Bird Walk at Taconic Outdoor Education Center Duck Pond
Here is what we saw at this bird walk led by Putnam Highlands Audubon Board Members Ryan Bass, Kyle Bardwell and Perry Pitt around the Duck Pond at the TOEC.
There were 15 participants and excellent weather. Greg Kofsky of the TOEC provided a nice introduction on the property and the programs that the facility runs. Kyle shared that it was his first time hiking at the TOEC and said it is a really neat place He shared these photos.
Highlights from the walk included sightings of:
- Cedar Waxwings
- Eastern Kingbird
- Broad-Winged Hawk
- Red-shouldered Hawk
- Black-and-White Warbler
- Baltimore Oriole
- Eastern Phoebe
- Red Winged Blackbird
In addition to the birds, participants were greeted with perfectly ripe blueberries (both Lowbush Blueberry Vaccinium Angustifolium and Highbush Blueberry Vaccinium Corymbosum) which made for frequent trail side snacks. There were a number of wildflowers noted, including Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila Maculata), Wintergreen aka Eastern Teaberry (Gaultheria Procumbens), Partridgeberry (Mitchella Repens), Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum Canadense), Common Milkweed (Asclepias Syriaca), Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra Alnifolia), Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia), and Clubmoss "Princess Pine" (Lycopodium sp.)
We had two Master Gardeners on the walk, including Leah Kennell, the curator for the Wildflower Island at Teatown, who provided excellent insights and answered questions from the participants.
The cedar waxwings were hunting bugs over the pond and perched right over us on a dead limb.
Red Wing Blackbird
The red winged blackbird was showing more white than red on the wing, kind of interesting.
Ryan found a used Eastern Phoebe nest in the Maple Mill