Summer Bird Count – Jun 11, 2016

Margaret Bain once again did the bird count at Braham tract. She writes:
We had hoped for sunnier weather after last year’s Summer Count, but instead we got heavy rain and high winds for our Saturday morning start! After we had parked carefully to avoid the large Snapping Turtle laying eggs at the edge of the gravel parking area, the rain lessened, but it remained very windy for most of the day, and this did discourage bird song especially among the small flycatchers and warblers. A Virginia Rail and a Pied-billed Grebe called from the marsh, though we didn’t see either of them. A persistently cooing Least Bittern sounded quite close too, but remained invisible. On a scouting expedition in late May a Black-billed Cuckoo had flown past while I sat at the picnic table at the edge of the marsh, but sadly this was not repeated on Count Day. Red-winged Blackbirds and grackles ignored the rain of course and were as loud and disputatious as ever. The Tree Swallows too seemed quite happy in the rain, feeding actively around the nest boxes. The nearby grassy fields looked lush and healthy – two Eastern Meadowlarks flew low over the windswept grasses but we couldn’t find any Bobolinks, though later in other areas of our Count section they were in good numbers. Sparrows, flycatchers, and warblers must have been present in higher numbers than we could detect because of the stormy morning, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to come back later for a second chance.
In spite of the weather we did hear or see a good variety of bird life in and around Lone Pine Marsh again this year – especially reassuring as surrounding agricultural fields creep ever larger with more hedgerows and shelter trees disappearing every time we visit.

List of birds:

Canada Goose 24 flying over
Wood Duck only 1 adult female seen this year
Mallard none here this year!
Pied-billed Grebe one calling loudly from marsh
Least Bittern one very vocal at near edge of cattails, but not seen
Green Heron one flyover
Turkey Vulture 2 overhead
Virginia Rail 1 calling in SE corner of marsh
Ring-billed Gull small numbers steadily flying over
Mourning Dove several on hydro wires
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1 in small tree in roadside front yard
Northern Flicker 2 heard
Great Crested Flycatcher 2 heard in woods north of marsh
Eastern Kingbird 1 on edge of field
Warbling Vireo 3 in trees along road – seem common this spring
Red-eyed Vireo several singing in trees along road and around marsh
Blue Jay 2 or 3
American Crow several in fields and flying over
Common Raven 1 flying along hydro line, chased by 2 noisy crows
Tree Swallow up to 10 in flight and several entering nest boxes
Barn Swallow one pair
Black-capped Chickadee several in treed areas
House Wren 2 singing along road
Marsh Wren a few singing from edge of cattails far out in the marsh
Veery 1 calling from woods at the north end
American Robin numerous
Gray Catbird 2 mewing in roadside vegetation
Brown Thrasher one singing from treetop
European Starling small flocks here and there
Mourning Warbler one singing in the distance
Common Yellowthroat at least 2 heard around edge of marsh
Yellow Warbler 2 or 3 in meadow and marsh edges
Chipping Sparrow several on roadside verges
Savannah Sparrow 2 at edge of field
Song Sparrow several in small trees and bushes
Swamp Sparrow numerous on south side of marsh
Northern Cardinal one male at roadside
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2 or 3 singing from taller trees
Indigo Bunting fewer than usual – many trees at field edges recently felled
Red-winged Blackbird numerous in cattails
Eastern Meadowlark 2 flying low over grassy field NW of marsh
Common Grackle 10+ on west side of marsh
Brown-headed Cowbird only a few this year
American Goldfinch several flying over

Lone Pine Land Trust

Lone Pine Land Trust is a non-profit charity based in Northumberland County.