Mariton: Birding at Lake Nockamixon

May 29, 2013

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager.  Photos by Carole Mebus.

Our last Bird Walk of the spring was held at Lake Nockamixon State Park.  The weather forecast was once again ominous, but I thought we could get in two hours by tolerating some light rain.  I really wanted to visit this location with the group.  First, it is a good place to see Prairie Warblers.  Second, it was our last hope to actually see the elusive White-eyed Vireo. 

MEBUS CedarWaxwingFishingPierNockamixonSP0528

Cedar Waxwing

We had a great start to the morning when we saw several Cedar Waxwings.  Of course they posed on the top of cedar trees, but we got several eye-level views of them also.  Considering how active they were, we really didn’t hear their high pitched calls.  

 MEBUS EasternKingbirdFishingPierNockamixonSP0528-3

We also had a couple Kingbirds (above) perch at eye level only a few feet away. 

 The rain picked up sooner than I had hoped, but we still braved an open meadow and got a glance at a Pileated Woodpecker flying by.  A Yellow Warbler also appeared for a moment.  This is where the White-eyed Vireo started singing.  Only Bill saw the vireo before it disappeared again. 

 MEBUS PrairieWarblerFishingPierNockamixonStatePark0528

Everyone, however, got to finally see a Prairie Warbler (above) at the end of the walk.  (We heard them singing all morning.)  The song is a buzzy series of notes that chromatically climbs the scale.  Since they reside in brushy areas, it is often tough to see them in the tangles, but this one gave the group several views.

We usually end the birding series with a picnic lunch.  Fortunately, there was a covered picnic area where we could eat and watch a pair of Bluebirds on a nearby nest box.  Looking back on the five walks, we really saw a good representation of species, shared a lot of information, and found some dynamite places to go birding.