Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November Bird Walk at Lake Arrowhead State Park

Flock of pied-billed grebes
Photo courtesy of Debra Halter

Closer photo of pied-billed grebes
Photo courtesy of Debra Halter
Last Saturday was the monthly bird walk at Lake Arrowhead State Park. We had a pretty good showing, with 6 people showing up, a couple of whom are new birders. It is nice to have new people because it helps me remember to enjoy the common birds that are not so common to the beginner. The walk doesn't get advertised very well, so it is unusual to have that many people come.

I'll lead with the good stuff. We had the largest flock of pied-billed grebes any of us had ever seen. I have seen as many as 5 or 6 at a time, but this group was more like 30 in number. Debra Halter was kind enough to take some pictures as I am sure there will be some push back from the eBird editor with a number that high.

The picture above is a good view of most of the flock (yes, the two birds in the foreground are coots, not grebes.) The picture to the right is a closer look at a few of the birds to show they are definitely pied-billed grebes. These are cute little birds--always nice to see them.

The weather Saturday was absolutely gorgeous, although a little more chilly than recent temperatures--upper 40's. The winter birds are definitely beginning to show up.

Here is a complete list of the birds we saw:

Great egret
Great blue heron
Double crested cormorant
Canada goose
American coot
Pied-billed grebe
White pelican
Ring-billed gull
Tern species (we couldn't get a good enough look at them to positively identify, although best guess is Forster's)
Ladder-backed woodpecker
Red-bellied woodpecker
Yellow-shafted flicker
Red-tailed hawk
Turkey vulture
Mourning dove
Northern mockingbird
American robin
Northern cardinal
Bewick's wren
Cedar waxwing
Yellow-rumped warbler
Orange-crowned warbler
Ruby-crowned kinglet
Eastern phoebe
Harris' sparrow
White-crowned sparrow
Song sparrow
House finch
Great-tailed grackle
Meadowlark species (no song)

Driving home, still in Clay County, I had a very good view of a Swainson's hawk and a couple of American kestrels.

Why not join us in December? Our next walk is December 10 at 8 AM.

Good birding!

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