Birds, not blooms, today along Ballston Creek

Today’s sunshine inspired me to hike along Ballston Creek at two locations conveniently located along Eastline Road across from one another.  Ballston Creek Preserve is located on the west side of Eastline Road in the Town of Ballston.  Shenantaha Creek Park is located on the east side in the Town of Malta.

I did not find any blooming wildflowers today, which was not surprising given the amount of snow/ice that still remains in some spots in the woods.  Spring will require a few more days of warm sunshine like today before we’ll notice much change in plant life.

However, the birds were active and many were filled with song today!

Beginning at Ballston Creek Preserve, I slowly walked along Pat’s Trail, then Sven’s Loop and finally Heron Loop out to the marsh along Ballston Creek.  Here, I saw the following (click on each image to enlarge it for easier viewing) –

Osprey

Osprey

Great Blue Heron on nest in heron rookery along Ballston Creek

Great Blue Heron on nest in heron rookery along Ballston Creek

Great Horned Owl in heron nest

Great Horned Owl in heron nest

Common Merganser

Common Merganser

In all, I heard/saw:

  1. hairy woodpecker
  2. red-bellied woodpeckers
  3. pileated woodpecker
  4. Canada geese
  5. white-breasted nuthatches
  6. American goldfinches
  7. tufted titmouse
  8. cardinal
  9. osprey
  10. phoebes (first sighting this year!)
  11. red-winged blackbirds
  12. red-tailed hawk
  13. blue jays
  14. mallards
  15. wood ducks
  16. common mergansers
  17. great horned owl
  18. American crows
  19. robin
  20. song sparrows
  21. black-capped chickadees

In addition to birds, I also saw/heard 8 white-tailed deer, a gray squirrel and a red squirrel in the woods, and this critter having lunch on the bank of Ballston Creek –

Muskrat

Muskrat

I then took Pat’s Trail back out to Eastline Road, crossed over and continued my way to the nature trail at Shenantaha Creek Park.  The sunshine glistened on the rushing water of Shenantaha Creek (also known as Ballston Creek) –

Looking upstream along Shenantaha Creek

Looking upstream along Shenantaha Creek

In all, I heard/saw:

  1. robins
  2. American crows
  3. black-capped chickadees
  4. American goldfinches
  5. hairy woodpecker
  6. phoebe
  7. chipmunks

A beautiful spring day to be in the woods.  Happy trails!

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