Date: 10/21/19 12:17 pm
From: bob augustine <augustinebob8...>
Subject: [MDBirding] Red Gate Park
On Saturday afternoon (Oct. 19) , I decided to explore this new park,
formerly a golf course (off Avery Road near Norbeck Road in Rockville.).
From the parking area I headed for the two ponds to the west. walking all
around both which did not cause concern among the dozens of Canada Geese in
the water. I found one Savannah Sparrow, several Song Sparrows, a Common
Yellowthroat, and two Phoebes. Along the trail to the SW, I had two
Golden-crowned Kinglets, two Chipping Sparrows. and a few Yellow-rumped
Warblers. I then headed over to the western boundary along which there were
several birds including three Ruby-crowned Kinglets. I proceeded to follow
the western edge north. I found another small pond which, unlike the larger
ones, seemed to have many frogs. A Pileated Woodpecker flew N over the
central trail. Further down the trail I heard a Meadowlark call and was
surprised when four flew up into nearby pines. A few minutes later, a
Merlin streaked by heading S, probably one of those that roost across from
the boat dock at Lake Needwood. Probably the same bird flew by an hour
later heading N. This time it landed atop a spruce tree affording some
photos. I spotted a Red-tailed Hawk in about the center of the course
sitting in a tall tree. Probably the same bird was seen soaring a few
minutes later with two Ravens. A distant group of soaring vultures proved
to contain a Cooper's Hawk and a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Near the NW corner I found another pond and a Catbird. Following the
North boundary trail, I found a collection of birds at the outflow from the
pond. These included several Palm Warblers, a Swamp Sparrow, two Field
Sparrows, and a White-crowned Sparrow. At one point a Red-shouldered Hawk
flew over. On the way back, I had several Palm Warblers and heard a
twittering from some of the pines along the central trail that sounded like
Red Crossbills, but I never found any. A flock of Chipping Sparrows was on
the other side of the netting erected to protect cars in the parking lot
from errant golf balls. Not bad for two hours' birding.

I expect this property will prove productive, if it is birded a lot. At
nearby Gude Trail (Accessed from Dubuque Ct. off Indianola Drive) which
runs NE-SW along the N side of Gude landfill, three years of intensive
birding produced 166 species. I encourage everyone to try out Red Gate's
paved cart trails.

Bob Augustine

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