A beautiful day on May 21 brought out 14 birders to enjoy the wonders of Bles Park for the final Celebrate Birds walk of 2023. We found 50 species of birds. The full list can be viewed on eBird at: https://ebird.org/checklist/S138674898. The walk started by finding some mimics with a Northern Mockingbird in the parking lot, Gray Catbirds in a nearby shrub, and a Brown Thrasher prowling the edge of the soccer field. While checking out the Brown Thrasher, we heard a Willow Flycatcher singing nearby.
Starting down the path, we found an American Toad and an Eastern Painted turtle that was digging, presumably to lay eggs.
As we rounded the marshy area, we found a Belted Kingfisher, heard a White-eyed Vireo and found several Cedar Waxwings. When we reached the confluence of Broad Run and the Potomac, we found a Northern Watersnake swimming on the Potomac. Walking through the woods, we found Acadian Flycatchers and heard Northern Parulas singing. But the clear highlight of the walk was that we found a Pileated Woodpecker nest where two young woodpeckers were waiting for food deliveries. We spent several minutes watching the wonderful action.
As we continued walking down the trail, we found an Ebony Jewelwing damselfly. These large damselflies have such amazing color!
As we ended the walk, we found an Osprey flying away. All in all, a nice walk at Bles Park with lots of different wildlife sightings.