Bird walk participants had a great morning of birding at Banshee Reeks on a cold and rainy World Migratory Bird Day (May 8). The day started out very rainy, breezy and chilly with the temperature around 47 degrees. Despite the inclement weather, 19 birders turned out to see the beautiful birds. We split into two groups in the parking lot, with Jane Yocom and Dori Rhodes leading a group of eight participants, and Mike and Luke Scott leading a group of seven. Before we left the parking lot, both groups were treated to a nice view of a Northern Parula in a tree along the driveway.
Jane and Dori’s group didn’t get very far along the driveway when we found a male and female Orchard Oriole in the same tree in the meadow. Everyone got a nice long look before they flew off. Then, to our surprise, they were replaced by a gorgeous male Baltimore Oriole. During our walk we came upon several small flocks of warblers close to the trail with multiple Black-throated Blue Warblers and American Redstarts. Numerous Prairie Warblers were heard but never seen. As we finished up our walk going by the Springhouse we located a Magnolia Warbler and then a very cooperative Black and White Warbler hanging out in a tree right off the trail giving us great looks even without our binoculars! This group found a total of 53 species of birds.
Some of our highlights for the group led by Mike and Luke included four Scarlet Tanagers and a Veery seen on the Cathedral trail, both of which were “lifers” for most of the group. Raptors included two Bald Eagles, two Osprey, and both a Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawk. We also observed a solid variety of warblers: Ovenbird (1); Black-and-white (3); Common Yellowthroat (10); American Redstart (1),;Magnolia (1), Chestnut-sided (1); Black-throated Blue (5); Prairie (9); and Black-throated Green (1). The complete list of birds for this group can be viewed on eBird at https://ebird.org/checklist/S87438786.