Notes From The Field

Grand Valley, Riverside Park, Armleder Park

Ice storms have a tendency to change even the most thought out plans. Needless to say our plans to travel to Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area has been put on hold till better weather. However it didn’t stop our valiant group, consisting of Phil, John and myself from venturing out once the road conditions improved. We kept it local so as not to press our luck. Even at the 11 o’clock hour the roads out in my neck of the woods were still crappy, but we made good time as we meet up with John at Grand Valley. As you might recall I was there on the 15th and we had excellent waterfowl activity. Not the case today as pickings were pretty slim. However I was able to click off a few images of our National Bird.

We scoped out both North and South pools of the lake, then took a walk in the Camp Dennison Nature Trail. Footing was treacherous as we watched our feet more than the birds. It didn’t matter anyway, there wasn’t too much activity in the woods so we made our way back to our vehicles and motored our way to Riverside Park in Newtown. John had heard that there was a Cackling Goose sighted there, and being so close we were there in no time.

As we pulled into the parking lot to our right there are some soccer fields and about 60 Canada Geese feeding. Cackling Geese our not very common and I’ve only seen them a couple of times. And those times they were on the water and pretty far away. So with 3 sets of eyes scanning this flock we re-located them pretty quickly.

This is a closer view of the above picture. As you can see the Cackling Goose has a much shorter bill and a shorter neck. They’re just a miniature version of their larger cousin.

Feelin’ pretty good with ourselves with this discovery, we made our way to Armleder Park for our last stop. Phil has never been here before, and even with the icy conditions we thought no better time than now to check it out. Everything was iced over, even the mud as we hiked back to the bean field. It was at the bean field we discovered where all the Ring-billed Gulls gather when the weather turns. a huge flock was gathered on the opposite side of the water.

We walked the southern portion of the park, staying on the grass along the paved path since the asphalt was a skating rink. The last thing we need a for someone to fall and break a hip. I know how they fix them, and it’s not pretty!

Sparrows were the highlight of Armleder as were the 4 Eastern Meadowlarks we spooked up on the way back to our cars. We ended the day around 2:30 with a pretty good day considering. We didn’t set any new records for total birds seen, but really, it’s not just about the birds.

Notable birds for the day include:

  1. American Coot
  2. Pied-billed Grebe
  3. Bald Eagle
  4. Greater Scaup
  5. Mallard
  6. Bufflehead
  7. Hooded Merganser
  8. Ring-billed Gull
  9. Rock Dove
  10. Canada Goose
  11. Cackling Goose
  12. American Tree Sparrow
  13. Song Sparrow
  14. Savannah Sparrow
  15. Lincoln Sparrow
  16. White-crowned Sparrow
  17. Red-winged blackbird
  18. Eastern Goldfinch
  19. Great Blue Heron
  20. Eastern Meadowlark
  21. Killdeer
  22. Carolina Chickadee
  23. Tufted Titmouse
  24. Common Crow
  25. Northern Cardinal
  26. Northern Flicker
  27. White-breasted Nuthatch
  28. Red-tailed Hawk
  29. American Robin
  30. Mourning Dove

One response to “Notes From The Field

  1. A Bald Eagle, awesome! And the Cackling Geese I’m going to have to remember to look for in rafts of Canada Geese.

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