Notes From The Field

Fernald Preserve

It certainly has been a long time since my last visit to Fernald Preserve. As a matter of fact the last time I was there was when Phil and I conducted our annual Bird Study Merit badge Workshop back in April. It has been a long time, and I’ve missed coming here. So it’s up before  sunrise, and that long drive to the far side of Hamilton County.

One of the birds I was anxious to get a picture of, or at least try, was a Grasshopper Sparrow. They are numerous at Fernald however getting a picture of one can prove difficult. You’ll here them as they call from the thick grass as you walk along, and that’s about all you’ll get, unless your lucky. Today I was unlucky, I heard plenty Ammodramus savannarum, and actually saw a couple fly back and forth across the path, but they didn’t hold still long enough to get a picture. But to make things a little better the Dickcissels were abundant and ready to give excellent views as I made my way straight back from the visitors center.

A treetop Dickcissel singing.

I couldn’t tell you how many Dickcissels were here. This is one time of the year where they drown out the Red-winged Blackbirds. Spiza americana has some beautiful coloration that I never get tired of, and look forward to each Summer as I visit Fernald.

When one thinks of Fernald Preserve you get a picture in your head like this…

Wide open expanses of open grasslands, dotted with small ponds where all sorts of waterfowl gather. However I’m heading towards a different part of the property that is a little off the beaten path.

The shady, wooded portion of the preserve. This part of the trail wanders through the woods for about 1/2 mile. It certainly is nice to get out of the hot Sun for a while and enjoy a walk in the woods. Now you start to pick up different species of birds. Cardinals, Towhees, Titmouse, Acadian Flycatchers, Wood Thrush. This is just great birding.

American Goldfinch

Orchard Oriole

Indigo Bunting

Common Yellowthroat

As I made my way back towards the wooded portion of the preserve I was reminded how alone I was. Not one soul did I meet coming or going. Only the birds and the bugs to keep me company. Which at times is all you need as you submerse yourself in your thoughts as nature surrounds you with it presence.

So as I leave you and make my way back to the bird-mobile, may the Bluebird of Happiness …

Notable birds for the day include:

  1. Chipping Sparrow
  2. Field Sparrow
  3. Song Sparrow
  4. Grasshopper Sparrow
  5. Mourning Dove
  6. Eastern Bluebird
  7. American Robin
  8. Eastern Phoebe
  9. Willow Flycatcher
  10. Acadian Flycatcher
  11. Scarlet tanager
  12. Carolina Chickadee
  13. Tufted Titmouse
  14. Northern Cardinal
  15. House Wren
  16. Eastern Towhee
  17. Wood Thrush
  18. Blue Grosbeak
  19. Tree Swallow
  20. Barn Swallow
  21. Pileated Woodpecker
  22. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  23. Downy Woodpecker
  24. Northern Flicker
  25. Indigo Bunting
  26. Dickcissel
  27. Yellow-throated Warbler
  28. Yellow-breasted Chat
  29. Common Yellowthroat
  30. Northern Parula
  31. Yellow-billed Cuckoo
  32. Baltimore Oriole
  33. Orchard Oriole
  34. Brown-headed Cowbird
  35. Green Heron
  36. Great Blue Heron
  37. Mallard
  38. Wood Duck
  39. Blue-winged Teal
  40. Mute Swan
  41. Belted Kingfisher
  42. Cedar Waxwing
  43. American Goldfinch
  44. Northern Mockingbird
  45. Canada Goose
  46. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  47. Common Grackle
  48. Gray Catbird
  49. Common Crow
  50. Turkey Vulture
  51. Eastern Meadowlark
  52. Killdeer
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2 responses to “Notes From The Field

  1. Nice photos.

  2. Dickcissels are great birds! I’m scrounging up some pictures for a post on them myself.

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