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Birding with Jack


Master Naturalist Jack Chiles,

Master Naturalist Mike Petrick and

Dr. Wayne Meyer

Each Tuesday a team of experienced birders, including Master Naturalist Jack Chiles, traverse 35 miles of refuge roads and hiking trails, documenting every bird they encounter. This Bird Census is reported to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology for use in research, and each week we will bring you a link to their actual bird count, and a summary of their adventures.

Thank you, Bird Census Team!

**Turn Phone sideways prior to image enlargment!  Point to bird images for full screen view**

June 28: Bird Census Results 

Today was a very pleasant day for late June. The wind was light to calm. On the way to Meadow Pond we saw a pair of Prothonotary Warblers feeding their young at Deaver Pond. We also saw a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron there. We found a Green Heron at Meadow Pond. The American Lotus blossoms there are very impressive. There are still no mudflats and the only shorebirds we saw were a couple of American Avocets that flew from the crossover between Tern and Plover pads. A bird that had been very scarce the last few months, a Belted Kingfisher was at the low water crossing on Bennett. Purple Martins have mostly all fledged and we saw several flocks scattered around the refuge. We saw a total of 17 Painted Buntings. We finished the day with 61 species. Today's photos, Prothonotary Warbler, Great-crested Flycatcher and Red-headed Woodpecker. Thanks for looking.


Phothonotary Warbler

Great-Crested Flycatcher

Red-Headed Woodpecker
   Phothonotary Warbler           Great-Crested Flycatcher             Red-Headed Woodpecker


June 21: Bird Census Results 

Lake levels are still high with no mudflats visible. The only shorebird we had today was a lone Killdeer. We did an abbreviated census today due to the heat. We continue seeing Red-headed Woodpeckers at the first pond on Harris Creek Trail by headquarters. We saw a large number of Canada Geese, 184, spread out over the refuge.  We saw 5 Wood Ducks early on near the first pullout on Wildlife Drive. The singing Summer Tanager continues at the entrance to Meadow Pond Trail.  We saw a total of 7 Mississippi Kites spread out over the refuge.  We had a total of 71 Neotropic Cormorants. We finished the day with 53 species. No photo today due to internet problems. Thanks for looking.


June 14: Bird Census Results 

It appears summer has arrived a bit early this year but at least there was a good breeze early on which steadily increased as the morning wore on. The lake level is around 619.5 feet above sea level and is lapping at the pads. You cannot see the concrete divider on the north low water crossing so we decided not to go to the Goode area this morning. We started the day by going down part of Raasch Trail but did not locate many birds there. We then proceeded to Harris Creek Trail and found 4 Red-headed Woodpeckers in the area across the creek from the big Willow tree. The fields along Wildlife Drive did not yield much but Dickcissels and Red-winged Blackbirds. Around the pads Canada Geese and egrets were plentiful. We finished the day with 157 Canada Geese, 82 Snowy Egrets, 33 Great Egrets, 33 Cattle Egrets, 12 Little Blue Herons and 7 Great Blue Herons. We did not see a single shorebird today which is not surprising since there are no sandbars. We saw a Greater Roadrunner at the end of Sandy Point with a Rough Green Snake. We finished the day with 57 species. Today's photo, the American Lotus at Meadow Pond that are in full bloom. Best viewed full screen. Thanks for looking.

 American Lotus at Meadow Pond 


June 07: Bird Census Results 

The morning was cloudy and the temperature was very pleasant. We started the morning by walking to the pond near the photo blind on Harris Creek Trail. There was not much bird activity there but we did get some of the regulars, Indigo Bunting, Blue Grosbeak and Red-headed Woodpecker. We then proceeded to the Goode area and Dead Woman Pond. There we also did not encounter many species but did find a Red-tailed Hawk. Later as we traveled down Wildlife Drive we had a flyby Caspian Tern. We did not locate any shorebirds along Wildlife Drive. There were several American White Pelicans sitting off the end of Plover Pad. There we also saw a large light colored gull sitting near the end of G Pad, but it was too distant to tell what species it was. We don't normally see large gull species in June so we proceeded to F Pad to see if we could get a closer look but when we arrived there the gull had disappeared so we wound up not being able to identify the bird. On the far west side of the refuge we found a Black-and white Warbler and a Northern Parula. The young Red-shouldered Hawks near Martin Branch have now fledged but were in the tree near the nest. There was an immature Summer Tanager in a tree near the entrance to Meadow Pond trail that was busy preening and paid us no attention. We finished the day with 63 species. There are still a lot of wildflowers and the Lotus at Meadow Pond are blooming. Today's photo is the first spring male Summer Tanager that we watched preening. It will soon molt into the more familiar all red plumage. Thanks for looking.

  Male Summer Tanager


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