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Ludlow Reservoir

Ludlow Reservoir

October 7, 2018

Tim Carter

Thirteen birders started out on this leisurely walk along the Ludlow Reservoir hoping to find some fall migrants, early winter birds (usually this trip get first of season Juncos for many of us) and perhaps some water fowl and raptors.  For the first quarter mile we had eerie silence and no birds.  I even joked that I hope we see "A bird."  Our luck soon changed as one of our first birds of a the day was a Kestrel on the other side of the reservoir that we could see in the scope and flybys of a Common Merganser and Kingfisher, who landed and also afforded good views through the scope.  There was also a grebe farther up the waterway, but we could not make out the type at that distance.  A group of 19 Ring-billed Gulls flew by.  As we proceeded up the path we were soon surround by chip notes and calls of a number of different warblers, many of whom would not stay still long enough to identify.  What we did ID in this group were Pine, Palm, Yellow-rumped and Blackpoll Warblers (we came across another cache of Blackpolls later on as well).  A late Phoebe, Red Breasted & White Breasted Nuthatches, Blue-headed Vireo and Ruby-crowned Kinglets were also seen.  We were then treated to great looks at a Swainson's Thrush, which was first spotted about 10-12 feet from us on the ground.  He stayed visible for many minutes.  

A group of Blue Jays crossed the path and a few minutes later we hear their calls mixed with the croaks of a Raven that they must have stumbled across.  We finally reached the farthest point that we were going to and found a number of great birds, including two Bald Eagles, one fishing and the other that landed in a tree and allowed us to scope him.  We also spotted 3 Turkey Vultures and distant Peregrine Falcon along with the grebe which turned out to be a Pied-billed Grebe, a Great Blue Heron and a Common Loon that eventually did a swim-by pretty close to us, affording great looks.  At this point we headed back and found another Swainson's Thrush, a Song sparrow (our only sparrow of the day) and a group of Black-throated Blue Warblers, as well as our third immature Bald Eagle.

All in all we ended up with 31 species, not counting the unidentified warbler species that were just moving around too quickly to ID.  Not a huge number, but we did get some really nice birds and some great looks at them.