I didn’t have much time for birding last weekend, but I did manage to get out late in the afternoon on both days. I’ve been hoping for some nice weather to do some butterfly-watching, and although it was warm on Saturday, it began clouding over as soon as I left the house. I decided not to go too far – just around the corner to the Beaver Trail – and I found enough interesting species to make it worthwhile.
My first noteworthy species was a Winter Wren, the first one I’d seen at this trail this year. It was scolding me from the tangled branches of a downed tree, which is where they are most likely to be seen out in the woods, especially woods where there is water nearby.
After leaving Deb on Sunday I decided to stop by Monaghan Forest to see if any Trilliums were in bloom yet. This is a good spot for spring ephemerals; last year I had found the forest floor covered in Trilliums, Forget-me-nots, violets, and even some Toothwort during a visit in mid-May. I was a few weeks early this year, and found the Trilliums just beginning to open. Only a few were in full flower, but there were plenty of Coltsfoot and Trout Lilies in bloom, two species that had already finished blossoming by the time of my mid-May visit last year. I was also hoping to find some Bloodroot, a native flower I had found here once before, but wasn’t able to spot any.
After checking Roger’s Pond, I decided to leave the clearing and take the right-hand trail (if facing north, toward Roger Stevens Drive) which looks as though it circles the pond. I have never followed the entire trail around the pond before and was hoping to find the little log shelter I’d seen pictures of in other peoples’ galleries.
The trail immediately plunged into the woods, although in several places only a thin screen of trees separated the forest trail from the pond clearing. At no time did I see the water, but in these open spots I found a singing Chestnut-sided Warbler in all his breeding-plumage beauty and a singing Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
It rained again the following day. I couldn’t stand to stay indoors for the full day so I took my umbrella and went to the Beaver Trail to look for wildflowers and more spring migrants.
There weren’t as many birds around as I had hoped. A couple of Common Yellowthroats and Swamp Sparrows were singing in the marsh, and I saw one White-throated Sparrow, perhaps five or six chickadees, one Red-breasted Nuthatch and one White-breasted Nuthatch on the trails.