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Stebbins Refuge Morning Walk

Stebbins Refuge

May 15, 2024

Dan Burt

On a cloudy rain threatening morning with temperatures in the mid-60s, 11 eager birders ventured out on a 3 plus hour trek through the trails of Stebbins. The trail conditions were good for the time of year as well the biting insect level was tolerable. The woods were relatively quiet possibly due to the weather conditions though as the morning progressed and as the clouds showed some brief thinning the bird song and viewing increased. The total count including a couple of shorebirds seen in the West Road fields was 51 which is par for this time of year (IMO). Of note and probably number one on most people's list was the hearing of the Black-billed Cuckoo at the once known "Warbler Corner" to some long time Stebbings birders. Warbler viewing and count was low with sightings of the Canada, Magnolia and Northern Parula along with the more common ones. A variety of thrushes were heard and/or seen including great viewing of the Veery and more notably the Swainson's. Of the aforementioned shorebirds one was seen inside of Stebbins (which offered some debate regarding ID) and was finally settled upon as the Solitary sandpiper based on the keen eyes and detailed picture that Al and Lois provided. The other shorebirds seen on West Road included the Killdeer, Semipalmated Plover and Spotted sandpiper. All in all, everyone enjoyed the time in the woods.