A cold, dark, snowy morning brought five birders out to Algonkian Park on February 13 for a couple of hours of birding led by Bryan Henson and Gerco Hoogeweg. Before the walk started, Barred Owls, a Great Horned Owl and a Wild Turkey were calling from the Maryland side of the Potomac River. We started our walk in the parking lot finding many sparrows and common year-round birds like Northern Cardinals, Carolina Wrens and a Tufted Titmouse. As we walked down the path, we found a variety of woodpeckers and many of our wintering species including Brown Creepers, Golden-crowned Kinglets and Yellow-rumped Warblers. At the end of the trail, caught glimpses of Hooded Mergansers, Mallards, Wood Ducks and a Belted Kingfisher. On the way back to the parking lot, we spotted a Sharp-shinned Hawk flying towards the eponymously named Sharpshin Island in the middle of the Potomac. As we approached our cars, Gerco spotted some waterfowl — turns out we found several more Hooded Mergansers and a beautiful male Common Goldeneye. It was a very nice way to end the walk.
All told, we found 37 species on our chilly jaunt around Algonkian Park. The complete list of species for the walk can be found on eBird at: https://ebird.org/checklist/S102555372