Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Rock Creek Park

I covered the ridge and maintenance yard areas at Rock Creek Park this morning. The park was not quite in full-migration mode, but there were still a number of good birds to be seen. Yellow-rumped warblers were dripping from the canopies in places, or at least it seemed that way. Their songs could be heard everywhere I walked. Ruby-crowned kinglets were singing in many areas as well. A few black-and-white warblers and a northern parula were working the trees on the bridle path near the horse center. Further down the bridle path towards picnic areas 17/18 were a veery and hermit thrush, with wood thrushes and ovenbirds singing in the distance. Black-throated green warblers sang near the picnic areas, but none showed themselves. A few palm warblers, a red-eyed vireo, and a great-crested flycatcher sat in a tree near the equitation field.

The maintenance yard was full of goldfinches. There must have been several dozen gathered in one big flock in the trees above the marble blocks. All of them were chattering noisily. At least one blue-winged warbler sang from the shrubs in the back corner, but it did not come out for a viewing. Oddly enough, two swamp sparrows were working the slope below the porcelainberry vines; usually I would expect them in a wetter habitat.

Nature notes: One red fox was visible in the woods between the equitation field and picnic areas 17/18. ... Horsechestnut trees seem to be very popular with songbirds of all types right now. I guess they must be producing a fruit that attracts either birds or insects for birds to eat right now. ... The woods and meadows are covered with garlic mustard.

The place names given above refer to the names given to sites in Rock Creek Park by park staff and birders. To see the locations of most, refer to the park map (pdf).


Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Carolina Wren
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
European Starling
House Sparrow
Red-eyed Vireo
American Goldfinch
Blue-winged Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Palm Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird