeline!  A complete species list follows.

The trip report link is: https://ebird.org/tripreport/217687

 

Canada Goose

Wood Duck

Mallard

Pied-billed Grebe

Mourning Dove

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Egret

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Osprey

Bald Eagle

Red-bellied Woodpecker*

Pileated Woodpecker*

Northern Flicker*

Great Crested Flycatcher*

Blue Jay*

American Crow

Fish Crow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Tree Swallow

Barn Swallow

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

White-breasted Nuthatch*

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

House Wren*

Carolina Wren

Brown Thrasher

Northern Mockingbird

Eastern Bluebird

American Robin*

Cedar Waxwing

House Finch*

American Goldfinch*

Chipping Sparrow*

Field Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Eastern Towhee

Red-winged Blackbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

Common Grackle

Ovenbird*

Pine Warbler*

Yellow-rumpled Warbler 

Yellow-throated Warbler

Summer Tanager* 

Northern Cardinal

 

Marc Nichols list to Swamp Bridge

Royal Tern

Barred Owl

Yellow-throated Vireo*

Brown-headed Nuthatch*

Winter Wren

Swamp Sparrow

Prothonotary Warbler*

Common Yellowthroat

Scarlet Tanager*

Eastern Phoebe*

 

April 7, 2024

 

April 7, 2024 was a beautiful spring day.  Skies were clear, winds were light and the temperature a refreshing 48 degrees.  Several regular attendants were missing because of the rare total eclipse to take place April 8, 2024.  The cities or states they visited included Ohio, Buffalo, Austin, Indianapolis and San Antonio.  Those in Virginia will be able to see a partial eclipse, weather permitting.  Stuart Sweetman led the Sunday group which included Cindy Schulz, Dianne Snyder, Lauren Forero, Alexander Laila, Heidi Young, Sue Tomlin, Melissa Freudenberg, Chris and Paula Krueger and Ellis and Wendy Maxey.  The group identified 62 species.  Most ducks had left with only Gadwall remaining of the migrants.  All 7 woodpeckers were identified.  Ruby-crowned Kinglets were still seen and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers had made their arrival for the summer.  Interestingly, Swamp Sparrows were heard doing their mating song.  Also, FOS (first of season) Yellow-throated Warblers were identified as well as Palm and Common-yellowthroats.  Dark-eyed Junco, White-throated Sparrow and Yellow-rumpled Warblers were still around but should be leaving soon.  A complete list follows.

The trip report link is: https://ebird.org/tripreport/217686

 

