Our walk on Saturday took place on a cool, sunny, rather windy spring day.  The group comprised Elizabeth Smith and her son Ibrahim, Simon Best and his three Best sons, and Charles Brohawn.  We started around the parking area, looking over the Bluebirds and Tree Swallows along the fences, before heading down through the woods toward the main field.  Just before we reached the field, a Merlin buzzed us and headed back through the woods without letting us all get a good look at her, but it was still a good start.  As we worked down the rather wet trails, we stopped to get a nice look at the two Great Horned Owlets, but didn’t see either of the parents who were probably lurking somewhere nearby.  Unfortunately, I once again completely forgot to take photos, so I am going to add in some shots that look kind of similar, as we go along..

As we worked along the edge of the fields, the birding was a little slow, perhaps due to the chilly wind keeping things a bit quiet, but we had both Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawks flying nicely over us for comparison, and an Osprey giving us a quick look through the trees, and a longer look at the end of the walk.  A pair of Kestrels finished the day’s raptors in good style.  We unfortunately did not get the expected Snipe, but we did get a good selection of sparrows singing and posing, including Song, Swamp, Field, Chipping, White-throated and some Dark-eyed Juncos holding on for a few more days.  We missed the early warblers, but we did get Spring Peepers peeping, found some nearby eggs getting ready to ‘hatch’, saw a couple of Meadow Voles dashing for a tunnel to hide in, and then encountered a fairly chilly Garter Snake trying to warm up in the sun a little bit.  She let herself get handled without even a single bite!

All things considered, it was a nice day out, and we saw some nice birds, and got to learn more details about some of the songs and behaviors of the birds (and other animals) of the area.