While cooler temperatures prevailed for the early part of the hike, the bright sunshine warmed thing up nicely and made for a most pleasant walk.
The hike was done in two parts: the upper section – where several ponds, grapevines and a tree nursery are located, and the lower section – along the Potomac River.
The group meandered around the upper part of the winery grounds past the 10 acre Shadow Lake where the winery holds their summer concert series.
A plethora of wildlife was found throughout the 475 acres including some 56 different bird species spotted or heard by the sharp eyed/eared members of the group.
Spotted turtles were seen swimming in the larger pond or basking along the banks. Once past the large pond, the path lead up a small hill that afforded the group a nice overlook of the wineries many grapevines. On this pleasant sunny day, one could easily mistake the view for that of a California winery.
Contrast to the first half of the hike, this portion of the walk was much more wild and undisturbed. Many dragonflies, Swamp Sparrows and a Belted Kingfisher were found along the river.
The walk ended up going a little longer than expected but no one seemed to mind. Many of the participants were left asking when the next Tarara walk was planned.
Canada Goose, Great Blue Heron, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Solitary Sandpiper, Mourning Dove, Chimney Swift, Belted Kingfisher, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Blue-headed Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Common Raven, Purple Martin,Northern Rough-winged Swallow [NB], Barn Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird [C], Wood Thrush, American Robin [ON], Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, Northern Parula, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Ovenbird, Louisiana Waterthrush, Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Orchard Oriole, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow