Bird and Wildlife Sightings Have you visited Pickering lately and seen something you think other visitors should see?Email usand we'll post your sightings here. You can also visit E-BIRD to see Pickering's Bird data over the years HERE.
December 5, 2012
Birding was delightful at Pickering Creek today. I was there from 12:15 until 2:00 and observed 32 species. Highlights:
Eurasian Wigeon - one male in non-breeding plumage in the company of two Male American Wigeon and visible from the viewing platform of the large pond.
Also from that platform:
Hooded Merganser 28
American Coot 4
Pied-billed Grebe 1
Elsewhere in the wetlands:
Black Duck 60+
Green-wing Teal 1
Sparrow species included Song, White-throated, White-crowned, Field and Junco.
~ Les Roslund, Talbot County
November 11, 2012
Below are the results from the Sunday Bird Walk at Pickering Creek. The walk
was led by Les Roslund. Fifteen birders attended on this very beautiful day.
Fifty-five species were seen on the Pickering Creek property. Six more were
seen, either en-route or at Roslund home. Following the birding, most of
the group adjourned to the Roslund home, to be served a delicious breakfast
by Carolyn Roslund. Highlights: Winter Wren, Sapsucker, several migrant duck species, Palm
Warbler, and Pine Siskins.
The full list:
American Black Duck,
Great Blue Heron,
Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal,
Wood Duck Nesting Season Results Are In The 2012 results are finally complete.
In spite of our Wood Duck Box volunteers' best efforts,we had fewer eggs and chicks than each of the last three years.
Total Boxes 26 8 utilized
Total eggs 82 48 chicks
Farm to Bay Trail 9 eggs 0 chicks 1 of 11 boxes used
Farm Pond Area 10 eggs 8 chicks 1 of 3 boxes used
Impoundments 54 eggs 40 chicks 6 of 12 boxes used.
Our thanks to Ernie Maher for heading up this dedicated group of volunteers!
July 12, 2012
was at Pickering this a.m. (July 12). My contributions to the shorebird and friends array at Platform #2:
Pectoral Sandpiper-1 (possibly a second)
Semi-palmated S.-1 (at Platform #1)
I also heard what I thought might be a Virginia Rail. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who might have heard a likely call.
July 12, 2012 After checking one of the Bluebird Loops while it was really quite cool in early morning, I went over to Platform #2 and was not disappointed. Here's what I found during the time period of 10:15 to 11:00 - viewing with scope from the platform.
Great Blue Heron 1
Snowy Egret 4
Least Tern 27
Greater Yellowlegs 46
Lesser Yellowlegs 55
Short-billed Dowitcher 26
Least Sandpiper 50
Pectoral Sandpiper 2
Osprey ` 3
Turkey Vulture 2
The water level of the big pond at the west end of the property is leaving a large sand bar out in the middle of the pond, along with a substantial sand/mud flat on the north side of the pond. This area is seen quite well from the Platform (using a scope helps greatly). Most of the rest of the ponds of the site have now dried up, so the birds are delighted to have this much water and shoreline available for foraging.
April 5, 2012
With this early "spring" the Bluebirds of Pickering Creek are off to a very nice start. As of today (4/4) there are 12 nests holding eggs, with a total of 43 eggs present. The first egg date for the year was an egg laid on March 13th.
Bluebird Program Coordinator
Pickering Creek Audubon Center
April 4, 2012
The final record of seeing or hearing the Pickering Creek Virginia's Warbler seems to be that of John O'Brien described below. John's observations occurred on Sunday, March 25th.
If anyone has seen or heard this bird more recently than March 25th, please let me know. If I receive no responses, we will declare March 25th as the final day of the visit. The first confirmation of the bird's identity occurred on Feb 15th, so it has certainly been a nice long visit. Perhaps the bird is still on the grounds of Pickering Creek. If not, we hope it is still in good health, where ever it is. Sure was fun to have it in our midst.
February 15, 2012
Virginia's Warbler. First ever recorded in Maryland!
January 24, 2012
And finally, having read about Woodcock calling and displaying over at Jug Bay, I thought it might be worthwhile to check out one of the best places to hear them in Talbot County - Pickering Creek. So I arranged to get there a little before dark - and that worked like a charm. I merely walked a little ways to the west from the visitor parking lot and waited. At 5:35 came the first call of Peeent. Between then and 5:50 the bird repeated the call over 50 times - then suddenly I heard the whistle of the wings as a flight display no doubt occurred. It was too dark to see the bird in flight this time, but a delightful and fulfilling visit anyhow.
And by the way, as I stood in the field at Pickering Creek, I heard geese in flight and looked up to see 42 Canada Geese in a perfect Vee and quite high flying straight towards the North! Are they leaving already? Many of them just arrived within the past week. Not much winter vacation around here for them.
Talbot Bird Club
January 17, 2012
After the showers this afternoon the birds were ready to enjoy the warmth and sun, though it was still a bit breezy. At Pickering Creek the waterfowl put on a nice show, and special treats were provided by a single Golden Eagle and a kettle of vultures coming in for the night.
Forty-five minutes were spent parked on Presquile Road and
just watching the events unfold during the late afternoon of an unseasonably warm day.
