Sunday Morning Bird Walks

Newport News City Park

The Walks are Canceled in April because of Coronavirus

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).

2020 Bird Walks Summary

March 15, 2020

The world is dealing with a pandemic called the Corona Virus causing schools and many businesses to shut down and "social distancing" encouraged to cut down on any spread of the virus.  What better way to find relief than a bird walk in the great Newport News City Park!  Ten people participated in the March 15, 2020 walk, being sure to maintain a three foot separation.  They included regulars John and Marilyn Adair, Stuart Sweetman, Cindy Shulz, Marc Nichols, Mike Lowry , Cathy Bond, Jane Frigo and newcomers Hilary Propst and Gayle Phillips.  The weather was chilly (50 degree) and slowly dropped into the 40's.  Winds were strong with white caps on the water and cloudy skies.  57 species were seen.  All the woodpeckers were observed with several Pileated and Flickers out.  There was a good look at a Hairy Woodpecker and a Brown Creeper.  Ducks were scarce but a lone Wigeon and a Wood Duck flyover helped boost numbers. Also, a possible Marsh Wren was heard at the Swamp Bridge.  Time to review sounds!  All the cherry blossom's seen on the last walk were gone. Almost missed the Northern Mockingbird but Stuart Sweetman spotted one on the way out of the park.  A complete species list follows.

 

Canada Goose

Wood Duck

Gadwall

American Wigeon

Mallard

Ring-necked Duck

Hooded Merganser

Pied-billed Grebe

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Ring-billed Gull

Mourning Dove

Belted Kingfisher

Red-headed Woodpecker

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-headed Nuthatch

Brown Creeper

Carolina Wren

Winter Wren

Ruby-crowned Kinglet 

Eastern Bluebird

Hermit Thrush

American Robin

Northern Mockingbird

Brown Thrasher

European Starling

Pine Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Eastern Towhee

Chipping Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird

Common Grackle

Brown-headed Cowbird

House Finch

American Goldfinch

 

February 29, 2020

The first Sunday walk in March was canceled because of the Newport News All City Marathon.  A group of regular 'Sunday walk attendees decided to meet Saturday, February 29, 2020 and do a walk.  Those participating were Ellis and Wendy Maxey, John and Marilyn Adair, Elizabeth Wilkins, Jacques von Montfranz, Stuart Sweetman, Marc Nichols, June Hartzler, Gary Wright, Cindy Shulz, Pete Peterman, Sue Tomlin, Tom Charlock and Jane Frigo.  The day was cold with temperatures reaching the mid 40's and stiff winds bringing small white caps to the water.  The park was already filled with activity in preparation for the next day's race. Disc golfers, dog walkers and motor cycle groups were taking advantage of the park. Still, the birding group was able to identify 53 species for the morning.  All but 3 of the group made it all the way to the Swamp Bridge!  There the group witnessed a Downy Woodpecker cleaning out a nest cavity right off the bridge.  Should be fun watching for nestlings later in the spring.  The group also heard the Virginia Rail pair calling to each other.  By far the best sighting was a surprise Northern Parula seen at the Japanese Tea House area eating blossoms from the cherry trees.  Everyone in the group got a good look and John Adair got an excellent picture!  That would make the Parula sighting a month earlier than it's expected arrival date.  With such a warm winter it will be interesting to see if other species show up earlier than normal.  A complete species list follows.

 

Canada Goose

Wood Duck

Gadwall

American Wigeon

American Black Duck

Mallard

Ring-necked Duck

Hooded Merganser

Pied-billed Grebe

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk

Virginia Rail

Ring-billed Gull

Rock Pigeon

Mourning Dove

Belted Kingfisher

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker

Blue Jay                                                             Northern Parula shared by John Adair

American Crow

Fish Crow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Carolina Wren

Winter Wren

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird

Hermit Thrush

American Robin

Northern Mockingbird

Brown Thrasher

Northern Parula

Pine Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Eastern Towhee

Song Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird                                      Downey Woodpecker shared by Pete Peterman

House Finch

American Goldfinch

 

February 16, 2020

 

Hopefully everyone had a good Valentine's Day. Winter has flown by but hasn't brought much winter-like weather.  Today was in the upper 30's to mid 40's.  Cool and refreshing! Those joining the walk were Wendy and Ellis Maxey, Marilyn and John Adair, Stuart Sweetman, Dianne Snyder, Tom Charlock, Sue Tomlin, Cindy Shulz, Lindsay Knox and Jane Frigo. The group identified 52 species.  They added Wood Duck and Wigeon to this walks count but missed Bufflehead, Virginia Rail and Brown-headed Nuthatch.  All  7 woodpeckers were seen! The walk for the first Sunday in March is canceled because of the One City Marathon so no count will be made for a month.  Should be interesting to see how migration affects the species count.  That walk will be held on March 15, 2020. A complete species list follows,

 

