Mariton: Birding at Nockamixon

June 4, 2014

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

Our weekly Bird Walk series ended at Nockamixon State Park.  This is one place we usually see Prairie Warblers and hear White-eyed Vireos, along with lots of other interesting birds.  We are a week later than past years, so birds are a lot harder to find behind the leaves.

 MEBUS PrairieWarblerFishingPierNockamixonSP0528

We did hear a number of Prairie Warblers, but we couldn’t find them.  Carole took this photo on last year’s walk.  The Prairie’s song is buzzy series of notes climbing the chromatic scale.  It is really an interesting song, and because it is ascending, it is an uplifting song.

 MEBUS WhiteEyedVireoNockamixon0501 (2)

White-eyed Vireos are an extremely hard bird for me to find.  You can hear them singing their Quick, gimme a raincheck quick, and it sounds like they are only a few feet away.  They get into the thickest tangles of vines and brush and I just can’t seem to find them.  A couple people did see one for an instant.  The photo above is from Carole’s archive.

 MEBUS IndigoBuntingNockamixonSP0603

The Indigo Buntings were a lot easier to see, and we took every opportunity to view them.   We also saw Cedar Waxwings, Rough-winged Swallows,  and Great Blue Herons.  We had a couple mystery birds.  There are usually a few, but we had a bird perched on a tree top for the longest time that we just couldn’t pin down.  The light wasn’t great, and it was pretty far away.  We also heard a warbler, that no one recognized.  We listened to a variety of songs on smart phones and nothing matched the song we were hearing.  Oh well, that is part of the challenge of birding.

At the end of the series we end the outing with a picnic.  We found a pavilion in view of the lake and shared stories and plans for our respective summers.  Birding locations were offered for next year.  I really liked expanding the series to six weeks this year, and I think we will continue that next year, but we will end up at a location farther north to try to follow the spring.