Sunday, October 27, 2013

Finally, the Red Shouldered Hawk reveals itself!

Red-shouldered Hawk
7:30 a.m. 43 degrees and cloudy, but skies clearing. A beautiful morning.

When I first arrived, I could hear the distinctive call of a Carolina wren coming from the golf course side of the lower gardens. There were several robins, a pair of cardinals, goldfinches, many many juncos, house finches, jays, white-throated sparrows, chipping, song, and swamp sparrows. A pair of flickers on the ground were doing a strange dance around each other, kind of like the lobster quadrille in Alice & Wonderland.

Haynes arrived and after a quick review of the lower gardens, we decided to check out the sunnier upper gardens in hopes of seeing the grasshopper sparrow that Mary Lou had seen yesterday. Ian and then Jonathan arrived shortly thereafter.

In the upper gardens, were chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, a downy woodpecker and goldfinches. Several sparrows were satisfying their curiosity about the brush and compost piles convinced that lots of good things to eat must be in there. Of course there were song sparrows, but we also spotted a Lincoln sparrow, and some swamp sparrows. Mourning doves flew overhead. A thrush which we assumed to be a hermit thrush appeared briefly in a bush in the back of the gardens. A lone yellow rump was high in an oak tree. We heard an Eastern towhee calling and it was so close, we decided we had to try and find it. We heard it right near the path on the swamp side of the woods. Finally, someone spotted it and we all had a chance to see it and then of course if flew off to another tree and disappeared.

Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Down near the soccer field, we heard a scolding sound and Ian saw a house wren, which is awfully late in the season. Ian also caught a glimpse of a red-breasted nuthatch and a bright, red-bellied woodpecker called from high up in a tree. The pond is dried up illustrating how it is truly a vernal pool. One of today's highlights was the red-shouldered hawk that was sitting proudly, high up in a tree across the river. On Florrie's path were two colorful yellow rumps and three young Cedar waxwings.

Rump View!
A sociable yellow rump appeared in Woodcock meadow and flitted from tree to tree as we looked around, turning like a model, to give us a good front and back view!

Our walk through the woods was relatively quiet, but as we rounded the bend near the JCC we saw a couple of golden-crowned kinglets flitting all about. What a nice way to end a great morning!

Here's is Haynes' Complete List:

Northern Flicker  1
Blue Jay  6
American Crow  3
Black-capped Chickadee  4
Tufted Titmouse  4
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2
White-breasted Nuthatch  6
House Wren  1     heard rattling and then seen. circle.
Carolina Wren  2
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1
Hermit Thrush  1     back of upper garden
American Robin  30
Cedar Waxwing  3
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  6     various places
Eastern Towhee  2     Once m seen clearly, the other fleeting.  Both calling. One in upper garder, a second near pond.
Chipping Sparrow  8
Field Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  25
Lincoln's Sparrow  1     brush pile at upper garden
Swamp Sparrow  2
White-throated Sparrow  20
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  32     throughout
Northern Cardinal  6
Common Grackle  10
House Finch  1
American Goldfinch  12

View this checklist online


  1. Nice to have the Red-shouldered's picture! But all around sounds like a good morning.

  2. Bob Stymeist saw the Grasshopper Sparrow later that day:

  3. oh, how frustrating to think we missed it!