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Weekly Report - 2018-01-19 - Winter Birding Heats Up!

For a morning with temperatures in the low 20s , the birding action was hot! Lots of birds singing springtime songs and even a few engaged in some territorial tussles!

I entered the trail shortly after sunrise to lots of chirping followed by White-throated Sparrows and Tufted Titmice singing their songs. Immediately upon my entry, a Red Fox ran across the meadow, making it's third consecutive appearance on my weekly morning walk before school. After snagging some photos, I continued down the trail following the sounds to the Spring Meadow Lane trail. I perched atop a manhole on the trail and stood silent as I observed two Carolina Wrens chasing after one another in what looked like a territory dispute. One of the birds even perched on top of one of our owl boxes to announce its presence! Then, a Tufted Titmouse was knocked off its perch by another that took a dive from a nearby branch.

These sights made for an entertaining stop on the walk, but the other star of the show was the sunlight that painted a dramatic scene on the trail. It seemed like the bird activity picked up in this area while the sunlight was striking the trees. I wonder if the warmth and light from the sun stirs things up in that area every morning. Either way, I am going to spend more time in this area during the sunrise to see if this is the case. If so, I have been missing out on some valuable birding opportunities right under my nose!

In addition to these sightings, I also heard one Red-shouldered Hawk on my walk. A distant calling bird, this is the third appearance of this bird on my morning walks since the beginning of December. This is a third for the winter season, but a first record of the species for 2018.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S42062334

Bethel Springs E.S.--Nature Trail Jan 19, 2018 7:16 AM Traveling 0.50 miles 46 Minutes All birds reported? Yes Comments: Walked to outdoor classroom and back, but spent a considerable amount of time standing on the manhole on the Spring Meadow Lane trail since it was super birdy. Temperatures in the low 20’s, but there was low wind and lots of sunshine! Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.6.2 Build 28 1 Red-shouldered Hawk 2 Red-bellied Woodpecker 1 Downy Woodpecker 1 Northern Flicker 4 Blue Jay 4 American Crow 3 Carolina Chickadee 6 Tufted Titmouse 2 White-breasted Nuthatch 1 Brown Creeper 3 Carolina Wren 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet 2 Dark-eyed Junco 9 White-throated Sparrow 1 Song Sparrow 3 Northern Cardinal 4 House Finch 2 American Goldfinch

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