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Northumberland Land Trust bird-a-thon

May 14 2023

On Sunday May 14 2023, Marie Wannamaker and I did the Northumberland Land Trust birdathon at the Jack Van Nostrand property.

We arrived at 6:30am and first listened to birds from the roadside. We then walked along the rough trail along boundary though the forest towards the lake. It was a gorgeous day, and the forest was beautiful with many patches of spring ephemerals and new spring growth. We encountered a few mixed species migrant warbler flocks along the way to the lake and heard many species that may stay in the property to nest.

Once at the lake, we scanned the water to find at least a hundred Red-breasted Mergansers and expected lake species. The water was low enough for us to make our way along the shore to the outlet of the wetland. Here we added most of the expected mash species. We also, witnessed a Mute Swan attacking a Canada goose with two goslings when we first arrived. After surveying the marsh for a while, I noticed the Mute Swan had killed one of the goslings and was trying to kill the remaining young bird. The mother goose was understandably distressed and was trying to save her remaining gosling. They barely survived another attack but, both the mother and her one gosling seemed to escape into the cattails as we moved on back along the shoreline.

After leaving the lake we made our way slowly back through the forest and back to the road. We surveyed the roadside again, adding a Wilson’s Warbler and White-crowned Sparrow. In the afternoon we went home and returned in the evening to get night species such as American Woodcock.

It was a great day and we ended up with 86 species, not bad for a small property!

Black-throated Green Warbler

Marsh Marigold

Ash Sapling

Black-throated Green Warbler

Red Trillium

White Trillium

Mute Swan

Canada Goos defending her young from Mute Swan. The swan had already killed one of the young

Distressed Canada Goose

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Canada Goose with 2 goslings, before the Mute Swan killed one of the young

Canada Goose gosling


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