Bird Walks are back. It was a chilly morning, but we had a great outing. Right off the bat, we had Rufous-sided Towhees singing. Their Drink your tea-e-e-e-e song is so distinctive and is an easy song for beginners to learn. Towhees are sometimes very shy, and other times will display only a few feet away. I find them charming and enjoy their singing while I work on the trails or in the garden.
Ovenbirds also sang loudly and repeatedly around us. We did not see this large wood warbler, but its song is another one that is easy to learn and remember. Listen for an emphatic teacher, teacher, teacher. I love to hear these ground-nesting warblers. They need good ground cover in the forest to protect their nests from raccoons, opossums, and skunks.
We heard the beautiful Wood Thrush song, but not enough for people to learn its song. Several other birds just gave us a short sampling, including Black and White Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Scarlet Tanagers and Red-eyed Vireos. That is okay, there will be plenty of time this spring to see these birds (and many others) and hear their singing over and over.
We had the fortune of seeing a red fox trotting in the distance with what appeared to be a ground hog in its mouth. It was surely taking it to its den to feed its young. The fox was our worth the price of admission moment. It is a saying the group uses for those special times when we are in the right place at the right time to witness something truly spectacular in nature. Fortunately, it happens frequently on our Tuesday morning walks.
We also found time to admire some of the flowers that are blooming at Mariton right now. Foam Flower, White Baneberry and Blue Cohosh are in bloom. There are several Perfoliated Bellworts blossoming, but many more buds yet to bloom. Solomon's Seal is just starting to bloom. The Trilliums (White, Lemon and Stinking Benjamin) are in bloom, but beginning to fade a little.
Next week, we will be going to Giving Pond in Tinicum. We always see a good variety of species there. Call if you would like to join the group. 610-258-6574.