Walkie Talkies were passed out to drivers in our auto caravan. This enabled leader Fred Hileman, or anyone else, to report a sighting of interest to the others. In all, seventeen bird folks proceeded in autos and, sometimes on foot, along the several miles of the one lane road through the Marsh. At the first stop three Wood Ducks were spotted along with a Purple Gallinule. The gallinule had been feeding upright among the lily pads as they typically do. It then swam across about 75 feet of open water to the other side of the channel. It’s a bit unusual to see that from this species. It is much more typical of its close cousin, the Common Gallinule.
The middle portion of the drive is mostly woods. It was somewhat quiet. As we approached the final watery section, a mixed flock of songbirds were encountered in the last patch of woods. Several Northern Parula Warblers were there, the first of the season for some of us. Orange-crowned Warblers were seen, also. A flock of Cedar Waxwings flew in and entertained from the tree tops.
At the next watery spot an immature Bald Eagle and a Redtail Hawk soared overhead. A number of Glossy Ibis took flight in a seeming reaction to the overhead presence of the predators. A bit further along, a Northern Harrier was hunting just above the reed tops.
A bit further along, a Northern Harrier was hunting just above the reed tops.
Elaine Roche and her companion(s) were last to reach the boat ramp area as they had lingered to try for more warblers. They were rewarded as the rumored Snail Kite showed up near the boat ramp. It was not there when the rest of us stopped at that spot. As usual, timing can be everything. It was a fine morning in one of our favorite natural areas.