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Castlewood State Park

10/8/06            8 am- 12 pm  46-70 degrees, clear and sunny

Leaders:  Sherry McCowan, David Rabenau and Margy Terpstra

Report by Margy Terpstra



We had a beautiful, crisp fall morning for our walk at Castlewood.  We 
started at the Headquarters building with our group of 15 participants, and 
walked the perimeter of the field.  Second stop was at the picnic area 
parking lot, where we went down to the creek and stood together for almost 
an hour watching continual activity of many species in the trees and in the 
creek.  Last area was the river trail.  We began at the boat ramp and went 
to the east along the trail, coming out into the field.  We headed back to 
the road and onto the west end of the river trail, finishing at the boat 
ramp.



A few highlights:



Standing at the creek, we saw a nice variety of birds.  We were in dappled 
shade, and many of the birds were in good light.  We had good looks at an 
Eastern Phoebe in beautiful fall plumage.  Two Summer Tanagers were spotted 
up high in a sycamore by Sue Gustafson and David Rabenau, to everyone's 
delight.  One was a young, orangey male, who bathed in the creek.  We also 
had our best looks here at Cedar Waxwings and a Nashville Warbler.



When we came out of the woods and into the field, at first we only saw a 
Turkey Vulture.  Then, Dan Terpstra called out, "Bald Eagle".  It was a 
mature bird, rising slowly below the tree line, and an unexpected surprise.



Three of us saw a very pale hawk being chased by a crow.  A brief look, but 
we agreed it was a possible Krider's Red-tailed Hawk.



We heard and saw a real flurry of activity by mixed species near the end of 
the walk.  Carolina Wren, Downy Woodpecker, Chickadees, Titmice, and a 
Black-throated Green Warbler, were in this flock, calling in alarm and 
getting very close to one area on a snag. We could see behind a tangle of 
vines, a hole about 12" in diameter, 25 feet up.  These observations 
indicated to us a possible Eastern Screech Owl.  I just wished we could have 
seen it and added a life owl to the list of another in the group, Essa 
Durvey.



There was one fellow in the group named Bob, visiting from California.  He 
told us a couple stories of his experiences with maintaining a Western 
Bluebird Trail of 200 nest boxes in Orange County.  He happily left with 6 
life birds, one being Eastern Bluebird.  He also appreciated the better pair 
of binoculars that Sherry lent him!



We saw a total of 35 species.  The list follows, in order seen/heard:



American Crow

Turkey Vultures

Downy Woodpecker

Carolina Chickadee

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Tufted Titmouse

American Robin

Blue Jay

American Goldfinch

Pileated Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Carolina Wren

Belted Kingfisher

Song Sparrow

Red-shouldered Hawk (heard only)

Golden-crowned Kinglet

White-breasted Nuthatch

Cedar Waxwing

Housefinch

Eastern Bluebird

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Nashville Warbler

Northern Flicker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Northern Mockingbird

Eastern Phoebe

Mourning Dove

Summer Tanagers

European Starling

Empid. Species

Bald Eagle

Probable Krider's Red-tailed Hawk

Black-throated Green Warbler

Great Blue Heron

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