For the first time in the modern history of the bird hike the weather did not cooperate. Wednesday, May 30, 2019 turned out to be a cold (8 degrees C) and windy day; by noon we were dodging raindrops. However, the 28 intrepid birders on the hike showed true Canadian grit to brave the conditions and were rewarded with fabulous looks at a beautiful male Scarlet Tanager who posed for pictures long enough for everyone to have their fill.
Our stop in the woods on the way into Crane Lake resulted in a record number of Warbler species. And, despite the rain, almost everybody walked into Warder Ranch, some just because they wanted to walk and others to sample the wild asparagus growing there. To top things off, at our last stop a Wilson’s Snipe, previously seen flying by some and sitting on a tree branch by a few, made sure that everyone saw him in the grass plaintively calling for a potential mate.
Despite the weather and the fact that we did not see birds in great numbers, we still managed to count 54 different species – just one short of last year’s count.
Here is the list of what we did see and/or hear.
Common Loon, Double-Crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Canada Goose, Mallard, Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, Turkey Vulture, American Kestrel, Ruffed Grouse, Sandhill Crane, Sora, Wilson’s Snipe, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull,Northern Flicker, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hairy Woodpecker Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Tree Swallow, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, House Wren, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, Scarlet Tanager, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Common Grackle, American Goldfinch
Thanks to all the birders who came out this year and contributed their eyes and ears to our excellent adventure. We look forward to seeing you all again next year. If you couldn’t join us this year but have even a slight interest in our avian friends, then why not pencil in Wednesday May 20, 2020 on your calendar. That’s the tentative date for next year. It’s a lot of fun and there is NO EXPERTISE REQUIRED!!