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Mariton: Variety and Unexpected Sightings

May 6, 2015

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

MEBUS CommonLoonMaritonBirdWalkGivingPond0505

We went to Giving Pond for this week’s bird walk.  I enjoy our trips here because of the variety and the unexpected sightings.  We had 39 species thanks to Erich’s tally.  The unexpected sighting was a Common Loon in breeding plumage.  While it isn’t unheard of to see Loons at this time of year, I certainly wouldn’t have predicted it.

MEBUS OrchardOrioleMaritonBirdWalkGivingPond0505

The most interesting thing to me was the number of Orchard Orioles.  We usually feel lucky to see one on this trip, but we got a couple of these brick-colored orioles that migrate up from Central and South America.

MEBUS BaltimoreOrioleMaritonBirdWalkGivingPond0505-3

We saw Baltimore Orioles also, but we expect to see them when we visit Giving Pond.  They really liked something in the seed balls of the Sycamore trees.  Both species of Orioles are dashing and vocal.  You would think it should be easy to see an orange bird in green foliage.  It isn’t.  When you learn their song, you realize how many orioles there really are in the landscape – and their song has a taunting tone to my ear.

MEBUS YellowWarblerGivingPond0429-3

Speaking of dashing and vocal – the Yellow Warbler epitomizes May at Giving Pond in my mind.  We got good looks at these and heard even more.  The Yellow Warbler and Warbling Vireo are two species that I would promise to show people at Giving Pond.

MEBUS OspreyMaritonBirdWalkGivingPond0505

I wouldn’t promise to see Ospreys, but they usually show up.  This one perched on a snag for quite awhile.  As we were leaving, an osprey flew overhead with a fish in its talons.  Not a bad way to end a bird walk.

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