Saturday, October 06, 2007

EEOB visits Glacier Ridge Metro Park

I'm the Department of EEOB Social Events chair for the next two years, so I decided we'd be doing some social events that I would enjoy. The one that came to mind right away was birding. So I've organized a series of birding trips to bring together people in the department who are into birding already, or who would like to learn more.

Our first excursion was to Glacier Ridge Metro Park on Sept 30th. We had nearly 20 people show up for the first trip, and we picked up a couple of strays along the way.

Our field trip leader was Mike Flynn, and this is a picture of him taking the group out. Only part of our group is in this image - the rest are back in the parking lot getting a tutorial from Steve Rissing on using a binocular.

First stop was the tower, which overlooks the wetland area of the park. The only problem was that we've had a bit of drought and there wasn't much water left in the wetland. No water, no birds. Somewhat disappointing, but a good lesson on the ecology of wetlands.

Some more people heading to the tower.

Hmmmm - this is not your typical wetland for Glacier Ridge. I've posted other reports on Glacier Ridge that show a good diversity of birds. Click on this link to see some better scenarios for birding here.

We mostly had a nice aerial show from a couple of red-tailed hawks. This was an adult/juvenile pair.

The park has two areas: the wetland and a forest/prairie habitat. We drove a couple of miles over to the forest and prairie sections. This was a bit more productive in terms of what we saw, starting with a red-bellied woodpecker. We saw black-throated green, Nashville, and yellow-rumped warblers, red-breasted nuthatch, downy woodpecker, Carolina chickadee, tufted titmouse, and a bunch of other birds.

Even though the number of bird species was on the low side for this park, we had some beautiful autumn flowers in the prairie to enjoy

The shaded forest was also enjoyable to experience on this unusually warm day.

I always enjoy seeing the fall foliage changing color.

Not for this plant, though - leaves of three, let it be.

We had a good start to our birding excursions. Next trip will be Oct 28th to Hoover Reservoir.

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