Canada Goose

Wood Duck

Gadwall

Mallard

Pied-billed Grebe

Mourning Dove

Laughing Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Royal Tern

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Osprey

Cooper’s Hawk

Bald Eagle

Belted Kingfisher

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Red-headed Woodpecker*

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker*

Pleated Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Eastern Phoebe

Blue Jay

American Crow

Fish Crow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Purple Martin

Tree Swallow

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

White-breasted Nuthatch*

Brown-headed Nuthatch*

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Carolina Wren

European Starling

Brown Thrasher

Northern Mockingbird

Eastern Bluebird

Hermit Thrush

American Robin

Cedar Waxwing

American Goldfinch

Chipping Sparrow

Field Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

White-throated Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

Eastern Towhee

Red-winged Blackbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

Common Grackle

Common Yellowthroat*

Palm Warbler

Pine Warbler

Yellow-rumpled Warbler

Yellow-throated Warbler

Northern Cardinal

March 17, 2024

It was St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2024, and spring was in the air!  Weather conditions were great for looking for birds.  Skies were clear and the temperature in the 60’s.  A VERY large group turned out for the walk and were able to identify 62 species by noon.  Those participating were Pete Peterman, Cindy Schulz, Dave Youker, Marc Nichols, Melissa Freudenberg, Mary Jane Hall, Heidi Young, Eva Greene, Stuart Sweetman, Gary Wright, June Hartzler, Chris Krueger, Bill Boeh, Dianne Snyder, Todd Trousdell, Kate Shaller, Donna McAdams, Cathy Bond, Sarah Ware, Jayme Musen, Hannah Montalvo, Tom Charlock, Marilyn and John Adair, Beata Whitehead and grandson Gavin,  Jane Frigo and first timers Lisa Pyle and Tina White.  Ducks were beginning to move out but a few Ring-necked, Hoodies and a Ruddy Duck were found.  A beautiful pair of Wood Ducks were seen.  Laughing Gull in breeding plumage were spotted.  Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and both Kinglet species were still around.   Blue-gray Gnatcatchers had been reported but none could be located during the morning. The group did locate an active White-breasted Nuthatch cavity.  A Hermit Thrush singing his spring song was heard.  It provided a wonderful teaching moment by letting the group listen to that seldom heard song and compare it to that of the summer breeding Wood Thrush.  Other interesting observations included a coiled Cottonmouth and slithering Black Rat Snake.  A complete species list follows.

The trip report link is: https://ebird.org/tripreport/207922

 

Canada Goose

Wood Duck

Mallard

Ring-necked Duck

Hooded Merganser

Ruddy Duck

Rock Pigeon

Mourning Dove

Virginia Rail*

Laughing Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Royal Tern

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Osprey

Bald Eagle

Belted Kingfisher

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Pleated Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Eastern Phoebe

Blue Jay

American Crow

Fish Crow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Northern-Rough-winged Swallow

Tree Swallow

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Brown Creeper

Winter Wren

Carolina Wren

Gray Catbird

Brown Thrasher

Northern Mockingbird

Eastern Bluebird

Hermit Thrush

American Robin

Cedar Waxwing

House Finch

American Goldfinch

Chipping Sparrow

Field Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

White-throated Sparrow

Song Sparrow*

Swamp Sparrow

Eastern Towhee

Red-winged Blackbird

Brown-headed Cowbird*

Pine Warbler*

Yellow-rumpled Warbler

Northern Cardinal 

March 2, 2024

Because of the scheduled ALL CITY MARATHON, the first walk in March, 2024 was held on Saturday, March 2, instead of Sunday, March 3.  Rain blanketed the area but 4 people still showed up to bird from the shelters and hope for a break in the weather.  Marc Nichols, Tom Charlock, Cindy Schulz and Jane Frigo birded until 10 AM before calling it a day.  In the hour and a half spent in the Ranger parking lot they were able to identify  31 species.  The last hour and a half was spent at the Discovery Center and Spawning Pond where an additional 12 species were added.  Gadwall were again the dominate waterfowl species seen.  Tree Swallows skimmed over the water.  The resident Bald Eagle could be seen occupying his favorite tree.  Double-crested Cormorants lined the pipe.  Kinglets were easy to see and the sound of Red-winged Blackbirds filled the air.  Inspite of the weather it was a good morning.  By the next walk some Spring migrants and early summer residents should be arriving.  A complete species list follows.

The trip report link is: https://ebird.org/tripreport/207921

Canada Goose

Gadwall

Mallard

American Black Duck

Ring-necked Duck

Hooded Merganser

Mourning Dove

Ring-billed Gull

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Bald Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk

