Sunday, April 01, 2007

Early Spring Birding at Kenilworth

This morning I birded at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens for the first time in a while. The gardens were quiet as usual. Except for the walk to and from the Deanwood Metro station, and the occasional low-flying helicopter, I would hardly know I was in a city while I was there. Today was overcast and cold, so the birds seemed a bit less active than yesterday.

The area around the lily ponds was mostly quiet, but the activity picked up near the boardwalks. I spotted a bald eagle as it landed in some trees on the other side of the marsh. Near the boardwalk junction, two eastern phoebes were gathering nesting material. It looked like they were building a nest under the boardwalk, but I cannot be sure. Also near the junction, I was surprised by a beaver, which was swimming and slapping its tail on the water close to the boardwalk.

Out in the marsh, a couple ospreys called and wheeled overhead. Swallows also have returned to the marsh. I saw more northern rough-winged than tree swallows. A few northern rough-winged swallows flew so close to the boardwalk that my binoculars couldn't focus on them. Wood ducks were busy flying back and forth. A few jet-black double-crested cormorants were perched on a log.

As I started down the river trail, a small flock of northern pintails flew overhead. (This was the first time I have ever seen pintails in D.C.) On either side of the trail there were singing sparrows - mainly white-throated, song, and swamp. Carolina chickadees were singing, and even a winter wren broke into song. Close to the end of the trail, a hermit thrush sang, but weakly, and I saw the largest group of yellow-rumped warblers that I have seen in the District all year.

Sure enough, northern flickers were abundant, though I did not see as many as I saw yesterday at the Arboretum.


Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Northern Pintail
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Carolina Wren
Winter Wren
Northern Mockingbird
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Carolina Chickadee
Blue Jay
Fish Crow
European Starling
House Sparrow
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird