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Birdwalk Highlights for 6/4: Old Town House Park, North Yarmouth on Zeiss Day.

With the summer breeding season upon us, it is time to take advantage of some of our great local habitats. Today, we were joined by Richard Moncrief, Manager Nature and Observation for Zeiss Sport Optics. Rich brought a whole carload of "toys" for the group to enjoy and salivate over, including a wide range of Zeiss's binoculars, and as a special treat, their thermal-imaging camera!


Of course, we began and ended the walk with BOBOLINKS: lots of them. Quite a few males were singing and displaying, and females were out and about feeding young and checking out some of the displays as well. Thanks to the town ordinance that prevents haying here until most of the Bobolinks have fledged, this colony continues to remain robust.


Along the Royal River, we practiced our flycatcher identification with a total of 3 WILLOW FLYCATCHERS. It's interesting how that species has replaced Alder Flycatcher here over the past 15 or so years of taking birdwalks here. Is it strictly climate-change driven, or are there other direct and indirect factors?


A GREEN HERON flew by, commuting from a likely nest location to the riverbank to forage. Down at the river, the riparian strip produced at least 8 COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, 6 YELLOW WARBLERS, 3 WARBLING VIREOS, 2 VEERIES, 2 EASTERN KINGBIRDS, and a single ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and BALTIMORE ORIOLE. One male CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER put on a good show for us, too. BARN SWALLOWS and at least 4 CHIMNEY SWIFTS were among the other species seen foraging in this productive area.


Throughout the park were oodles of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS (20+), GRAY CATBIRDS (10+), and active SONG SPARROWS (15+). We also heard a couple of EASTERN KINGBIRDS, 1 BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, and 1 OVENBIRD. As we were about to depart, we were ushered out by a single EASTERN BLUEBIRD guarding the parking lot.


CEDAR WAXWINGS were nearly as numerous as Bobolinks, but our estimate of 30 was augmented by the Zeiss DTI 3/25 Thermal Imaging Camera. We saw one waxwing at the top of a tree with our naked eye, and through binoculars it was clear that several others were present. However, with the DTI 3/25, it was readily apparent that there were exactly 18 Cedar Waxwings in that one tree! It was so cool (or hot, if you would pardon the pun)! And it was a special treat to be able to take it out for a test drive!


Oh yeah, and everyone got a free hat and cleaning kit...and one person will be celebrating their next birding trip with the brand new pair of Conquest 8x32's they left with thanks to Zeiss's generous 10% discount offered today. It wasn't just the birds that made this birdwalk not one to miss!

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