Monday, May 22, 2017

5.21.17  Bird Walk - Historical Society of Old Yarmouth - Botanical Trails
Yarmouthport, MA

You never know who you'll meet in this world along the way.  There was a day I was working at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History when I was in charge of one of my favorite activities - painting bird houses, nest boxes (your choice).  There was a very nice & enthusiastic couple who brought their grandchild to this particular activity and we got to talking.  Turns out, William Archie and his lovely wife Margaret belong to the Historical Society of Old Yarmouth, in fact Bill is the Program Chairman.  We got to talking and Bill asked if I'd be interested in perhaps leading a bird walk along the Botanical Trails in Yarmouthport.  Well, ABSOLUTELY!

We had a fantastic turn out last year at this very same event, the main issue was doing my best to communicate with over 30 people on a very often single file gathering of bird enthusiasts along the trail.  Of course, Bill & Margaret came up with a great solution...they borrowed some sound equipment for participants to have an earpiece microphone if they were interested.  Yes.  That meant that no matter WHAT I said, there were more than 20 people listening to my spoken thoughts.  I was slightly concerned, but managed to keep all rated G... at least that's how I intended it!  It was fun to hear the polite chuckles at my goofy remarks.

I have to admit that my sense of timing was thrown off a bit by the beautiful song of a Wood Thrush.  I could NOT get my eyes to locate this master of camouflage!  SO FRUSTRATING! We all HEARD this bird and when I looked up the sound later, it totally, totally TOTALLY was a Wood Thrush!  SO incredible!  The good news is that he sure sounded like a healthy Wood Thrush, a species that is on the decline.  Bird watching can be frustrating in that regard though... being able to hear the bird so well, and just not being able to see him/her no matter how great your binoculars are.  There was a similar situation at the head of the trail with a vireo...  See photos below.  I was absolutely determined to get a good look at this bird, and once the crowd dispersed...I did & got some decent photos of a pair of Red-eyed Vireos.  I'm sorry we all didn't get to SEE them, but we heard their news caster type call. That's how I know there are vireos around....they have much news to report on.  (double click photos to enlarge)

Our List:
Brown-headed Cowbird 
Song Sparrow
Gray Catbird
Northern Cardinal
American Robin
Hairy Woodpecker
Black-capped Chickadee
Pine Warbler
Blue Jay
Baltimore Oriole
Tufted Titmouse
Great-crested Flycatcher
Wood Thrush (!!!)
Red-bellied Woodpecker
American Goldfinch
Eastern Towhee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Red-winged Blackbird
Red-eyed Vireo

Gathering before the walk

Brown-headed Cowbird - female
...searching for a nest to lay her eggs...lil' stinker

Song Sparrow welcoming us on our walk

American Robin

Baltimore Oriole

Spectacular rhododendrons in bloom

Grey Catbird Nest

Gray Catbird

Gray Catbirds

Eastern Towhee - male

Red-winged Blackbird - male

Baltimore Oriole - male (not the best photo!)

Poison Ivy

Gray Catbird

Happy bird walkers 

Buttercups on the trail

Red-eyed Vireo pair

Red-eyed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo singing

Red-eyed Vireo

Thank you Bill & Margaret Archie!  Thank you Historical Society of Old Yarmouth!  I had a glorious morning with all of you and I'm so glad the birds provided the perfect soundtrack to our sunny warm walk through the woods!
Happy Birding!

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