Canada Goose 2800,
Northern Shoveler 6,
Northern Pintail 5,
Green-winged Teal 1,
Ring-necked Duck 26,
Hooded Merganser 8,
Great Blue Heron 2,
Black Vulture 18,
Turkey Vulture 29,
Bald Eagle 1,
Red-tailed Hawk 2,
Ring-billed Gull 500 ,
Belted Kingfisher 1
Song Sparrow 1,
Dark-eyed Junco 3
Golden Eagle 1 Beautiful Bird! It sat in a large Oak Tree to the west
of the largest viewing platform and preened is such fashion that the golden mantle of the back of its head seemed to glow in contrast to the background of the dark brown breast that was being preened. The bird stayed at that location for at least 40 minutes, but I somehow missed the moment that it left, so do not know what direction it took.
Talbot County, MD
January 1, 2012 Today from 1:00 to 3:00 I worked the main ponds of Pickering Creek and recorded the following:
All the above were from the side of Presquile Road. Then I went to main parking lot and walked trails, starting with the one that circles the small pond behind the dam. Fortunately, I managed to look up as I walked that path - and was treated to a view of several Bald Eagles, and then one Golden Eagle. Later eight Black Vultures passed over and through the visit about eight Turkey Vultures were also seen.
And when I returned home I had a phone call from Talbot Bird Club member Tucker Dalton reporting that he and a birder friend had attained excellent views of a Lincoln's Sparrow at Pickering Creek just a couple of hours ahead of my visit, and close to the location where I had been looking at the Golden Eagle.
So Pickering is off to a good start this year. I have reason to believe several other birders also hit that place today, so there may be more reports to come.
October 27, 2011 Jim Brighton and Jared Satchell strike it rich again at Pickering Creek yesterday. I went over this morning looking for the Clay-colored Sparrow, and found the following -
White Throats - 25,
White Crowned - 1 seen, but heard several others,
Song - 10,
Junco 1 (FOY for me),
Swamp - 12,
Clay-colored - 2 Today these had moved farther along the path - so as
to be seen from the wooden bridge that is about half way toward the very large viewing platform. There were several Swamp Sparrows in that area, and one bird that was quite light - and staying at pretty close range only briefly. My brief look let me eliminate the alternatives and pick up enough field marks to convince myself that it was indeed a Clay-colored. I hung around that site, even though this bird had disappeared into the tall grasses. Several Swamp sparrows popped to the top of the grasses, but not the Clay-colored for at least 20 minutes - and then - there it was at the back of the grass-covered ditch - but then off and away toward the grassy meadow where it disappeared. I then turned my attention to the north, where on the trees of the same ditch there were several (three) song sparrows.
Higher on one tree there was a very clearly posed very light colored slender sparrow that was convincingly showing itself to be a Clay-colored. In a few minutes, the candidate Clay-colored from the meadow flew into a lower portion of that same tree. After a few moments the two birds departed together back out into the meadow and disappeared. It would be nice if at least one, or even both were inclined to stay around.
Jim and Jared - thanks much for the prompt tip.
October 26, 2011 Jared Satchell and I birded Pickering Creek this evening from 5pm to 6pm. It was very birdy with impressive sparrow numbers (mostly Song and Swamp). Our best find was a Clay-colored Sparrow associating with a flock of Field and White-crowned Sparrows on the trail from the parking lot to the pond platform. The Clay-colored Sparrow gave us prolonged looks from about 10 feet away as it sat up in a bush with two immature White-crowns. Also present were four Palm Warblers and two Common Yellowthroats.
October 23, 2011
Since I could not get away for the Hawk Mountain Trip, I settled for a few hours Sunday Morning at Pickering Creek, with the results listed below. A nice set of duck species was a highlight at the big pond. Another visit over there on Monday revealed addition of at least one American Wigeon the ducks of Sunday.
August 4, 2011
Wood Duck 2,
Greater Yellowlegs 2,
Lesser Yellowlegs 8,
Semipalmated Sandpiper 76,
Western Sandpiper 4,
Least Sandpiper 29,
Pectoral Sandpiper 1,
Stilt Sandpiper 30 (Down from the 34 that were present on Sunday, Easily viewed from the observation deck on the western pond) ,
Barred Owl 1,
Downy Woodpecker 1,
Hairy Woodpecker 1,
Pileated Woodpecker 1,
American Crow 4,
Barn Swallow 16
Gray Catbird 2,
Northern Mockingbird 4,
Field Sparrow 1 vocalizing,
Northern Cardinal 2,
Blue Grosbeak 1 male singing,
Indigo Bunting 5
Eastern Meadowlark 1
May 24, 2011 The Mountain Laurel is in Bloom!!
March 20, 2011
The Talbot Bird Club visited Pickering Creek Audubon Center and turned up 58 bird species. Highlight of the day was the viewing of two Barn Swallows that showed up amongst the numerous Tree Swallows scarfing for insects above the waters of the largest wetland pond.
Great Blue Heron, Snow Goose - 1, Canada Goose - still several hundred, Ducks - Wood, Green-winged Teal, Black, Mallard, Pintail, Shoveler, Gadwall, Ring-necked, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Merganser and Ruddy.
Also Black Vulture ,Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, including location of a "new this year" occupied nest along Unionville Road, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Wild Turkey, American Coot - 4, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Forster's Tern - 2, Rock Dove, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow - 2 First of year for most participants, Blue Jay, American Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Pine Warbler, Northern Cardinal ,Eastern Towhee, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White Throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, House Sparrow
Talbot Bird Club
January 17, 2011 At 3:00PM today, after searching for 2 hours, I relocated the LOGGERHEAD
SHRIKE at Pickering Creek Audubon Center in Talbot County. I watched it for
about 35 minutes as it foraged in the tall grassy field along Sharp Rd
between Audubon Lane and the intersection with Todd's Corner Rd and
Presquile Rd. The bird perched atop numerous saplings and even a wood duck
box on one occasion. I last saw it in the tree (I believe a sycamore or
London planetree) next to the Audubon Center sign at the end of Audubon Lane
at Sharp Rd. It was great to see this sharp looking bird on my second try.
September 11, 2010 This Morning before The MOS board meeting at Pickering Creek Audubon Center in Talbot County Field trip leader Danny Poet meet an eager group of birders for a morning walk around the center.
Most of the birds were on and around the trail edges around the pond behind the welcome center. Also to let folks knows the impoundments are bone dry but the pond behind the welcome center still has water but is as low as I have ever seen it . Birds Highlights include:
Green Heron 1,
R.T. Hummingbird 1,
Eastern Wood Pewee 2,
Trails Flycatcher 1,
Great Crested Flycatcher 1,
Eastern Phoebe 1,
White eyed Vireo 1,
Red Eyed Vireo 2,
Cedar Waxwing 2,
Tennessee Warbler 1,
Northern Parula 2,
Magnolia Warbler 2,
Black Throated Green Warbler 1,
Black and White Warbler 2,
American Redstart 3,
Common Yellowthroat Warbler 1,
Scarlet Tanager 1,
Chipping Sparrow 4,
Rose - breasted Grosbeak,
Blue Grosbeak 3 one eating tent catapillers,
Indigo Bunting 4,
May 10, 2010 Hans Holbrook discovered a beautiful female Red-necked Phalarope around 11:00 today (5/10). The bird was feeding in the shallow water beside an island in one of the ponds adjacent to the entrance road to the Center. At 5:00 when several birders had congregated at the site, the bird was in the company of several Greater Yellowlegs, a few Solitary Sandpipers and several Least Sandpipers. Semipalmated Plovers and Killdeer were also near by.
The part of the pond favored by the bird was located about halfway between Sharp Road (entrance to Audubon Lane on the south) and the north end of Audubon Lane as it reaches the director's residence. If you reach or pass the viewing blind as you come up Audubon Lane you have gone too far.
Lighting should be especially good during the morning hours, but it was still quite good in late afternoon. The bird was still at the same location as of 6:30 p.m.This was the first sighting of this species at Pickering Creek in recent years, and becomes species #210 on the property list.
April 13, 2010 Jack-in-the-Pulpits and Mayapples are in bloom. Plus, the Barn Swallows are back!
March 12, 2010
Number of species: 20
Canada Goose 14,
Tundra Swan 14,
Wood Duck 6,
American Black Duck 18,
Northern Shoveler 7,
Northern Pintail 2
Green-winged Teal (American) 25,
Ring-necked Duck 9,
Lesser Scaup 15,
Ruddy Duck 1,
Great Blue Heron 1,
Ring-billed Gull 100,
Northern Flicker 15,
Blue Jay 1,
American Crow 5,
Carolina Chickadee 1,
Eastern Bluebird 2,
Northern Cardinal 1 Robert O.
March 8, 2010 Frogs are making lots and lots of noise along the front drive. Had great Woodcock sightings the other night!
March 8, 2010 I went out on Baltimore bird club's trip to Poplar Island on Monday. Before the trip I started at Pickering Creek, highlights included 8 "Richardson's" Cackling Geese and a Common x Green-winged Teal showing both vertical and horizontal white stripes.
February 1, 2010
After being cooped up in the house all weekend, I was anxious to get out today, if only for a few hours. I spent the mid-day hours driving the snowy roads of northern Talbot County (Church Lane, Skipton-Cordova Road, Coveys Landing Road). I saw more HORNED LARKS than I could count, good numbers of AMERICAN PIPITS, and even a few KILLDEER along the roads and in the fields. Eventually I decided to head over to Pickering Creek Audubon Center. On Sharp Road, about 3/10 mile west of Longwoods Road, I stopped in the road when I saw a small flock of larks on the roadside. The larks flew away, but a smaller, browner, streakier bird remained behind - a female LAPLAND LONGSPUR. She was happy to keep foraging in the exposed grass, ignoring the traffic passing in the other lane, and I was happy to watch her - until I finally decided to move on for safety's sake. I had a pleasant walk at Pickering Creek but found nothing unusual, though it is always nice to see the White-crowned Sparrows (at the feeders this time).
Prince Georges County
January 26, 2010 This morning at Pickering Creek two male Wood Ducks were seen twice as they flew up from beside the water in the "old" pond in the woods north of the barns and sheds. Large numbers of ducks were using the wetland ponds - several hundred Mallards, numbers of Blacks approaching 100, and a small sprinkling of Pintails and Gadwalls.
`White-crowned Sparrows continue along the path from the barns to the first platform that overlooks the ponds. Sharp-shinned Hawk and Northern Harrier continue to enjoy the sparrow buffet of that pathway and adjacent field. Song Sparrows and White-throats were also present in good numbers.
January 13, 2010 Between 4:00 and 4:45 today the lighting conditions and moderate temperatures with little wind lent to just plain excellent viewing of sparrows at Pickering Creek Audubon Center in Talbot County. The best viewing site was at the west end of the sparrow habitat field that lies between the barn and the viewing platform of the closest wetland pond. The end of the field is bounded by a drainage ditch that holds several trees and shrubs. These provide excellent resting places for the sparrows. Across the drainage ditch is a field, now harvested, that held milo as the crop last season. By standing in the milo field, with the sun to one's back, most of the sparrows are seen 'head-on' as they rest on the trees and shrubs after foraging in the milo.Sparrows seen, with estimates of the numbers: White Throated ~ 30, White Crowned ~ 20, Song ~ 15, Savannah ~ 15, Field- 1, Junco -4, Vesper -0 (could not locate this bird today, though it had been seen yesterday)
Nearby there was a Northern Harrier using the top of one of the Bluebird houses as a feeding station while it dined on a Junco. This morning, during an earlier visit looking for the Vesper, a Sharp-shinned Hawk was also in the area.
