The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 25, 2001


Winter wren is highlight of bird walk

On what started out as a cool, overcast morning, 23 early-rising birders turned out for the 30th annual Conservation Commission Spring Bird Walk on the Towle Conservation Land Sunday May 20, at 6 a.m. With cool, dry weather following a 90°+ heat wave in early May, migration had been erratic and somewhat retarded. Unlike the pesky mosquitoes, warblers and many other usual migrants were in short supply. Nevertheless some interesting and uncommonly seen birds were sighted.

One highlight was a Winter Wren singing from the top of a stump near the trail to Bingham Road. Another was a Cooper's Hawk zipping through the woods near the east edge of the main field. Finally, at the end of the walk, about half the group (the others having left earlier) was treated to a male Pileated Woodpecker working on a dead tree by the road adjacent to the parking lot, followed by a close fly-by of a Red-shouldered Hawk.

Altogether 42 species were seen or heard, one fewer than last year. These included 3 Great Crested Flycatchers, a second (heard-only) Winter Wren, several heard-only Wood Thrushes, 4 Eastern Bluebirds, 2 Blue-winged Warblers (one seen), 5 Ovenbirds (2 well-seen), 2 Pine Warblers, and 8 Baltimore Orioles. Four male Bobolinks were counted in the main field, down from six last year, but unlike previous years no females, which may not have arrived yet, were found. There were also treats for the botanically minded, including ladyslipper, bunchberry, and fringed polygala.

Next month there will be a return visit to the Towle Land as part of Biodiversity Days, the second weekend in June.

+YEAR+ The Carlisle Mosquito