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Birdwalk Highlights for the 2024 Feathers Over Freeport!

Saturday, 4/27 at Bradbury Mountain State Park:

Practice makes perfect, and so we spent a good amount of time practicing our recognition of birdsongs by repeatedly comparing CHIPPING SPARROWS (9) to PINE WARBLERS (6). BLUE-HEADED VIREOS had arrived and were in full song, while only two YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS were encountered.


EASTERN PHOEBES were busy nest-building and foraging, a migrant WHITE-THROATED SPARROW was in the campground, and we enjoyed a single BROWN CREEPER. Thanks to last fall's white pine seed crop, finches littered the woods, feeding on fallen cones and seeds. At least 15 AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES were joined by at least 7 PINE SISKINS in a couple of scattered groups.


Sunday, 4/28 at Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park:

We started the walk off with a bang: a BROAD-WINGED HAWK carrying off a Red Squirrel - an impressive feast for this small buteo. Another highlight was watching a pair of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES excavating a nest in a rotting snag - carefully bringing out woodchips one bill-full at a time and dropping them off in different directions.


The woods are usually birdier here and at Bradbury at this early season date, but that was not the case today. We did hear and see a couple of newly-arrived BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS, 4 PINE WARBLERS, and ran into a little group of 4 migrant YELLOW-RUMPED WARBELRS.


Luckily, we have the waterfront to bird here, and although wintering waterfowl had mostly departed, we still had 5 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS fishing in formation close to shore, a spiffy adult-plumaged COMMON LOON, and plenty of COMMON EIDERS. As usual, however, the OSPREYS stole the show here, with a BALD EAGLE passing by, much to their consternation.


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