Casual Birding Outing #92
Seven participants (Val, Don & Rochelle, Lorna, Hans, Terry and me) spent a beautiful Victoria Day morning at Serpentine Fen. The drive there via the farm roads was quiet with few birds in the fields as most were being tilled by the farmers. Even most of the Bald Eagles have left us, although there are still (too) many residents still around. Our walk at the Fen started slowly; from the first lookout tower the nearby pond was dry as the tide was out. We saw lots of Barn and Tree Swallows and other common species (Spotted Towhees, Song and Savannah Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds and Cowbirds) but no warblers. We crossed the first little bridge (where Don took the obligatory Group Photo) to an open marsh/pond and we started to hear a cacophony of Marsh Wren and Common Yellowthroat songs. We got lots of photos of the wrens, but the warblers were too elusive, although some got glimpses of a couple.
We also saw several new families of Mallards and Canada Geese, and a neat Painted Turtle. Then Hans spotted an American Bittern, posing in the reeds. While following the Bittern, a pair of Cinnamon Teal flew in. So we spent an inordinate amount of time enjoying these species, which we don’t see very often. We continued along the path toward the Serpentine River and found a Pied-billed Grebe in one pond. Hawk-eye Hans found a nest with non-existent baby Crows in it. At the river, we saw one lonely Lesser Scaup and later on one Bufflehead. There was an annoying number of skulking Common Yellowthroats, and other warblers, singing in the bushes along the river. A couple of Red-tailed Hawks flew past, mobbed by Northwestern Crows. On departure, we stopped at the Nursery at the park entrance to look at the exotic birds for sale and the model railroad set up; we’re a diverse group. The ride back to Petra’s was pleasant with the buzz of Terry’s snoring.