Mariton: Spring Birding
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager. Photos by Carole Mebus.
There was a great turn out for Mariton’s first bird walk of the season. It was good to see people, and catch up on their adventures and sightings. The birding was pretty good too. Ruby-crowned Kinglets played hide and seek at in a spruce tree by the shop. In the same area we had another warbler that never gave anyone a good enough look to identify, but it was fun trying to keep it in the binoculars while trying to direct people to where we it was active.
“Oh no, warbler neck” was moaned more than once during the morning, but that subsided as the morning advanced. We got into a group of Black-throated Green Warblers. We also found groups of Yellow-rumped warblers. There was a pair of Turkeys in the meadows; the old tom was puffing and strutting for the hen as we watched them. In all we saw 29 bird species.
We also stopped to look at wildflowers and saw this Round-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica americana). This one had white petals, instead of the more common deep blue. Notice how the leaves resemble the three lobes of a liver, which explains the hepatica name.
We also spent time looking at this beautiful Early Saxifrage (Saxifraga virginiensis) on the North Fox Trail. There will be lots to see on the Wildflower Walk on Saturday, but bring your binoculars too because the birding should be pretty good too.