A New Visitor

One of the real joys of walking around Seagroves Pond every day is in seeing something new.

Today’s “new” sighting was a Killdeer that flitted around the parking lot and across the grassy strip over the dam. I don’t think it has a nest quite yet. In fact, I think I only saw one. Who knows what tomorrow may bring.

The Killdeer is a member of the Plover family and is well-known for feigning injury to draw possible predators (you and me) away from its nest. Its odd name comes from its shrill, two-syllable cry.

I can now add the Killdeer to my list of birds sighted around the pond. You can see the list here. Currently it’s just a simple list, but my plan is to expand it and add details about each bird, including where you might see them, how often, in what seasons, and so on.

Another joy is seeing a bird that I haven’t seen in a while. Today I also saw a Hermit Thrush along the northern path. I’ve seen them there before. I’m trying to recall, but I think it has been more than a year since I last saw a Hermit Thrush in the park. Encountering it reminded me of one of the things I tell myself whenever birding: look at every bird. The reason is simple; when you see many birds, there is a tendency to dismiss a bird or gathering of birds as relatively common species. It’s in looking at every bird that helps me see the rarities.

In this case, as I walked along the path, I thought I saw an American Robin. It would make sense, as there are many Robins in the area right now. And Robins are the most common bird I see along the northern path. But I looked again. Something wasn’t quite right. It seemed smaller than most Robins, and a duskier color. Through the binoculars, I instantly recognized what it was (although its turning toward me to show its spotted breast was also a dead giveaway).

For the “aw ain’t it cute” file, I saw this squirrel peeking out of a former woodpecker hole. It’s not the same hole, but just a few feet higher in the same tree I saw a couple of Flickers drill a hole and raise a little one.

I’m not sure what’s going on with the Red-shouldered Hawks’ nest. They haven’t been around for a couple of days, but I hear them from time to time. Perhaps this year isn’t the year for them. We’ll see.

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