Belted Kingfisher

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Red-bellied Woodpecker*

Downy Woodpecker*

Pileated Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Blue Jay

American Crow

Fish Crow*

Carolina a Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Tree Swallow

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Brown Creeper

Carolina Wren

Brown Thrasher

Northern Mockingbird

Eastern Bluebird

American Robin 

American Goldfinch 

White-throated Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

Red-winged Blackbird

Pine Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Northern Cardinal

February 18, 2024

The day was cold (28 degrees) but clear and calm.  Not bad for birding if one is dressed for the weather and happens to have some hand warmers!  Those participating were Samantha Denney, Marc Nichols, Heidi Young, Stuart Sweetman, Todd Trousdell, John Adair, Donna McAdams, Sarah Ware, Tom Charlock, Jane Frigo and first timer Eva Greene.  Waterfowl were not as diverse as last walk but still included Canada Goose, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, American Black Duck, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser and Pied-billed Grebe.  Tree Swallows skimmed the water surface as the group searched for an American Wigeon with not luck.  Kinglets were busy and American Robins were abundant.  The Virginia Rail was heard again at the Swamp Bridge, but as expected, refused to show himself.  Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks and Vultures were beautiful soaring in the clear skies.  Another special sighting was that of a pair of Rusty Blackbirds.  A complete species list follows.  *a special note…the first walk for March is canceled because of the All City Marathon to be held on that date.  Anyone interested in a bird walk that weekend can meet at the Ranger Station at 7 AM on SATURDAY, March 2, 2024. 

The trip report link is: https://ebird.org/tripreport/197221

 

Canada Goose

Northern Shoveler

Gadwall

Mallard

American Black Duck

Ring-necked Duck

Bufflehead

Hooded Merganser

Pied-billed Grebe

Virginia Rail*

Ring-billed Gull

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk

Belted Kingfisher

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Blue Jay 

American Crow

Fish Crow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Tree Swallows

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown-headed Nuthatch*

Brown Creeper

Winter Wren

Carolina Wren

Brown Thrasher

Northern Mockingbird

Eastern Bluebird

Hermit Thrush

American Robin

American Goldfinch

Dark-eyed Junco

White-throated Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

Eastern Towhee

Red-winged Blackbird

Rusty Blackbird

Common Grackle

Yellow-rumpled Warbler

Northern Cardinal 

 

February 4, 2024

Although February 4th was cold, 29 degrees, it was not nearly as miserable as the last walk.  Temperatures warmed over the morning to the 50’s and it was beautiful!  Thirteen people came to enjoy the morning.  They were Terry and Cathy Bond, Bill Boeh, Cindy Schulz, Stuart Sweetman, Pete Peterman, Chris Krueger, Sandy Graham, Mary Jane Hall, Todd Trousdell, Susan Maples, Marc Nichols and Jane Frigo.  The group identified 55 species.  Waterfowl were well represented with 12 species seen including multiple Northern Shovelers, American Wigeon, Ring-necked Ducks and Hooded Mergansers. Small numbers of Pied-billed Grebe, Ruddy Duck and Bufflehead were spotted.  Two Virginia Rails were heard at the Swamp Bridge.  Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers seemed to be everywhere.  Some great looks were enjoyed of Red-tailed Hawks and a Cooper’s Hawk.  The most abundant species had to be American Robins.  Hard to believe several walks ago not a single robin could be found!  Sadly , the Barred Owl was not seen.  A special note—because of the ALL CITY MARATHON, there will not be a bird walk on the first Sunday of March.  Instead, anyone interested can come on Saturday, March 2.  A complete species list follows.

The trip report link is: https://ebird.org/tripreport/197220

 

Canada Goose

Wood Duck*

Northern Shoveler

Gadwall

American Wigeon

Mallard

American Black Duck

Ring-necked Duck

Bufflehead

Hooded Merganser

Ruddy Duck

Pied-billed Grebe

Virginia Rail*

Ring-billed Gull

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron 

Great Egret

Turkey Vulture

Cooper’s Hawk

Bald Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk

Belted Kingfisher

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker*

Pileated Woodpecker*

Northern Flicker

Blue Jay

American Crow

Fish Crow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown-headed Nuthatch*

Winter Wren

Carolina Wren

Brown Thrasher

Northern Mockingbird

Eastern Bluebird

Hermit Thrush

American Robin

American Goldfinch

Dark-eyed Junco

White-throated Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

Eastern Towhee*

Red-winged Blackbird

Common Grackle

Pine Warbler*

Yellow-rumpled Warbler

Northern Cardinal

 

January 21, 2024

 

