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Stebbins Refuge Morning Walk

Stebbins Refuge

April 24, 2024

Lois Richardson

Though forecasters predicted rain for the morning, thankfully they were wrong (again).  A Rose-breasted Grosbeak greeted us with its beautiful song soon after the walk began.  Green Herons were migrating in and we were treated to a flyover early in the walk and later spotted two more perched in trees on separate ponds.  For a short time it was like the "old days" as we bumped into a large feeding flock of Blue-headed Vireos, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Palm Warblers, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets.  Along Bark Haul Trail and West Rd Trail to the back culvert, the regulars made themselves known as we heard and/or saw Black-capped Chickadees, Carolina Wren, Northern Cardinals, and Tufted Titmice.  After checking out the new beaver dam and resulting pond, we returned to Pondside where swallows and Chimney Swifts were hawking insects.  Here we found many Tree Swallows, a few Rough-winged Swallows, and a single Barn Swallow.  A female Ring-necked Duck was feeding with the Mute Swans and Canada Geese.  There were also Double-crested Cormorants and Wood Ducks. A final stop by the Bald Eagle's nest gave us scope views of the female on the nest with occasional glimpses of an eaglet.  The male eagle stood regally across the pond.  Last bird for the trip was a newly arrived Warbling Vireo claiming his territory.  We had 6 participants that contributed to a total of 38 species.  There were also two new people that joined us.  One asked to see a Red-bellied Woodpecker and with the groups help, the request was granted - one of the joys of having club trips.  And a special thanks to Joanna, visiting from California, who kept the list.