Birding DC

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Late winter woodpecker foray

Earlier in the winter this trip produced up to 100 individual woodpeckers of one of the six locally frequent species (Downy, Hairy, Pileated, Red-bellied, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Northern Flicker). Today we benefited from the late winter season and did especially well on waterfowl, star species however was the rapidly declining Rusty Blackbird.

Canada Goose Branta canadensis – 1, heard!

Wood Duck Aix sponsa –heard in the distance.

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

Greater Scaup Aythya marila – 5 in a mixed Scaup flock giving an excellent comparison with Lesser Scaup.

Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis–  20+.

Bufflehead Bucephala albeola – 30, seen at many places on the river.

Common Merganser Mergus merganser  – 1 male.

Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps – 1 on the river at the end of the trip.

Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena  – 2 , an adult and a first-winter winter bird, part of the irruption of this species due to the freezing of the Great Lakes.

Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus – a single bird flew downstream.

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura – 1 soared over us early in the trip.

Killdeer Charadrius vociferus – 1 on the turf farm.

Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis – large numbers on the river and overhead.

Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus – 25, ever present and noisy!

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius – not seen but several trees with hundreds of old sapsucker holes observed.

Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens – 15, commonly seen throughout our visit.

Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus – 3, elusive, one bird finally gave obstructed views.

Pileated Woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus – 2 heard drumming with one calling near the parking lot.

Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata – 3, mostly heard.

American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos  2, heard early.

Fish Crow Corvus ossifragus – 5 heard and seen perched in trees along the riverbank.

Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor – 30, seen over the river on arrival but also later.

Carolina Chickadee Poecile carolinensis – 15, acrobatically feeding nearby on a number of occasions.

Tufted Titmouse Baeolophus bicolor – 5, often seen with chickadees.

White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis – 10, noisily present.

Brown Creeper Certhia americana – 6, unusually visible for such a secretive and camouflaged small bird.

Carolina Wren Thryothorus ludovicianus – 10, various different call type echoing though the woodland loudly!

Eastern Bluebird Sialia sialis – 2, two fine males watched along the riverbank.

American Robin Turdus migratorius – 25, a flock near the parking lot supplemented a few birds seen earlier.

European Starling Sturnus vulgaris – 1 single bird!

Yellow-rumped Warbler Setophaga coronata – 50, the most numerous bird of the trip with good opportunity to study this species from many angles.

Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia – 7, a few mixed with the following species.

White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis – 40, watched in the field edge and along the trail, well marked adults showing the bright yellow lores.

Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis – 15, males showing their stunning red plumage well in the morning light, a couple females also seen.

Rusty Blackbird Euphagus carolinus – 3 birds flew past but the star bird of the trip was a male perched across the canal that was watched at length through the telescopes.