January 12, 2010
Three sightings of a Vesper Sparrow at Pickering Creek the past few days. The bird, in the company of Song Sparrows and Chippies, has been found in early afternoon along the path between the barn and the viewing platform over the closest of the wetland ponds. Most recent sighting was today, Jan 12th.
November 15, 2009 Around 9:30 a.m. on Sunday an immature Golden Eagle was seen by members of the Talbot Bird Club during their morning bird walk at Pickering Creek Audubon Center in Talbot County. This bird was flying in a straight line towards the northwest, so it is reasonable to expect it could have been the same bird as seen yesterday on the Western Shore - if the timing happened to be right. Over 20 birders were out for this walk, led by Amanda Spears, and the bird was low enough to provide quite nice views of distinguishing field marks. Talbot Bird Club
September 17, 2009
Highlights of a morning birdwalk at Pickering Creek Audubon Center today included:
Bobolinks - close-up views in the milo fields, and included one count of 80 or more when the flock got scared up by something.
RT Hummingbird, American Redstart, Tree Swallows, Green Heron, Bald Eagle (several - at least four, possibly five)
Indigo Bunting, Blue Grosbeak - family groups, perhaps two families or more, Common Yellowthroat, Bluebirds, Chickadees, both Vultures, Red-shouldered Hawk, Kestrel, and the other usual suspects.
September 15, 2009
Kelsey Frey, Easton, MD
September 14, 2009
Black Vultures, Grey Catbirds, House Wrens, Carolina Wrens, Cedar Waxwings, Northern Waterthrush (wetland boardwalk behind Gilbert Byron House), Veery, Magnolia Warblers, Yellow Warbler, Black and White Warblers, Northern Parula, Common Yellowthroats, American Redstarts, Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Wood Pewees, Blue-grey Gnatcatchers (brush next to garden classroom), Northern Flickers, American Goldfinch, Summer Tanager (maple trees in front of green house), Warbling Vireo (90% sure), Woodducks, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Barred Owls, Great Horned Owls, Screech Owls, Rose-breasted Grosbeak (immature, behind Gilbert Byron House), Blue Grosbeaks, Great Crested Flycatcher, Snowy Egret, Belted Kingfisher, American Kestrel, Northern Harrier
August 5, 2009 My sister and I visited Pickering Creek August 5th. We heard a Bobwhite Quail and a Bald Eagle. We saw a little red fox dart across Audubon Lane and into the meadow. We also saw a large buck with velvet on his antlers as well as other birds, frogs, toads and insects. I have attached my favorite photos from our visit.. Cecilia Wright
July 29-31, 2009
Barn Swallows on the Dock and Rose Mallow (aka Marsh Hibiscus or Hibiscus moscheutos) on the Pond Trail
June 10, 2009 Lately I’ve seen: fawn with mama Deer walking down the lane, wet red fox running through the rain, lightning bugs like fireworks against the darkness of the forest, amazing storm clouds and lightning, yellow-breasted chats, nesting northern cardinals swaying back and forth on her nest in the wind, common yellowthroats, fledgling bluebirds being fed from a branch by his parents, Wood duck sitting on eggs padded with grey down feathers, barn swallows feeding their young in their mud nest, tree swallows sticking their heads out of their nest box looking for mom, Painted turtles basking around the pond, bright yellow box turtles crossing the lane, barred owls calling at night, a chorus of frogs and toads singing, black rat snakes basking in trees, mile a minute climbing the limbs of the milkweed, monarchs searching for nectar, milkweed bugs, lots of dragonflies, leopard frog, grey and delmarva fox squirrels running into the forest from the field with mouth-fulls of winter wheat, green herons flying overhead, red-winged blackbirds, northern mockingbirds mimicking killdeer and yellowthroats, poison ivy berries ripening, fox scat full of mulberries, deer tracks in the mud, terrapin heads looking out of the water off the dock, ospreys galore, wood thrushes singing, pewee’s singing, mosquito larvae, dedicated volunteers, a beautiful herb garden, ripening tomatoes, and baby beans.
Pickering Creek Audubon Center
April 29, 2009 This morning a quick birding trip to Pickering Creek Audubon Center revealed a FOY Semipalmated Sandpiper on the same land spit where the several shorebirds had been feeding last Sunday. Also, near the intersection of Todd's Corner Road and Presquile Road there was a male Indigo Bunting (FOY for me).
By the way, the most recent surveys of the Blue Bird boxes at Pickering Creek show a total of 88 eggs and 21 young in the nests. There is also one Carolina Chickadee nest with three eggs. Tree Swallows are just beginning their nesting. There are lots of nest starts, but only one Tree Swallow nest has eggs - 4 eggs in that one.
April 23, 2009 About 18 fun-loving folks discovered the following 65 species of birds at Pickering Creek or on the drive to Pickering Creek Audubon Center on Sunday April 26, 2009.
Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Wild Turkey, Common Loon,
Great Blue Heron, GREEN HERON, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, PECTORAL Sandpiper, WILSONS SNIPE, Laughing Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Mourning Dove, EASTERN SCREECH OWL, Chimney Swift, RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, PILEATED WOODPECKER, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, EASTERN KINGBIRD, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow
Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren
BLUE-GREY GNATCATCHER, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, GREY CATBIRD, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Pine Warbler, PRAIRIE WARBLER, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, GRASSHOPPER SPARROW, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, BLUE GROSBEAK, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, ORCHARD ORIOLE, American Goldfinch
We also kept our naturalist eyes tuned to other creatures including the following mammals: 5 red fox kits, delmarva fox squirrels, grey squirrels, dead shrew, dead mouse, raccoon, muskrat, white-tailed deer, and eastern cottontail. And the following herps: black rat snakes, northern water snake, painted turtles, and fowlers toads.
Talbot County Bird Club
April 14, 2007 Pileated Woodpecker searches for bugs outside Pickering Office.
April 3, 2009 Red-headed Woodpecker spotted at Pickering
March 31, 2009 Videos taken in Pickering restored wetlands along Sharp Rd. aka "the frog ponds"
Red headed woodpecker and yellowlegs hanging out near the driveway. Also, mayapple and bloodroot coming up near office.
March 14, 2009 The Kent County Bird Club trip on Saturday, 14 March joined forces with a group from Anne Arundel County, led by Tom Bradford, at Pickering Creek Audubon Center, Talbot County. We started by going out to Sharp Road to check the far impoundments, where a few Mallards, pintails, black ducks, and a pair of Gadwall were made a bit wary by our presence. From the corner of the driveway, we spotted a large, dark raptor in a big tulip poplar at the back of the field. Walter got the scope on it, revealing the all-dark body, sharply marked white-based tail and straw-yellow nape feathering of a GOLDEN EAGLE. It remained perched, occasionally preening, as we walked along the road to where a flock of Canada Geese fed in an adjacent field. Walter picked out a pair of Cackling Geese just before the flock took to the skies, so not everyone got to see them. As we returned up the driveway, we noticed that the Golden Eagle had taken flight and was soaring overhead, revealing the very small white primary spots of a sub-adult bird. It was soon joined by a sub-adult Bald Eagle, with just a hint of a tail band, and the two eagles soared together, allowing ample study of the subtle differences in wing-shape between them - the Golden showing the characteristic bulge along the middle of the trailing edge in comparison to the Bald's more plank-like flight outline.
We spent the rest of the morning walking the trails, with particularly satisfactory encounters with White-crowned Sparrows, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, female Belted Kingfisher, an immature Red-tailed Hawk, Eastern Meadowlarks, and good numbers of Tundra Swans overhead. A complete species list follows this message.
Complete Species List (51 total):
Cackling Goose, Canada Goose, Tundra Swan, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead, Great Blue Heron, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Golden Eagle, Killdeer, Wilson's Snipe, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Horned Lark, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Common Grackle.
All-in-all, it was a rewarding trip.
Walter Ellison & Nancy Martin
March 8, 2009 Lee and I spent the evening at Pickering Creek, from 5:30 to 7:00. We heard 'beenting' woodcock starting at 6:30 and saw two flights against the twilight sky. The birds were in the unmowed area between the parking lot and the observation platform. Other nice evening views were 13 tundra swans taking off directly overhead heading north, 8+ wood ducks coming into the pond to roost, and several bats hunting along the woods edge and drinking from the pond.
January 23, 2009
During a Project FeederWatch count, Pickering Creek spotted it’s 200th bird species ever seen on the property, the Pine Siskin! Our complete species checklist can be found in the office, next to the project FeederWatch viewing windows.
Other recent sightings demonstrate the liveliness of the woods even in the winter! Sightings include an opossum, White-tailed Deer, Delmarva Fox Squirrel, baby Grey Squirrels, Red Fox crossing the frozen creek, Hermit Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Carolina Wrens, Canada Geese, Bald Eagles, Turkey Vultures, Black Vultures, Common Grackles, Red-winged Blackbirds, Northern Cardinals, Brown Creeper, White-breasted Nuthatch, Dark-eyed Juncos, White-throated Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Blue Jays, Eastern Bluebirds, Coopers Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Mockingbird, House Finch, Purple Finch, Goldfinch, and Mourning Doves.
January 6-8 2009 Fox Sparrow, 3 red foxes, Northern Cardinals, Turkey Vultures, Bald Eagles, White-Throated Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, Delmarva Fox Squirrels, Northern Flickers, Mourning Doves, 3 Red-winged black birds, 3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets on succession trail, Carolina Wren, 8 Rusty Blackbirds at main office, 5 Ruddy Ducks to the right of the dock, HI DAD, Brown Thrasher on succession trail, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, Common Grackles, Purple finches, House finches, Goldfinches, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Canada Geese, Barred Owl (sound only), Coopers Hawk. New feeder visitors: Fox Sparrow and Mourning Doves. Kelsey Frey
December 10, 2008 I took the time today to bird woodlands and some fields of Pickering Creek Audubon Center, but did not visit the wetland ponds.
Birds seen: GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE – 1, Snow Goose – 1, CACKLING GOOSE – 1, Canada Geese - 25,000 +, Mallard – 5, Turkey Vulture – 8, Bald Eagle – 2, Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1, Ring-billed Gull – 77, Mourning Dove – 1, Belted Kingfisher – 1, Red-bellied Woodpecker – 9, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 1, Downy Woodpecker – 6, Northern Flicker – 6, Blue Jay – 38, American Crow – 2, Carolina Chickadee – 6, Tufted Titmouse – 2, White-breasted Nuthatch – 1, Carolina Wren – 14, Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 2, HERMIT THRUSH – 3, Northern Mockingbird – 6, Myrtle Warbler – 4, Eastern Towhee – 2, Savannah Sparrow – 4, Song Sparrow – 6, White-throated Sparrow – 47, Dark-eyed Junco – 49, Northern Cardinal – 1, RUSTY BLACKBIRD – 1, Purple Finch – 1, House Finch – 7, American Goldfinch - 14
Along the driveway on this 60+ degree day there was one Spring Peeper calling.
