Spring Bird Walk at Marble Woodland Property – Saturday, May 13th, 2023

By Ken Allison

Twenty participants came out for the first-ever MVFN walk at this new reserve administered by the Mississippi and Madawaska Land Trust. This is a beautiful property with a mix of habitats, varying from open meadows to mature mixed forest and wetlands.

The weather was clear and sunny and birds were singing all around us. It was cool early in the morning which kept the blackfly numbers down. Unfortunately, it was difficult to get good looks, or any look at all, at many of the birds as the tree leaves had really expanded in the past few days. So, it was mainly a “birding by ear” morning.

Sharp-shinned Hawk, Dan Vasiu

Highlights were a pair of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers excavating a nest. We got good looks at the male as he repeatedly brought sawdust to the hole opening. A couple of very cooperative White-crowned Sparrows perched up for prolonged views in full sunlight. As we were getting back to the parking lot and were out in the open meadows, we had a small hawk movement fly through, with a good view of Sharp-shinned Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Turkey Vultures and, after some of the group had left, a beautiful adult Bald Eagle.

White-crowned Sparrow, Michel Gauthier

Thanks to all who came and, especially, to Michel Gauthier, Rémy Poulin and Bob Kennedy for helping to show birds to people further back in the line.

In total, we recorded 157 birds of 58 species:

Canada Goose 2 Turkey Vulture 4
Mallard 5 Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
Ruffed Grouse 3 Bald Eagle 1
Mourning Dove 6 Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Wilson’s Snipe 1 Broad-winged Hawk 1
Solitary Sandpiper 1 Barred Owl 1
Green Heron 2 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 6
Downy Woodpecker 2 Purple Finch 2
Hairy Woodpecker 1 American Goldfinch 4
Northern Flicker 2 Chipping Sparrow 1
Least Flycatcher 1 White-crowned Sparrow 3
Eastern Phoebe 2 White-throated Sparrow 2
Great Crested Flycatcher 1 Song Sparrow 4
Blue-headed Vireo 1 Swamp Sparrow 2
Red-eyed Vireo 1 Red-winged Blackbird 3
Blue Jay 12 Common Grackle 8
American Crow 3 Ovenbird 4
Common Raven 1 Northern Waterthrush 1
Black-capped Chickadee 9 Black-and-white Warbler 4
Barn Swallow 2 Tennessee Warbler 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1 Nashville Warbler 4
White-breasted Nuthatch 2 Common Yellowthroat 1
Brown Creeper 1 American Redstart 2
House Wren 1 Magnolia Warbler 1
Winter Wren 4 Black-throated Blue Warbler 1
Gray Catbird 3 Black-throated Green Warbler 2
Brown Thrasher 1 Scarlet Tanager 2
Wood Thrush 5 Northern Cardinal 1
American Robin 6 Rose-breasted Grosbeak 6


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