Birdwalk Highlights for 4/23: Winslow Park, Freeport.

A lovely spring day brought out a huge turnout of birders...and birds. Luckily, entry into Winslow is still free and there's no better place to bring a crowd of birders. And it performed well for us yet again today.

We saw at least 5 BALD EAGLES, including both local pairs at their nests; females incubating (presumably), and males attending nearby. OSPREYS were also present (at least 4), including one that hovered, dove, and caught a good-sized flounder right in front of us! That was definitely one of the highlights of the morning.

We had some quality "triller time," studying the songs of PINE WARBLER (6-8) in direct comparison to CHIPPING SPARROWS (16), including some great views of each. We only heard the two YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, however, but saw one of the two RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS that were also in song today. Other landbirds included a couple of SONG SPARROWS, 2 EASTERN PHOEBES, and 3 EASTERN BLUEBIRDS.

Along the shoreline, we had a nice view of a female BELTED KINGFISHER, 3 GREATER YELLOWLEGS - including one in active visible migration overhead, a total of 8 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS, and 5 COMMON LOONS. A diminishing number of wintering ducks resulted in only about 75-100 BUFFLHEADS, 6 LONG-TAILED DUCKS, and 4 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, along with about 50 presumably resident COMMON EIDERS. Three lingering AMERICAN BLACK DUCKS were out on the mudflats by the time we departed as well.

At least one TREE SWALLOW was on the go overhead, along with a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK and a single TURKEY VULTURE. Recently-returned, a SNOWY EGRET joined a GREAT BLUE HERON foraging in the shallows, and we ended the very productive walk with our first LAUGHING GULL of the year.

***And don't forget, next weekend's birdwalk meets at Bradbury Mountain State Park at 8:00am on Saturday as part of the Feathers Over Freeport: A Birdwatching Weekend festivities.***

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