Also, one of the White-throated Sparrows was so pale that it almost looked white from a distance. It certainly stood out in comparison to the others of that species.
December 9, 2008
One Greater White-fronted Goose was visible at Pickering Creek this afternoon within the large flock of Canada Geese resting on the pond that is at the southwest corner of the property (visible from Presquile Road by standing on the "bumper" of my truck).
December 3, 2008
Somehow I managed to miss Dan Haas and the Cackling and White-fronted Geese this afternoon at Pickering Creek. Fortunately I did not miss the Poplar Island trip, expertly arranged by Dan, that preceded. I know there were a lot of satisfied customers, especially after the previous day's negative reports on the Snowy Owl had us all prepared for disappointment.
While not as exciting as the rare geese, one particular sighting at Pickering Creek was quite a surprise. While walking the road through the woods toward the boat dock, I saw up ahead a large blackbird flock, perhaps 100 birds or more, on the ground and in the trees around the sanctuary buildings. Expecting them to be grackles and cowbirds, I was amazed to see that 75% or more were RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, the remainder being COMMON GRACKLES. This was by far the most Rusties I've seen in a single flock. Joel Martin
November 2, 2008 I just wanted to say thank you for all you did for the children from Chapel Elementary School.They were not on their best behavior that day but you did an excellent job.My son and I enjoyed it so much we decided to come back Sunday and see everything.We were much quieter this time though.I am including a snapshot of a Green Snake we came across on the farm to bay trail.Keep up the good work!Looking forward to coming back.
Thank you, M. C.
October 31, 2008 One of the seasonal staff (Kelsey Frey) located and photographed a Greater White-fronted Goose amongst the several thousand Canada Geese on the creek as viewed from the new Pickering Creek pier. Two Snow Geese were also in that group. Elsewhere on the grounds some Fox Sparrows showed up. White-crowned Sparrows have been there for several days. Les Roslund
September 16, 2008 Earlier in the morning on the 16th, I paid a visit to Pickering Creek where the highlight was a CONNECTICUT WARBLER. Also present were Black-and-White Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Indigo Bunting family, Belted Kingfisher, Cooper's Hawk, Pileated Woodpecker, and the other usual suspects.A brief visit to Pickering Creek's large pond this afternoon showed that the Canada Geese had taken over. 450 Canada's were there, along with 50 Green-winged Teal, two Black Ducks, seven Woodies, and for shorebirds - only four Semipalmated Sandpipers, one Pectoral Sandpiper and three Greater Yellowlegs.
August 23, 3008
This morning during a scan of the shorebirds that could be seen in the big pond of the Pickering Creek Wetlands, the highlight was a single GLOSSY IBIS. The big pond in the far southwest corner of the property still holds quite a bit of water. Most of the other ponds are now dry. Other birds out there included: Lesser Yellowlegs – 9, Greater Yellowlegs – 4, Pectoral Sandpiper - 2, Semipalmated Sandpiper – 2, Least Sandpiper - 5, Western Sandpiper - 1, Killdeer – 17, Great Blue Heron – 2, Wood Duck – 23, Mallard – 4, Bank Swallow - 40+, Barn Swallow – 2, Tree Swallow – 2, Belted Kingfisher – 1, Osprey – 1, Bald Eagle - 1 immature
August 4, 2008 Pickering Creek and the surrounding Longwoods area seem to be having a bumper crop of butterflies this year.. Species seen- Zebra Swallowtail, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Monarchs (lots!), Red Spotted Purple, Pipevine Swallowtail, American Lady, Common Buckeye, Red Admiral, Black Swallowtail.
Susanna Scallion, Talbot County
August 4, 2008 Around noon today there were several nice shorebirds resting and feeding on the Pickering Creek pond that is beside the Observation Deck: Stilt Sandpiper - 1; Short-billed Dowitcher - 4; Lesser Yellowlegs - 10; Semipalmated Sandpiper - 6;Spotted Sandpiper - 1; Killdeer - several.While watching these, one Bank Swallow came by, along with several Barn Swallows. Les Roslund, Talbto County
May 13, 2008
Around noon on Tuesday there were eight beautiful Bobolinks in full breeding plumage at Pickering Creek. They were loitering near the west edge of the field (grass and shrubs) that is south of the hog barn. A walk down the trail towards the new wetland ponds should turn them up if they are still there.Other especially nice birds around there yesterday included one Great Egret, one Northern Harrier, one baby Wood Duck in the most distant pond (probably more there but the smarter ones stayed in the grass instead of making a wild dash across a piece of open water), Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, and an immature Bald Eagle. Several clutches of Bluebirds have fledged from the Pickering Creek boxes, and most boxes have active nests of either Bluebirds or Tree Swallows. One nest of Carolina Chickadees has fledged; another was "built-over" by a Bluebird pair; and one clutch of four nearly-ready-to-fledge Bluebirds expired because some aggressive Tree Swallows drove away the Bluebird parents that were attempting to feed their young. (This was the first time that I had seen such successful hostile interaction between the Tree Swallows and the Bluebirds.)
