Thirteen participants led by Jane Yocom, Mike Sciortino, and John and Kevin Denice showed up for the monthly bird walk on September 9 at Banshee Reeks. At the start of the walk the weather was nice, but quickly became warm and humid. The group walked along the gravel trail past the garden and went down to the Goose Creek overlook, then back up to the pond and to the parking lot. In total we walked a little over a mile and a half.
It had rained during the night, and the walk started with seeing some wet, scruffy Northern Mockingbirds. (We were lucky the trails were not muddy after all the rain.) Then we were all surprised by Common Ravens flying right over our heads and then continuing to fly by. We had 15 Ravens for the day, which is more than anyone in the group could remember seeing at one time. We also got very good looks at two Ovenbirds, and we had a group of Three Yellow-billed Cuckoos who posed for pictures. We saw a distant bird on a bare branch near the top of a tree that looked really big. It was facing away from us and looked kind of gray. We were all trying to decide if it was a hawk. However, it turned around and showed us its breast, and we realized it was a big Robin.
Other highlights included two Bald Eagles, an Osprey, a Cooper’s Hawk, a Prairie Warbler, an American Redstart, a Common Yellowthroat and six6 Bluebirds for a total of 44 species. The complete list of birds can be found on eBird at: https://ebird.org/checklist/S149439815.
In addition to the wonderful birds, we got to see a nice Northern Pearly Eye butterfly and a very interesting Cicada Killer. We also noticed that there were lots of fruiting plants including American Pokeweed and Muscadine.