BOGS Elijah Bristow, July 14, 2016
ELIJAH BRISTOW PARK, July 14, 2016
Bristow Park is always one of my favorite places to go and I think many of our group enjoy it a lot too.
While we do not find a great number of species here, the snags along the little creek and its swollen pond areas, as well as the meadow bordering the creek on one side provide good opportunities to learn the songs of some of the Flycatchers and Finches.
Our plan was to walk slowly and listen especially for fly catchers as well as other songbirds. The group was quiet and focused as we proceeded along Kimbal Creek (local name). Quite a few Lesser Goldfinches were in the field, but not many fly catchers were heard or seen this year.
I spotted a large Raptor way across a farmer's field, sitting on a fence post and we struggled for some time
to identify it. Our photos gave us a little more detail and we determined that it was a red-shouldered hawk.
At the same location someone spotted a dove-like bird above us in a tree. This one also took us a little while to identify but it was finally determined to be a band tailed pigeon. A few of us saw a Quail with I think four babies which crossed the trail in front of us. The adult poked out to look at us twice more, along with one of the chicks, but we did not see them more than that.
Proceeding slowly as we did, it took a long time to get back to the cars, which was fine.
We still had about an hour, so we continued on the west side of the road following the Creek Downstream. I'm really glad we did partly because, as several people commented, it's just really beautiful in there.
I am so glad we decided to use the last hour of our walk to follow the creek trail downstream because there is a Cascara bush a short distance down that way and just like last year, this bush was a magnet for numerous bird species! The bush is at one edge of a somewhat circular meadow about 300 feet around. The trail makes a chord cutting across one small arc of this meadow. The Cascara bush is very near the trail. As we entered the meadow we were greated by a Robin at the Cascara bush.
A few snags are clustered at the farthest forward end of the meadow and as usual there were Flycatchers and other birds. This year we did not see a Red-breasted Sapsucker nor a Hairy Woodpecker there as we had last year. Around the perimeter of the meadow, we saw American Goldfinches, Cedar Waxwings, and a male Purple Finch, which we struggled to ID; (in the snags with the flycatchers).
At our farthest point along the trail following the creek downstream, a juvenile Song Sparrow came flying right up to some of us with a caterpillar in its bill. This young bird did not seem to know to be afraid of us, so even while we were moving about quietly it sat where it was, quite close to us. My photos of this bird were my favorite of the day.
On our return walk back to the cars, as we passed the Cascara bush again, we saw a brilliant Western Tanager male.
There was also a bird singing a short song which was fairly loud, repeating it again and again. The song was familiar
to me. It was one I have learned only in the last two years. I thought it might be a Warbling Vireo.
It took us a long time to finally get a good look at the bird, which several of us managed to do. Although it was moving about too rapidly for either Don or myself to get a photo of it, we did see it well enough to verify my first impression - Warbling Vireo. Because the bird was being so vocal and was so close to us and because it took us so long to get a good look at it, there was a rush of satisfaction among a good handful of us once we saw it clearly and identified it.
BIRD LIST FOR EJIJAH BRISTOW PARK TRIP
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