ASCM February Nature Walks

Thanks to our Nature Walk Leaders for these reports on our February Nature Walks!

Fred J. Archibald Audubon Sanctuary - February 19, 2011

Gale-force winds did not deter seven participants from partaking in our February Nature Walk, but they did keep most of the birds hunkered down and out of sight! In spite of the wind, the temperature was rather mild for the season and the skies were bright and blue, so we did have a beautiful walk around the sanctuary. We found that in the lower spots, the wind was not so severe, but we still saw almost no birds there. We didn't see a single woodpecker on the entire walk!

A special feature of this month's walk was our participation in the Great Backyard Bird Count. Since the rules of this count require that one lists only the maximum number of birds that one can see at one time, and the wind kept most of the birds hidden in the bushes, numbers were very low. Our compiled list has been submitted to the on-line database. We were looking for signs of spring, but these were scarce, except for the occasional muddy spots in the trail. A few Eastern Bluebirds lurking around the nest boxes did look cheerful, and buds seemed to be swelling on some of the trees.

We walked around to the south boundary of the sanctuary, and saw where the Town of New Market proposes to build a road directly adjacent to the sanctuary, which would bisect an area of meadows and forest.

Although birds were scarce, deer were not. Tracks were everywhere, and at one point a large group, which we estimated at about 40 individuals, bolted out of the woods and scattered over the meadows.

Bob Schaefer, Walk Leader

Fred J. Archibald Audubon Sanctuary - February 16, 2013

Temps at the beginning of the walk today hovered around freezing, the sky was cloudy, and the winds were still. A brief snow flurry an hour or so earlier added to the light snow cover on the meadow trails and grasses. Nine adults and two junior citizens took part in the walk, mostly residents of surrounding counties but also a visitor from New York. All but one were seeing the Fred Archibald Sanctuary for the first time. As the walk took place on Great Backyard Bird Count weekend, our mission of spotting birds also included counting them as well. We took the usual route through the meadows and southward along Cherry Run, which, despite the large amount of precipitation recently, was running at normal levels, and caused little challenge to cross. Our two hour walk resulted in spotting seven bird species and fifteen individual birds, ranging from the ever-present black vulture to a group of American Tree Sparrows. Also present were a group of deer, a subset of the larger population of the two dozen or so that are commonly seen. The hike concluded at 11:00.

Mark Kulis, Walk Leader

2011,2013 The Audubon Society of Central Maryland

 Updated: 01.24.14