By Sally O’Byrne, Field Trip Leader and former DOS President
Photos by Kathy Barrowclough, DOS Member
The Delaware Bird-A-Thon walk at Alapocas Woods on May 8 hit the best weather of the day. We had 10 participants who worked together to find 57 species. Other than the Wood Ducks on the Brandywine River, the walk was dominated by songbirds, with an excellent mix of migrants and nesting birds. Along the river we were serenaded by Warbling Vireos and saw Rough-winged Swallows enter nesting holes in the abandoned factory walls. Under the cliffs we watched Baltimore Orioles chasing each other as they carried grasses in their beaks. We found 2 pairs of Orchard Orioles, and watched as one built a nest.
In the woods, we had a great comparison of Wood Thrush, Veeries, and Swainson Thrush, and the similar looking Ovenbird. We heard Scarlet Tanagers throughout the walk, and got great looks at a couple. A Rose-breasted Grosbeak was heard in the same place it nested a few years back, but no nesting behavior was found.
A total of nine warbler species were seen and/or heard and we had satisfying looks at most.
One memorable encounter was with a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk sitting in the forest, allowing for very close looks. All in all a very good walk, and an introduction for many of the group to one of my favorite walks.
- Sally O’Byrne