Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wheeler Wildlife Refuge
Decatur, Alabama
November 8, 2014

Seven NTOS members ventured to the refuge in Decatur, Alabama for our November field trip. We were met at the Visitor’s Center by Refuge Project Manager and longtime friend Dwight Cooley. It was a beautiful sunny morning and no sooner did we step out of our cars when the delightful song of Sandhill Cranes filled the air and treated us to great looks as they flew directly overhead. Our first stop was the observation tower at the Visitor’s Center. Highlights there included PINE WARBLER, SANDHILL CRANES, WOOD DUCKS, GADWALLS and AMERICAN WIGEON. Then it was onto Beaver Dam. Highlights here were HORNED LARKS, NORTHERN HARRIER, and a VESPERS SPARROW. Limestone Bay was our next stop where we were treated to GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 700+ WHITE PELICANS, LEAST and PECTORAL SANDPIPERS and a REDHEADED WOODPECKER. From there we enjoyed a delicious lunch at Greenbrier Barbacue…the hush puppies were plentiful and oh so yummy. After lunch we went to the opposite side of Limestone Bay where we found about 250 SNOW GEESE and about 4 ROSS’S GEESE among the group. Onward to White Springs Dike next where highlights included NORTHERN SHOVELER, GREAT EGRETS, a GREAT HORNED OWL, AMERICAN PIPITS and another 400 WHITE PELICANS. We ended our day back at the Visitor’s Center where we were treated to fantastic views of 3 adult WHOOPING CRANES right outside the observation tower. A wonderful ending to a great day. All tolled we had 69 species. The complete list can be viewed below.

Many thanks to go out to Dwight for a delightful bird filled day.

Complete trip list:

Snow Goose
Ross’ Goose
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
American Wigeon
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
American White Pelican
Double-crested Cormorants
Great Blue Heron
Great Egrets
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
American Coot
Sandhill Cranes
Whooping Cranes
Least Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Rock Pigeon
Great Horned Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Horned Larks
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
American Pipet
Cedar Waxwings
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Pine Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Field Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Cyndi Routledge