May 4, 2008
Here are some photos. I excluded some photos I took of the wetlands West of Audubon Lane and East of Presquile Road because the sun angle wasn't good enough for me to get good photos back in there. I saw the shorebirds, some mallards and some geese in the unposted photos. http://www.flickr.com/photos/meabbott/sets/72157604958173508/
I had originally gone there to try to find the Wood Ducks but I never made it down the trail where I think they might be because I got myself turned around on the way to the Center. I intend to go back as I really enjoy the Center. Thank you for having such a great place for me to take my camera!
May 1 , 2008 This morning there were quite a few shorebird species at Pickering Creek - including:
Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs,
Least Sandpiper 40+,
Short-billed Dowitcher 5,
Semipalmated Plover (FOY),
Ducks included: Wood Duck, Mallard, Black, Green-winged Teal (20+) and one female Hooded Merganser.
Baltimore Orioles were practically blanketing the place - with at least five gaudy males competing for dominance. Several Orchard Orioles were also present.
Other species of interest:
Common Yellowthroat 10+, Wood Thrush singing, Eastern Kingbird, Purple Martin, Chimney Swift, Field Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Osprey.
April 20, 2008 7AM- 9AM
The Talbot Bird Club visited Pickering Creek Audubon Center on April 20th. Ten birders, led by Les Roslund, took advantage of what turned out to be a beautiful day for birding and managed to see or hear 64 species, several of them being First of Year birds for most of the viewers.
Best FOY birds: Spotted Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Purple Martin, House Wren, Wood Thrush, White-eyed Vireo, American Redstart, Ovenbird, White-crowned Sparrow and Orchard Oriole.
Other species included:
Great Blue Heron, Wood Duck, Green-winged Teal, Black Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Bald Eagle, Cooper's Hawk, Northern Harrier, Killdeer with young, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Wilson's Snipe, Laughing Gull, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Thrasher,
Blue-headed Vireo, Warblers - Myrtle, Pine, Palm, American Redstart, Ovenbird and Common Yellowthroat, Sparrows - Chipping, Field, Savannah, Song, Swamp, White-throated, and Junco.
April 16, 2008 Birds of Pickering Creek this morning included Blue-winged Teal (2), Spotted Sandpiper (1), Northern Harrier (1), Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Barn Swallow, and Swamp Sparrow. Les Roslund
March 10, 2008 - 3:25pm-4:30pm
WEATHER: MC, 48 degrees, SW 10 mph- SW 9 mph
Canada Goose – 126, American Black Duck – 4, Mallard – 41, Green-winged Teal – 20, Northern Pintail – 26, Bufflehead – 10, Common Merganser – 3, Great Blue Heron – 1, Black Vulture – 1, Turkey Vulture – 3, Osprey – 1, Bald Eagle – 2, Wilson's Snipe – 3, Ring-billed Gull – 6, Rock Pigeon - 5 (on wires, Rt 662 near Rt 50), Mourning Dove – 1, Downy Woodpecker – 1, Pileated Woodpecker – 1, Blue Jay – 3, American Crow – 1, Horned Lark – 1, Carolina Wren – 1, Eastern Bluebird – 5, American Robin – 10, Northern Mockingbird – 2, European Starling – 2, Song Sparrow – 3, Northern Cardinal – 1, Red-winged Blackbird – 1, Common Grackle - 1
Baltimore Bird Club
March 4, 2008
A brief visit to selected sites at Pickering Creek this morning yielded the following highlights:
Northern Harrier - 1,
Cooper's Hawk - 1, Wood Ducks - 11, Killdeer - 8, Belted Kingfisher - 1, Tree Swallows - 2 , Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 2, Pine Warbler - 1, Myrtle Warbler - 1, Field Sparrow - 1 , Swamp Sparrow - 1
Other species observed:
Mallards-100+, Canada Geese-1400+, Black Ducks-60+ , Green-winged Teal-50+, Northern Pintal-7, American Widgeon- 4, Mockingbird-4, Song Sparrow- 11, White-throated Sparrow-19, Eastern Towhee-3, Bluebird-10,
February 12, 2008 This morning there was one Greater White-fronted Goose (Greenland race) amongst about 8000 Canada Geese in a flock that was feeding in a green field beside Sharp Road in Talbot County. This location is not far from Pickering Creek Audubon Center. The flock was beside Sharp Road near where it makes a sharp turn to the right, on the way toward Pickering Creek if you are coming from the general direction of Rte 50. Lots of geese seem to be gathering together in larger and larger flocks over here, and fattening up for the long flight that is ahead of them.
January 1, 2008 I then went over to Pickering Creek to check their ponds for dabblers, and between 0930 and 1000 observed: Black Duck (30), Red Head (1), Canvasback (1), Ruddy (1), Northern Shoveler (30), Green-winged Teal (40), Northern Harrier (1) and a total of 37 species over there. Here's to a great birding year in 2008! Les Roslund
December 22, 2007
his morning I stopped briefly at Pickering Creek to see what was on the water of their largest pond. Sure enough - quite a few ducks over there including Northern Shoveler (12+); Black Duck (12+); Green-winged Teal and Mallards amongst the large number of Canada Geese.
October 14, 2007
Some birds seen while at Pickering Creek Hoedown on Sun. after our club walk. Five imm. Bald Eagles soaring over mouth of Pickering Creek
at same time, several of each first of fall Juncoes and White-throated Sparrows, 1-Kingfisher and one beautiful male Black-throated Blue Warbler in woods by main house.
