A Short Walk In The Woods: Turkey Creek Sanctuary

We had some strong weather move through the area late on Saturday, so I was hoping for a small “fallout” of migrants Sunday morning. For my non-birding or novice birding followers, a “fallout” is when an event, such as a strong weather front or a storm forces birds to land, either to take shelter or to rest from the extra exertion. Often these birds will spend some time after the fallout foraging to get their reserves back up to continue their journey. Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be much of any fallout activity in the Sanctuary (though there were lots of windblown twigs, leaves and branches in places).

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Red-bellied Woodpecker enjoying the sunrise.

I’ve been having some issues with one of my knees, and by doctor’s orders I am limiting my walking distance and time until we figure out what to do; therefore, my outing on Sunday was abbreviated and I mainly stuck to the boardwalk.

I heard more Yellow Warblers high in the canopy (and may have glimpsed one), but otherwise it was still mostly the locals and winter residents. I heard just one Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and there was no evidence Gray Catbirds, so there are changes happening as daylight increases and temperatures rise.

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Northern Parula playing peek-a-boo with a leaf.

The best watching opportunity happened near the Pileated Woodpeckers’ nest tree, where I saw a total of three at once. One was on the nest tree while the other two (which I think are fledgling juveniles) chased each other around a nearby tree (which has a Red-bellied Woodpecker nest hole in it) and flew awkwardly in circles before heading north and out of sight. The other bird (one of the parents, I assume), stayed a bit longer before flying off in the same direction.

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Pileated Woodpeckers playing around a Red-bellied Woodpecker nest hole.

The new Floodplain Trail boardwalk I reported on last time is now 100% complete (though there is still a small cache of boards that need to be removed).

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Future civil engineer?

Since I didn’t walk the southern part of the jogging trail, nor go out by the weir and canal, this weekend’s list is shorter than might otherwise be expected.

  • Yellow Warbler ♫
  • Northern Parula
  • Black-and-white Warbler
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher ♫
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Black Vulture
  • Osprey
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Bald Eagle
  • Carolina Wren ♫
  • Black-bellied Whistling Duck
  • Mallard

I am looking forward to getting this knee issue resolved so I can resume “normal birding operations.”

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