Mother’s Day Nature Walk

Small American Toad
Small American Toad

We had a misty start to our walk as we sat and listened to the Indigo Buntings singing back and forth to each other. With the leaves mostly out on the trees it was clear from the start that we were going to have a hard time seeing every bird we could hear!  Luckily out of the 28 birds we saw or heard, a few of the colorful little beauties made a brief appearance.

 

Indigo Buntings (males) are a brilliant iridescent blue, and nest in good numbers every summer in the park. I don’t have a good picture of my own, so I will borrow this one from Wikipedia

Indigo bunting male
Indigo bunting male

When they catch the light they are dazzling, and such a joy to watch singing. They like to sing from medium-height exposed trees, and they love the “edge” habitat of a park like Colmar Manor which has a nice mix of grass, small trees, bushes and large trees. In past summers I have been able to identify as many as 7 different males singing to defend their territories throughout the park.

Other birds that we could observe singing included a Baltimore Oriole, a Northern Parula, and an Acadian Flycatcher. There were quite a few warblers that were singing up high enough that we couldn’t spot them. Walking out to the confluence of Dueling Creek and the Anacostia, we were pleased to find two Solitary Sandpipers, and while my picture isn’t great, they may look familiar to you. They are not uncommon in the mudflats of this area during migration.

Solitary Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper

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