October 14, 2007
spent most of the morning at Pickering Creek in Talbot County. It was quite birdy with Blue Jays, Northern Flickers, Common Grackles, Swamp Sparrows, and White-throated Sparrows. Other birds included 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 1 House Wren, 1 Blue-headed Vireo, 1 Black-throated Green Warbler, 3 White-crowned Sparrows, 1 Blue Grosbeak, and 2 Rusty Blackbirds.
July 12, 2007
Four Northern Bobwhites hanging out in and around of the main driveway.
June 22, 2007 On Friday, I again made the loop around the new ponds to check the Bluebird boxes. The scene provided by Wood Ducks was marvelous indeed! I took the loop in clockwise fashion this time, which put me onto an approach from the east as I came toward the biggest pond at the southwest corner of the property. That was where most, though not all, of the Wood Ducks were located.
On that approach, here is what I saw:
Pair of adult woodies with no young, Female with 4,Female with 5,Female with 6, Female with 5, Female with 3,Female with 7+, Female with 13,Female with 4,Female with 3, Female with 5,Eight large first year birds alone,Nursury-type of arrangement, with at least 35 woodies of various sizes all bunched together! A few of these family groups may be repeats just seen from a different angle, but most of them are not repeats. I am quite confident that there were more Woodies hidden in parts of the ponds where I could not see them. Not counting the hidden ones, I was still in the close company of about 100 Wood Ducks! Someone over there must be doing something right! Amongst the other birds seen there during this visit: Green Heron - several, acting like a family group, Great Blue Heron - three at least, Black Duck -1, Blue-winged Teal -1, and two Mallards.
Keep up your good work!
May 14, 2007
A very last minute decision took us to Pickering Creek which turned out to be a good move. There were a few interesting finds along with the expected, 1 Pied-billed Grebe, 1 male Wigeon, 2 Blue-winged Teal, 3 Coot, 1 Moorhen, at least 2 Sora, 2 Short-billed Dowitcher, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Great Horned and Barred Owls, Chuck-will's-widow, 2 Bank Swallow, and a Marsh Wren. Mammal highlight was the Red Fox family.
May 5, 2007 68 Species including: Wood Duck, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Canada Goose, Pied-billed Grebe, Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, American Coot, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Yellowlegs Species, Least Sandpiper, American Woodcock, Laughing Gull, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, Crow species, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, House Wren
Eastern Bluebird, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Pine Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-breasted Chat, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Orchard Oriole, Baltimore Oriole, House Finch, American Goldfinch
April 30, 2007 Inspired by John Hubbell's Saturday report, I followed his footsteps at Pickering Creek today and was not disappointed. From 5:20 to 8:10 this morning the species found included:
American Bittern (pumping away from 5:20 until I left that site at 5:50) , Sora - heard right away, behind the pumping Bittern, Chuck-Will's-Widow, Great Horned Owl,Marsh Wren,
Common Moorhen, American Coot (seen and heard), Pied-billed Grebe (seen and heard), Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Black Duck, Wood Duck, Canada Goose with at least 4 tiny goslings, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Blue Grosbeak, Chimney Swift, Baltimore Oriole (pair), Orchard Oriole, Eastern Kingbird (pair), Great Crested Flycatcher, Wood Thrush,
House Wren, Warbling Vireo, Blue-winged Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Palm Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, Myrtle Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Northern Parula, Black-throated Blue Warbler
April 28, 2007
I had an excellent morning in Talbot County, picking up 13 county birds and
numerous year birds. I started at 5:30 am at Pickering Creek. The dawn
chorus included first-of-year birds such as Wood Thrush, Common
Yellowthroat, and Grasshopper Sparrow. Within half an hour, I had also heard
Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, Chuck-will's-widow, Sora, and a pumping
American Bittern. This was the first time I had ever heard a bittern, and it
performed regularly until I left shortly before 8 am. New arrivals during my
walk through the trails included Yellow-billed Cuckoo, White-eyed Vireo,
Blue- winged Warbler, Ovenbird, Yellow Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Blue
Grosbeak. Swamp Sparrows were everywhere. The ponds had 6 Blue-winged
Teal, 4 Green-winged Teal, 1 Lesser Scaup, 1 Northern Shoveler, 4 American
Coot, and 1 Common Moorhen. John Hubbell,
April 21, 2007
This morning the singing birds at Pickering Creek included a Common Yellowthroat, a White-crowned Sparrow, several Field Sparrows, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, several Brown Thrashers and the usual Cardinals, Chickadees, Carolina Wrens and Titmice. Lots of Barn Swallows are checking out the rafters of the old barn where they nest, Tree Swallows are everywhere and Swamp Sparrows are also abundant.
April 20, 2007
In the normal monitoring of a Bluebird trail at Pickering Creek today, one nest turned out to hold four young birds - estimated age of about 4 days. Another box held six Carolina Chickadee eggs.
During a leisurely monitoring visit along another of the Pickering Creek Bluebird trails yesterday there were also views or sounds available from 55 other bird species. Highlights: American Coot (40+), Pied-billed Grebe (5), Ducks (Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Ruddy, Mallard, Black, Northern Shoveler, Wood Duck), Sparrows (Song, Swamp, Savannah, Chipping, White-throated, Field, Towhee),Swallows (Tree, Barn, Rough-winged), Wilson's Snipe (3), Greater Yellowlegs (3), Pine Warbler, Wild Turkey, Bald Eagle
Les Roslund, Talbot County
A Day of Photos
Red-bellied Woodpecker Bald Eagle flying above No Bluebirds in this box, but the Tree Swallows love it!