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Fort River Refuge Walk

Fort River WMA

April 28, 2024

Beth Spirito and Tim Carter

The weather was cloudy and cool, with temperatures running in the mid-40s as thirteen members gathered in the parking lot.  While awaiting everyone’s arrival, we captured 15 species.  There was an abundance of Tree and Barn Swallows, and Red-winged Blackbirds.  Sparrows spotted were House, Song, and Field.  Woodpeckers seen were Red-bellied and Northern Flicker.  Flying overhead, we spotted Canada Geese, Wood Ducks, and a Red-tailed Hawk.  Other birds in the lot were Robins, Blue Jays, Eastern Bluebirds, Goldfinches, and Mourning Doves.

On the one-mile trail, we saw Swamp, Field, Chipping, White-throated, and Savannah Sparrows.  Woodpeckers identified were the Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied and Northern Flicker.  Other birds seen were Grackle, Eastern Towee, Phoebe, Brown-headed Cowbird, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Black-capped Chickadee, and Crow.

Our first and only warbler of the day was the Yellow-rumped!  The last platform on the trail didn’t dis-appoint with a beautiful view (through a scope) of an American Kestrel resting on its nesting box.  Continuing to the end of the trail, we had beautiful views of a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

The final stop for birding was the area on Moody Bridge Road by the pond and the fields.  Highlights there were another Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Brown Thrasher, and Belted Kingfisher.  Also spotted were Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, Starlings, Mallards, and Field Sparrows.  Flying overhead, we saw a Raven and a Turkey Vulture while walking back to our cars.

Great morning, great group of birders, and a total of 41 species for the morning!