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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Connie Goldman
May 15, 2010
Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve
Beautiful weather and a congenial group of 14 people gathered for the Bowman’s Hill area trip. While gathering at the lower picnic pavilion of the wildflower preserve, first bird of the day appeared – a stunning male Magnolia Warbler! We would see or hear numerous other birds including Yellow-throated Vireo, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Chimney Swift, even before entering the preserve.
Once inside we lingered at the bridge listening to the morning bird chorus and watching birds. Species including Gray Catbird and Red-eyed Vireo came to this creek area to forage. Walking wooded trails got us sightings including Scarlet Tanager, Eastern Phoebe, and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird zipping through. Wood Thrush and Ovenbird seemed to sing from all directions. Veery Thrush scooted along in the trailside leaf litter keeping just ahead of us and giving good views. At a trailside pond we saw Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Eastern Wood-Pewee and numerous Blackburnians Warblers. As the sun warmed up the day, our warbler sightings increased. Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Northern Parula, and Yellow-rumped appeared in the cedars. Near the creek we heard Louisiana Waterthrush and Acadian Flycatcher. Though a Wood Duck seen earlier in the week did not show itself, a walk along another wooded trail rewarded us with a Swainson’s Thrush sighting. Outside the gate in the lower field again, highlights were the nesting Eastern Bluebirds, Tree and Barn Swallows, Common Yellowthroat, Field Sparrows, Indigo Bunting and Chipping Sparrow.
We proceeded across the road to the riverside at the Thompson Neely House. Here the high treetops were busy with birds. Lingering around the trail and picnic pavilions there got us multiple looks at Chestnut-sided, Canada, and Bay-breasted Warbler, the latter a special target for some on the trip. We made our way next up to Bowman’s Tower. Though reforestation progress has resulted in higher treetops here, some species often requiring “warbler neck” to view, seem lower down due the higher elevation. A Scarlet Tanager at eye level in the parking lot demonstrated this point as we arrived. We walked the parking area and access road here a bit, though winds were up, and the area was on the quiet side. Our final sighting of the trip was a male and female Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, seeming paired up. We got great looks at both birds at close range as they foraged together, perhaps energizing themselves for the nesting season ahead.
Our list for approximately 4 hours of birding was 70 species, as listed: