Oct 16 2016
This morning it was jacket weather with lots of dew (wet shoes!) as 14 of us gathered at the Bartlett Shelter in Schenley Park.
We found plenty of birds — at least in terms of individuals. Not only were there many blue jays and robins but midway through the walk several hundred common grackles showed up to snatch the bread cubes scattered beneath the oaks near Bartlett Shelter.
A low-swooping red-tailed hawk kept the chipmunks and jays on their toes and a flock of cedar waxwings stopped in to eat porcelain berries.
Best Bird: Blackpoll warbler. Fall blackpoll and bay-breasted warblers have many of the same field marks — warbler size, thin warbler beak, wing bars, yellow wash on throat, faint eyeline, olive back with subtle stripes, faint stripes on chest — but blackpolls have orange feet and sometimes orange legs, too. This one was immature with black legs and and orange feet. Click here and scroll down to see an immature blackpoll up close.
Best mammal: We saw a very plump raccoon climb a tall tree and finally insert itself into a hollow space at the top. “Insert” is a good description. The raccoon was so plump that it took a while for him to ooze into the crack and disappear. Perhaps he exhaled to make himself thin.
Here’s the complete list of birds. (You’ll notice that I didn’t count most of them — too hard to both to count and lead.)
(photo by Kate St.John)