Saturday, October 29, 2016

Feminist Bird Club Walk at Salt Marsh Nature Center

     My coworker and friend, decided to start a group for birding to inspire women to get outside, explore, and bird. The Feminist Bird Club is for also starting a conversation about women in birding and our safety in exploring our urban landscapes (because let's be real, ladies-- we have all had an uncomfortable moment out in the field, where we felt like our safety was at risk). It's not just for ladies, guys are welcome too, and on it's first walk, we explored The Salt Marsh Nature Center at Marine Park.
     Four of us spied 40 species of birds, many of us achieving life birds of our own (two for me!). We had a really great time  on such a comfy and beautiful autumn day- the weather could not have been better!
     We saw a lot, I snapped many photos of what I could, here are the better of the bunch (over 300). Enjoy!
We began with being greeted by an Eurasian Wigeon near the entrance to the trails.
First looks at a male Eurasian Wigeon. I have been hoping to see this guy and was pleasantly surprised when he flew in with two other American Wigeons, right in front of us. Life bird! Finally- I would always go to where they were reported and never get them, today it just came down from the sky right to where we were standing!
Across the water, the Eurasian (left) side-by-side with the American Wigeon (right). Both are beautiful birds, but the Eurasian is not a common bird to the states. Most Atlantic Coast individuals are birds from Iceland. On the Pacific Coast, they come from Siberia.
A female house finch, perches above the cove where the metal green bridge takes you onto the trails- where the Eurasian Wigeon has been continuously reported over the last week or so.
Also, bonus, a Green wing teal (front), female American wigeon (center), and male American Wigeon (back).
Eurasian in the late morning light...


Swamp Sparrow, just behind the green bridge- we also got a savannah sparrow in this area too.
We spent a lot of time on the green bridge, the longer we stayed, the more we saw... like a great blue heron who flew in, greater yellowlegs foraging in the falling tide, and sparrows darting in and out of the shrubs and grasses.
And the Eurasian wigeon made some nice close passes in the light, what a nice guy.

And a great egret came in and just as quickly left for a better fishing spot.
Lots of squabbling downy woodpeckers near the tree they have been excavating in recent times.

Not a bird, a mantid hangs out - insects were active as temperatures climbed in the the low 60's.
Almost snubbed this off as a starling as it flew towards us, but then peered at it as it flew past and noticed the tail was not starling, with white edges.... another lifer and great surprise-- and Eastern Meadowlark- who perched high for us to get some looks, through the tops of the grasses before diving down low, out of sight.
These birds will spend most of their time foraging on the ground, probing for insects, but also feeding on seed and grain.
A nice look to see some of the yellow on the belly, chest, and throat.
On our way out, a last look at a modest but beautiful female American Wigeon.
Was bummed to be left with 39 species when leaving-- lacking some pretty common birds like N. Cardinal, blue jay, or any corvid-- walked to the picnic tables to find 40 in the plantings of flowers, a common yellow throat. Yay!
Yay for a successful (and fruitful) first walk-- looking forward to the next!
Edits made: When you throw together a blog post fast... house finch and swamp sparrow corrections made, sheesh. ;)