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Birdwalk Highlights for 7/15: Old Town House Park, North Yarmouth

Our mid-summer favorite never disappoints, and today was no exception. We were greeted by a fly-over GREEN HERON upon arrival - a good way to start the outing.

One of our missions was to check on the park's breeding BOBOLINKS (19+). There were a few in the upper field, and quite a few more in one of the lower fields. However, most of these were adults and fledged juveniles in a foraging flock, meaning they are done breeding here for the the season. With the ordinance-mandated earliest haying date right around the corner, we were happy to see birds have fledged and are moving about; there was limited activity only near one of the primary breeding hotspots.

Another highlight today was the family group of YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS (an adult male with two juveniles) that were maintaining and foraging around a series of tap wells in a Speckled Alder. The male opened up some taps before flying off, and the to juveniles relocated to the flowing feeding station. As we watched a female RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD arrived to also check in on the sap flow for some energy as she also foraged for insects attracted to and/or stuck in the sap to feed her hungry nestlings.

The usually common summer residents here were abundant: 30 SONG SPARROWS, 25 CEDAR WAXWINGS, 20 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, 20 SONG SPARROWS, 20 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, and 10 COMMON YELLOWTHROATS. One of the 4 YELLOW WARBLERS had already completed its molt, and we only heard or saw one each of CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER and AMERICAN REDSTART today.

A male EASTERN BLUEBIRD foraged on the trail, and a juvenile PURPLE FINCH alighted in a tree amongst goldfinches. A juvenile ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK also put on a great show, we heard a calling ALDER FLYCATCHER, and noted 4 TREE SWALLOWS and a CHIMNEY SWIFT overhead. One each of BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, RED-EYED VIREO, and RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER were also heard.

VEERIES were signing up a storm today, and we spotted two males in a territorial dispute. A SPOTTED SANDPIPER flew downriver, looking for some dry shoreline after all of this rain and high water. Intriguing was a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH that paused in a shrub along the trail - perhaps already a southbound migrant?

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