Canada Goose

Wood Duck
Gadwall

American Wigeon

American Black Duck

Mallard

Ring-necked Duck

Hooded Merganser

Pied-billed Grebe

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Ring-billed Gull

Mourning Dove

Belted Kingfisher

Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker

Blue Jay

American Crow

Fish Crow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown Creeper

Carolina Wren

Winter Wren

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird

Hermit Thrush

American Robin

Northern Mockingbird

Brown Thrasher

Pine Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Eastern Towhee

Song Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird

Common Grackle

House Finch

American Goldfinch

February 2, 2020

February 2, 2020 was a pleasant winter day.  Skies were clear but breezy and the temperature ranged from 37 degrees to a comfortable 52 degrees.  Those joining the walk were John and Marilyn Adair, Dianne Snyder, Tom Charlock, Mike Lowry, Stuart Sweetman, Jane Frigo and newcomers Alex Hollander and Ashley King.  All seven woodpeckers were seen. Both Ring-billed and Herring Gulls were noted.  Ducks, although not abundant is number, included Gadwall, Mallard, Ring-necked and Hooded Merganser.  A group of 5 Pied-billed Grebe were also seen.  American Black Ducks were spooked up by a Bald Eagle.  For unknown reasons Yellow-rumped Warblers were scarce as they have been all this season.  A Brown-headed Nuthatch was seen exploring cavities in the pine trees at the Arboretum.  Also, American Crows were seen there appearing to be constructing a nest.  That will be worth watching.  Although only Jane and Stuart made it to the Swamp Bridge they were able to hear the Virginia Rail.  A species list follows.

 

Canada Goose

Gadwall

American Black Duck

Mallard

Ring-necked Duck

Bufflehead

Hooded Merganser

Pied-billed Grebe

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Virginia Rail

Ring-billed Gull

Herring Gull

Mourning Dove

Belted Kingfisher

Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker

Blue Jay

American Crow

Fish Crow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Carolina Wren

Winter Wren

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird

Hermit Thrush

American Robin

Northern Mockingbird

Brown Thrasher

Pine Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Eastern Towhee

Song Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird

House Finch

American Goldfinch

 

January 19, 2020

 

Winter still didn't feel like winter on January 19, 2020.  The temperature hovered in the 50's, skies were overcast but winds were calm.  Ten people participated in the bird walk.  They included Tom Charlock, Dianne Snyder, Cindy Shulz, Mike Lowry, Marc Nichols, Stuart Sweetman, Jane Frigo, Tom (Morocco) St. Andrea and Wendy and Ellis Maxey.  The group identified 51 species without making the trek to the Swamp Bridge.  Ducks continue to be in short supply.  A lone American Wigeon was spotted among a small group of Gadwall.  A lone Laughing Gull was spotted among the Ring-billed gulls perched on the pipeline.  Woodpeckers were well represented with the exception of Red-headed yet again missed.  Rusty Blackbirds were spotted among a mixed blackbird flock before disc golfers dispersed the group.  A cooperative Hermit Thrush treated the group to a lengthy sighting.  A complete species list follows.

 

Canada Goose

Gadwall

American Wigeon

Mallard

Hooded Merganser

Pied-billed Grebe

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk

Laughing Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Mourning Dove

Belted Kingfisher

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker

Blue Jay

American Crow

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Brown Creeper

Carolina Wren

Winter Wren

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird

Hermit Thrush

American Robin

Northern Mockingbird

Brown Thrasher

Pine Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Eastern Towhee

Song Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird

Rusty Blackbird

Common Grackle

Brown-headed Cowbird

House Finch

American Goldfinch 

January 5, 2020

The first walk of 2020 was clear but cold and windy with temperatures staying in the 40's.  Fifteen people helped identify 44 species for the morning in spite of the challenging conditions.  Those braving the cold were Ellis and Wendy Maxey, Pete Peterman, Cindy Shulz, Dianne Snyder, Tom Charlock, Marc Nichols, Elizabeth Wilkins, Jacque von Montfrans, Susan Maples, Sue Tomlin, Cathy Bond, Hannah Montalvo, Jane Frigo and new comer Luis Boticario.  Very few ducks were seen. Speculation was they were sheltering further in the inlets.  The group did find Canada Geese, Gadwall,Mallard, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser and a couple Pied-billed Grebe.  Bald Eagles were seen and a Sharp-shinned Hawk made a fly through.  Pete got a great picture of a Pine Warbler foraging on the walkway.  A lone male Kingfisher was seen perched. The group didn't venture past Swamp Point but did make a brief run across the White Oak Bridge to find a Yellow-rumped Warbler before calling it quits.  Stuart Sweetman and John Adair were certainly missed but they were participating in the Mathews Audubon Christmas count. A species list follows.

 

Canada Goose

Gadwall

Mallard

Ring-necked Duck

Hooded Merganser

Pied-billed Grebe

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Ring-billed Gull

Mourning Dove

Belted Kingfisher

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker

Blue Jay

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Brown Creeper

Carolina Wren

Winter Wren

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Eastern Bluebird

Hermit Thrush

American Robin

Northern Mockingbird

Brown Thrasher

Pine Warbler

Yellow-rumped Wabler

Field Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird

American Goldfinch

Previous Sunday Walk Reports:

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