Cold conditions provided a frosty backdrop for this mornings walk! With yesterday's snowfall and day off, the trail was snow covered and icy, but that didn't seem to impact the birds! Birds were very vocal and could be heard from the parking lot singing on the trail before I even arrived. Once at the trailhead, I observed lots of Carolina Chickadee and Tufted Titmouse activity in the treetops. Also, there were steady streams of mixed flocks of blackbirds overhead all morning. When I stepped out of my car, a huge flock of Common Grackle and Red-winged Blackbirds took off from behind the school and over the parking lot! Throughout the rest of the morning, mixed flocks passed low over the trail. So low in fact that I could hear the chorus of their wing flapping which sounded like the wind! The highlight of the walk came at the very end as the last flock of Red-winged Blackbirds flew over and a female Merlin took a dive at the flock, sending them into a spiral as the kestrel zipped past! The blackbirds hunkered down in the nearby treetops to provide careful observation before I went into school.
Bethel Springs E.S.--Nature Trail
Feb 10, 2017
All birds reported? Yes
Comments: Very cold conditions made for frozen spots and packed down snow on the trail. Despite the cold, birds were very vocal and very active! Very cool to see a female American Kestrel in addition to lots of mixed blackbird flocks.
Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.4.2 Build 114
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 American Kestrel -- Female type took a dive at a RWBL flock!
1 Blue Jay
4 American Crow
3 Carolina Chickadee
6 Tufted Titmouse
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
3 Carolina Wren
3 European Starling
1 Dark-eyed Junco
2 White-throated Sparrow
4 Northern Cardinal
115 Red-winged Blackbird -- Estimate - 75 in one flock then 35 in another.
225 Common Grackle -- Estimate - Flocks in groups of 150, 25, 35, and 15.