First Nature Walk

Great Egrets on Dueling Creek
Great Egrets on Dueling Creek

Today was the most beautiful day we could have asked for to kick off our nature walk series!! Not a cloud in the sky, the day started cool and soon warmed. There were four of us from Mt Rainier and Cottage City to share the morning.


Starting at the top parking lot we headed down by the dredge ponds stopping often to share bits of history of the park and the bird sights and sound around us. It didn’t take long to spot one of our first early spring migrants – the Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher. This charming, tiny bird was calling all around us throughout the walk and we spotted maybe 5 of them.

We headed down to the river by the pathway and were surprised by the sight of an adult Bald Eagle perched on the opposite bank of the Anacostia. We watched him for a bit, and then he took off and flew low right over us. Our chatting dropped off and we watched him pass over in awed silence.


There was so much to observe! We found crayfish “towers” that looked very fresh.Crayfish Towers


We saw Blue Flag – our native wild iris – emerging, and Skunk Cabbage. There were turtles sunning themselves on the river banks, deer, and lots of birds. Here is a list of all the birds we saw and heard in just two hours this morning! Recent migrants have an asterisk*

Canada Goose
Double-crested Cormorant*
Great Egret*
Bald Eagle
Red-shouldered Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe*
Blue Jay
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow* Just arrived last night!!
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher*
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
American Goldfinch

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