Off the Beaten Path

5.1.2006, 830-1015 am
North Crum Loop
with Ben Ewen-Campen

Having an extra set of eyes and an extra dose of enthusiasm helps immeasurably, as Ben is far more willing than I to trample off the path to get a better look at something. That paid off pretty quickly, as I heard a robin-like song on the hill above Upper Wister Draw, that I called a possible Red-eyed Vireo, though I wasn’t confident with that at all, and Ben immediately charged up the hill to find it. After a few minutes, we found the bird, and my ID was wrong, it was actually a beautiful Rose-breasted Grosbeak, whose song I’ m not totally familiar with yet, this was the first time I’d found one in the Crum. I’m still working my way through all these robin-like songs

Rose-breasted Grosbeak, male. There were 6 of these in one tree in my backyard a few years ago, and I’d never seen them since, until today.

More off-trail exploring occured at the Wallingford Rd. Bridge, as we hacked our way through the stands of Japanese Knotweed to get better looks at Barn Swallows underneath the bridge. Sitting in the shade under the bridge and watching swallows swoop around was a thrill. Later I noticed that some of the fresh tracks below us on that bank were from deer.

Overall, a fairly short but productive day. Speaking of being productive, I need to get a lot of work done right now…

  • 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak – male singing in Upper Wister Draw, eventually tracked down and good looks obtained
  • 1 Great Crested Flycatcher – calling across the creek from Wister Forest, got great looks too
  • 3 Eastern Kingbird – one very tame male above the Wallingford Rd bridge that even revealed the red crown, and two calling at Upper Wister Draw
  • 2 Wood Thrush – Wister Forest, Upper Wister Draw
  • 1 Gray Catbird – Wallingford Rd Bridge
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