04/28/11 – Peach Hill Park Hike

Blue-winged Warbler

You would think after two days, not much would change at the same location.  Well, at this time of year, everyday can be drastically different depending on what is flying through the area.

As I stepped out of my car, the change was apparent.  Immediately, I was greeted by my first of season gray catbird in the parking lot.  Seconds later, I heard the familiar song of the blue-winged warbler.  I walked over to where I heard him, and sure enough, I found him in one of the trees!  He wasn’t alone either, as two yellow warblers also flew through.

I followed the same loop as two days ago, starting with the red trail from the parking lot.  Not far up the trail, I found a blue-gray gnatcatcher hopping around on a nearby tree branch.  He was pretty high up, but I still took pictures.  One thing that I noticed is that the bugs were much more abundant than earlier this week.  Good thing I brought my bug repellant!

As I was swatting the bugs from my face, I saw two hawks coming towards me.  It happened very quickly, and I wasn’t able to adjust in time to get good shots.  After a little debate on whatbird.com, I am going to have say they were both cooper’s hawks, one adult and one juvenile.

House Wren

After that, the sun went behind the clouds, and I began to wonder if it was a good idea to go hiking with all the rain we were getting.  Thankfully, things held up and cleared up towards the end of the hike.

Before that though, I was able to photograph a house wren, some more catbirds, and I got a better shot of a field sparrow.  Not bad for begin there for an hour again!

When the sun came back out, the sky looked very dramatic, so I switched gears to take some scenery shots.  I will post those later.  After taking those, I packed it up thinking I was finished.  Boy, I was wrong.

As I pulled onto to Edgewood Drive to get back onto the Salt Point Turnpike, the large puddle of water on the side of the road had three solitary sandpipers in it!  They were not there when I drove past it on my way into the park.  I pulled over and unpacked my camera again to take plenty of photos.  It was a great way to finish the day.

Full Sighting / Sounds List:

  1. Cooper’s Hawk (one juvi, one adult)
  2. Red-tailed Hawk
  3. Solitary Sandpiper (first of season sighting, 3 on road near entrance to Peach Hill)
  4. Mourning Dove
  5. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  6. Downy Woodpecker
  7. Northern Flicker
  8. Blue Jay
  9. American Crow
  10. Tree Swallow
  11. Black-capped Chickadee
  12. House Wren
  13. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (first of season sighting)
  14. Wood Thrush (heard only, first of season)
  15. American Robin
  16. Gray Catbird (first of season sighting)
  17. Northern Mockingbird
  18. Brown Thrasher
  19. Blue-winged Warbler (first of season sighting)
  20. Yellow Warbler
  21. Common Yellowthroat (heard only, first of season)
  22. Eastern Towhee (heard only)
  23. Field Sparrow
  24. Song Sparrow
  25. Northern Cardinal
  26. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (heard only, first of season)
  27. Red-winged Blackbird
  28. American Goldfinch
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