Thursday, September 20, 2012

Birding Eagle Creek Park

I didn't have high hopes for birding this morning, the high winds and mostly cloudy conditions were not conducive for finding warblers.  So, I met Eric Malbone at the handicap road hoping that we could find some shorebirds or gulls on the flats instead of looking for passerines.  We weren't disappointed, we were able to count 23 Franklin's Gulls and 1 Forster's Tern mixed in with the Ring-billed Gulls!  There weren't many shorebirds other than Killdeer and one Lesser Yellowlegs so we headed to the marina to look for warblers and other migrants.

Many of the 23 Franklin's Gulls mixed in with Ring-billeds.  Most of the ducks in front are Blue-winged Teal.
When we got to the marina the wind was still strong forcing the migrants that were around low and creating some nice photo ops.  We were able to photograph Bay-breasted, Tennessee, Cape May, and Nashville Warblers.  We also saw Blackpoll and Yellow-rumped Warblers as well as 5 Forster's Terns that flew by.  

First Fall Bay-breasted Warbler showing just a touch of bay!

First Fall Tennessee Warbler.
Since the wind was strong we decided to check the Skating Pond since it is a little more sheltered from the wind.  And boy were we glad we did; not only did we get some great birds we were able to photograph a few species bathing on the edge of one of the ponds.  We quickly found our best bird of the morning, a female Black-throated Blue.  It never stopped moving so the pics I got were pretty terrible but we got great views!

Our best warbler of the day, a female Black-throated Blue Warbler.  This bird was moving fast through the
undergrowth so I never got a decent picture.

When we got to the backside of one of the small ponds we found a flock of birds coming down to bathe and drink in the water.  We had great views of Gray-cheeked and Swainson's Thrushes, Veery, and Ovenbird.  We also found one Winter Wren which was my first of the fall and a bit early in my experience.
Gray-cheeked Thrush-my first decent picture of this species

Ovenbird taking a bath-we ended the day with 5-6 individual Ovenbirds


Evan Speck said...

That's as good as it gets for Gray-cheeked thrush!

Eric Ripma said...

Thanks, Evan! I was very happy to get that shot.