The day was COLD, COLD, COLD!!!  The coldest day of the season brought a morning temperature of 19 degrees and only warmed up to just over freezing.  14 crazy people braved the elements to see what  had moved in.  Those participating were Marc Nichols, Chris Krueger, Donna McAdams, Mary Jane  Hall, Stuart Sweetman, Jayme Musen, Melissa Freudenberg, Sue Tomlin, Cindy Schulz, Jane Frigo, Mike and Jen Hendrix and Marilyn and John Adair.  Pine Siskins started the morning out and was followed by a number of ducks on the reservoir.  An American Black Duck was seen in addition to Hooded Mergansers, Ring-necked Ducks, Mallards, Bufflehead and even a Redhead Duck!  The shore line was frozen along with the small inlet by the first bridge.  Canada Geese made a comical sight when they tried to land and encountered a frozen surface, skidding to a stop with a puzzled look.  A Belted Kingfisher was spotted at the Spawning Pond tenderizing a fish.  He repeatedly beat the fish on a branch for several minutes. Was he defrosting it or tenderizing it?  One thing was for sure, he wasn’t giving up!  The group persisted through the morning with only a few people giving in to the cold and calling it quits.  48 species were identified and everyone looked forward to getting home and getting warmed up.  A complete species list follows.

The link to the Trip Report is: https://ebird.org/tripreport/173206

 

Canada Goose

Gadwall

American Wigeon

Mallard

American Black Duck

Redhead

Ring-necked Duck

Bufflehead

Hooded Merganser

Mourning Dove

Ring-billed Gull

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk

Belted Kingfisher

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Blue Jay 

American Crow

Fish Crow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

White-breasted Nuthatch

Carolina Wren

Brown Thrasher

Northern Mockingbird

Eastern Bluebird

Hermit Thrush

American Robin

Pine Siskin

American Goldfinch*

Field Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

White-throated Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

Eastern Towhee

Red-winged Blackbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

Yellow-rumpled Warbler

Northern Cardinal

 

January 7, 2024

 

The New Year has arrived! The first bird walk of 2024 began with overcast skies and moderate temperatures. At 7 AM it was still dark with sunrise not scheduled until 7:20 AM.  Birders trickled in and by sunrise a good group had assembled.  By 8 AM the number reached 17!  They included Chris Krueger, Donna McAdams, Debra Swinford, Dianne Snyder, Shawn Dash, Pete Peterman, Stuart Sweetman, Marc Nichols, Cindy Schulz, Sarah Ware, Lauren Forero, Tom Charlock, Hannah Montalvo, Jane Frigo, John and Marilyn Adair and newcomer Jayme Musen.  The group identified 61 species by afternoon when skies had cleared.  The morning began with a flock of Pine Siskins and Cedar Waxwings high in the trees and very difficult to see but easier to hear.  7 duck species were seen and 2 additional species heard  The best ducks seen were lone American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler and Lesser Scaup.  The Virginia Rail was heard again at the Swamp Bridge and made a brief run through the reeds. Always exciting to see, the Barred Owl was located!  A complete species list follows.  

The trip report is available through the following link: https://ebird.org/tripreport/173205

 

Canada Goose

Wood Duck*

Northern Shoveler

Gadwall

American Wigeon

Mallard

American Black Duck*

Ring-necked duck

Lesser Scaup

Hooded Merganser

Pied-billed Grebe

Mourning Dove

Virginia Rail

Ringed-billed Gull

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk

Coopers hawk

Barred Owl

Belted Kingfisher

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker*

Pileated Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Eastern Phoebe

Blue Jay

American Crow

Fish Crow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Brown Creeper

Winter Wren

Carolina Wren

Brown Thrasher

Northern Mockingbird

Eastern Bluebird

Hermit Thrush

American Robin

Cedar Waxwings

Pine Siskin

American Goldfinch

Chipping Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

White-throated Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

Eastern Towhee*

Red-winged Blackbird

Common Yellowthroat

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Northern Cardinal

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Previous Sunday Walk Reports:

2023       2022

2021       2020

2019       2018

2017       2016

2015       2014

2013       2012

2011       2010

2009       2008

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

© 2023 by Hampton Roads Bird Club

Contact: Dave Youker  |  757.344.9385  |  youkerd@aol.com

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