2016 Hashawha Environmental Area

November 19, 2016

The Carroll County Bird Club field trip to Hashawha Environmental Area wasn’t until 8:00 am. We met at Bear Branch Nature Center. Nine birders in all eventually
showed up.

While waiting for any stragglers, we birded around the nature center itself. The feeders were full, attracting the usual suspects, including White-breasted Nuthatch, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Darkeyed Junco, Blue Jay, Downy Woodpecker, Mourning Dove, and European Starling. Carolina Wren was heard as were some American Crows nearby.

Heading down the hill, someone spotted a Chipping Sparrow along the road. There were the usual Eastern Bluebirds as well. In the field on the right, a Song Sparrow appeared. Sitting in a tree on the far side of the same field was a Red-tailed Hawk. Walking in the direction of the pond, we added other birds to our list. These included Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, White-throated Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Mockingbird, and Golden-crowned Kinglet.
Bob spent a good bit of time examining a Carolina Chickadee that was bathing in the small stream that empties into the pond. In the end, it still turned out to be a Carolina Chickadee. In the vegetation around the pond proper, a Swamp Sparrow produced its distinctive chip. At some point, a Ring-billed Gull flew over. We also saw what may have been a Sharp-shinned Hawk, but it was moving too fast in the wrong direction to be identified with any certainty. It may also have been a small Cooper’s Hawk. (A bit later in our walk, we were able to add both of these species to our list with certainty.)

The large field farther on the way to the Martin Cabin produced (appropriately enough) a Field Sparrow. Other than that, however, most of the birds noted here were flying over. These included Turkey Vulture, Canada Goose, and Fish Crow. There was one Hairy Woodpecker in a tree.
The remainder of our walk back to the nature center was rather uneventful. Either that, or else my mind had wandered off somewhere else. Bob was a bit disappointed that we were unable to add more new arrivals to our list. It was fairly warm weather though which made walking pleasant. Later in the day, a cold front did bring some new birds to our feeders at home. I spotted a male Purple Finch on the feeders. By the end of the day, sleet was falling.

Carroll County Chapter of Maryland Ornithological Society

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