Date: 4/28/18 5:22 pm
From: <naomi_kestrel...> [hmbirds] <hmbirds-noreply...>
Subject: [HMBirds] Peebles Island field trip, 4/28
More than twenty birders met at Peebles Island on a cool damp morning that felt more like late March than late April. The clouds soon broke and we had lovely weather for our walk - unfortunately the birds thought it was too soon to show up. We had only one Palm Warbler - not one species, but a single bird! Very few other migrants - not even the ubiquitous Kinglets were here. Swallows were well represented in species if not number, with Barn, American Tree, and No. Rough-winged, plus a dozen or so Chimney Swifts. Despite raging waters we saw a few Spotted Sandpipers teetering along the shore.

Our most interesting sightings were of raptors. We had flyby looks at a Peregrine Falcon, Cooper's Hawk, and (probable) Red-tail. Two Osprey carried sticks to and copulated on a transmission tower near the south end of the Rt 32 bridge. It will be worth watching to see if this is a serious nest-building attempt, or just a young pair practicing. Next we particularly wanted to check the Bald Eagle nest on Second Island to confirm whether it had chicks. After watching the massive adult eagle in the nest, we could see two fluffy gray heads against her dark breast. One was noticeably larger than the other and bumped the smaller one when the adult appeared to be feeding it. For now at least the nest is not blocked by foliage and is very easily watched. Stop by and check the nestlings' progress through the summer!

We ended our walk with a surprising 45 species. It certainly didn't feel like we'd seen that many! Thanks to all who turned out and keep thinking SPRING!

Naomi Lloyd
West Sand Lake

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