Mariton: Wildlife Sightings
A large flock of turkeys has been at Mariton for the last few weeks. Kevin Mault and I counted about 13 next to the Nature Center. They aren’t leaving a lot of trails in the leaves, but I have seen them all over the preserve.
If you have ever heard a flock of turkeys go to roost in the evening, you know how much noise they make. Because the turkeys weren’t around a lot until recently, I was surprised one evening when I heard what sounded like several trees crashing in the woods. Actually, it was only eight turkeys flying up and landing in the tree tops. It is pretty interesting to see their silhouettes in the treetops against the night sky.
Great Horned Owls have been very vocal lately. I haven’t actually seen any, but they are calling back and forth, even during the day sometimes. Screech Owls are heard also, but not as often.
I had seen lots of Golden-crowned Kinglets early in November, but I have not seen any lately. I have been seeing Brown Creepers occasionally. I know they are always around, I just have difficulty hearing and seeing them. So, I get very excited when I chance upon one. The Pileated Woodpecker is a bird that is not difficult to hear, and they have been very active in the woods lately. Another interesting woodpecker is the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. They have returned to the area and I am seeing one regularly in an apple tree along the driveway.
I have seen a Northern Harrier flying above the preserve on a couple occasions. I saw a young Sharp-shinned hawk maneuvering through the forest one afternoon. Maureen and I also watched a Red-tailed Hawk in the woods on Thanksgiving day.