Thursday, June 16, 2011

Almost Summer Nature Hike

Montezuma Audubon Center

Making my way to the MAC stopped at the Cayuga-Seneca lock to view the eagles. Arriving around 7:15 AM found the two eaglets along with an adult in the nest.

A photographer was stationed across  the lock on a spit. Barge workers had told me that you can use this location to take pictures.

Arrived at the MAC at 9 AM. Workshop leader, Naturalist Dave Spier was assembling the group which consisted of 3 women (Kathy, Lauren, Nancy) and myself. After checking out the bird feeders we made our way towards the woods. Because of the mosquitoes and deer flies Dave suggested we skirt the woods by walking through the tall grass.

Pausing by the fire pit Dave pointed out a Northern red oak and a hickory tree with its shag bark.
Red Oak Leaf

Red Oak Bark

From the observation deck we viewed a bald eagle and an osprey and we heard a Pied-billed Grebe, Common Moorhen, and a Swamp Sparrow. To the west of the deck Kathy noticed a clump of yellow flowers. We walk over for a closer look. They were Coreopsis.

On the south edge of the walnut grove we heard a Field Sparrow. Then the first highlight of the day a Yellow Warbler heard first, then seen in the tall grass before it retreated to the woods.

 A Trumpeter Swam flew in and landed on the pond.

A question was asked about a plant. Dave identified it as a stinging nettle. He advised to keep a distance from it.

Dave drew our attention to the only Sugar Maple tree in the MAC complex.

A Great Blue Heron flew in over the ponds and settle in a tree.

Making our way back Lauren spotted a Black Swallowtail.

Returning to the front of the MAC building we watched the Purple Martins as they went in and out of the Martin House. Then the second highlight of the day when a Rose-breasted Grosbeak was spotted in a tree by the picnic bench.

Before departing Dave pointed out an Osprey nest east of the MAC across Rt. 89. Using the scope the nest appeared to have collapsed into itself. The following photos were taken from Colvin Marsh.

The weather fully cooperated to make this a fun trek around the MAC grounds.

Before heading home swung by Martens Tract.

There were two families of Tree Swallows using the bird boxes. Each box housed 2 young birds.

Birding - you gotta love it.

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