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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Art McMorris

Saturday May 20, 2006 - RIDLEY CREEK STATE PARK

Today was a beautiful day for birding. It was 50 degrees and overcast when we stared at 6:30 AM, but after a few light sprinkles, it cleared up and by the time we were finished at 1 PM it was nearly 70 degrees. We birded the bridle trail in the northern part of the park. This trail with its many branches follows Ridley Creek and its small feeder streams for much part of its length, and goes through hardwood forest, pine plantations, fields, old fields and scrub/shrub habitat. Most of the breeders were in and singing on territory, and a fair number of migrants were also seen, giving us good numbers and variety of birds. Altogether we tallied 56 species. Breeders seen and heard included Acadian and Great Crested Flycatcher, White-eyed and Red-eyed Vireo, Veery, Wood Thrush, 11 species of warbler including Kentucky, Hooded, Blue-winged and Chestnut-sided, Scarlet Tanager and Indigo Bunting. Migrants included Canada Warbler, Northern Waterthrush and Swainson’s Thrush. Highlights included several Kentucky and Hooded Warblers, two Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Scarlet Tanager, great looks at Canada Warblers, an Indigo Bunting in perfect light, a strikingly-colored Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and a very cooperative Swainson’s Thrush. The biggest miss was Louisiana Waterthrush: these early breeders stop singing and become much harder to find at this time of year.

Birds seen and heard (56 species):

Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Canada Goose
Red-tailed Hawk
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Chimney Swift
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
White-eyed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Swainson’s Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Cedar Waxwing
Blue-winged Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Black-and-White Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Waterthrush
Kentucky Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Canada Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Eastern Towhee
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch