Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Early on Saturday morning, October 15, birders for the monthly NTOS field trip arrived at the entrance of the Ellington Agricultural Center (EAC) and found that its gate was locked. That morning they learned that the field trip had been inadvertantly scheduled on the date of the EAC's Music and Molasses Festival, which was to begin later in the day, and so all the trails were closed. Plan B was soon formed and pressed into service. Frank Fekel stayed near the EAC entrance for a time to redirect birders, who quickly drove to the east parking lot of nearby Radnor Lake State Natural Area.

Excellent fall weather produced a pleasant three hour walk around Radnor Lake, and 7 birders were able to discover 39 species, including residents, migrants, and winter visitors. Although only 6 species of warblers were found, everyone enjoyed good looks at fall plumaged BAY-BREASTED WARBLERs. Other highlights included YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, SWAINSON'S THRUSH, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK. The most frustrating sighting was a flock (or perhaps a couple flocks) of ducks that flew above the lake several times and almost directly overhead at one point, but which could never be identified as to species.

The bird list from Radnor Lake follows:

Canada Goose 48
Wood Duck 22
American Wigeon 1
Ring-necked Duck 1
Pied-billed Grebe 4
Double-crested Cormorant 2
Great Blue Heron 4
Turkey Vulture 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
American Coot 5
Belted Kingfisher 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 7
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2
Downy Woodpecker 8
Northern Flicker 3
Pileated Woodpecker 3
Eastern Wood-Pewee 2
Eastern Phoebe 2
Blue Jay 6
Carolina Chickadee 12
Tufted Titmouse 7
White-breasted Nuthatch 8
Carolina Wren 11
Golden-crowned Kinglet 2
Eastern Bluebird 7
Swainson's Thrush 1
American Robin 2
Cedar Waxwing 32
Tennessee Warbler 2
Magnolia Warbler 3
Bay-breasted Warbler 5
Palm Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 22
Black-throated Green Warbler 5
White-throated Sparrow 1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1
Indigo Bunting 3
Brown-headed Cowbird 2