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DVOC Field Trip Report

September 11, 2010 (Saturday)
Fort Washington State Park

Leader: Jane Henderson

Saturday, September 11 dawned cool and sunny, and the warblers and other migrants turned up to celebrate with us at Fort Washington State Park. I’d birded the park every day during the previous week, and the birding had been very slow. I was nervous about whether we’d have some migrants for everyone to get good looks at. I was not disappointed.

We began the walk on the grass hillside next to the hawkwatch deck at Militia Hill. People were already there and scanning the adjacent trees when I arrived at 8:00 AM when the walk was to begin. People were calling out, “Black-throated Green, Black-and-white, Redstart, Pewee.” So we stayed in that spot for a few minutes, waiting for everyone to turn up, before we headed up Ridge Road to make a long loop around the park.

At that point we had 25 or so participants, including two youngsters, and decided to split the group. Rich Conroy agreed to lead one group, and I set out with the other. But it wasn’t long before the two groups merged around the first flock of migrants on the way up the road. By the time we had finished the walk, around 11:00 AM, we had seen 11 warbler species: Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Blackburnian, Black-throated Green, Tennessee, Nashville (many), Northern Parula, Black-and-White (many), American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Ovenbird.

Other migrants included: Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Eastern Pewee, Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Scarlet Tanager.

At the conclusion of the walk, we saw a small kettle of Broadwing Hawks, one Bald Eagle, one Osprey, and Black and Turkey Vultures from the hawkwatch deck.

Everyone got good looks at the birds. We were all happy to have had such a good day at our local park.