Mariton: Giving Pond Field Trip

May 8, 2014

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

We had a great morning of birding at Giving Pond on Tuesday.  We spotted over 50 species.  This is one place to see Warbling Vireos and Yellow Warblers and we got to hear and see a lot of them.  We also saw both Baltimore and Orchard Orioles.

MEBUS SolitarySandpiperCanalBedJugtownHillRoadArea0506

We found this Solitary Sandpiper near a puddle in the dry canal bed.  Because of the water we saw Green Herons, Rough-winged Swallows and Ospreys.  We saw three different Bald Eagles of different ages.  Folks helped me distinguish the field marks of the different years, which is easy if you know where to look.

Besides all of the Yellow Warblers, we saw or heard Worm-eating Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, Black and White Warblers, Redstarts, and Yellow-rumped Warblers.  The highlight of the day came near the end when we found a very cooperative Chestnut-sided Warbler.  It didn’t pose for a photo, but everyone got a good look at it, and its distinguishing features.  While we have heard this species on walks, getting a good look has always been another matter.

Our group uses the term “Worth the Price of Admission” to describe the highlight of an outing, either personally or collectively.  It is a humorous honor, since the walks are free and the price of admission is simply getting up in the morning and getting to the location.  The selection of the honor is pretty whimsical.  It could be a seldom seen species.  Or, it could be a species that we have seen dozens of times, but on a particular outing it was singing exuberantly.  Sometimes it is a species that has been elusive for one of the group.  When they finally see it, it is an accomplishment for the entire group.   I think everyone agreed that The Chestnut-sided Warbler was definitely the “Price of Admission” bird for our Giving Pond excursion.