ASCM October Nature Walks
Thanks to our Nature Walk Leaders for these reports on our October Walks!
Fred Archibald Audubon Sanctuary - October, 2010
It was a perfect
autumn morning; the skies were clear, the wind crisp and temperatures
were in the low 50's. Perhaps it was too perfect, for only five hikers
were interested in taking advantage of this great day to stroll through
the Fred J. Archibald Audubon Sanctuary. For those that did, the annual
fall color extravaganza was well under way. The shorter days and colder
nights was the signal for the trees to begin to shut down their food
production. The trees withdraw some of their precious chlorophyll into
the twigs and trunks, and revealing the true colors of the leaves as
the rest of the chlorophyll breaks down. The chlorophyll now no longer
masks the carotenoid pigments in the leaves that account for many of
the oranges and yellows that are seen each autumn. The final step in
shutting down for the winter is to weaken the bond between the leaf and
the twig; the minute vessels that carried sap all summer are sealed
off, and the leaf falls; torn by the wind or simply giving in to
gravity and its own weight. The dormant chemical reaction within the
leaf now is decomposition, and the flaming hues of autumn quickly fade
to brown on the forest floor. What a show, and it is repeated each fall!
Fred Archibald Audubon Sanctuary - October, 2014It was an excellent morning for a bird walk! The group was small this month and again there were three people who live close and never knew the sanctuary was there. They saw info about the walk in the newspaper. It really does pay to advertise. We saw everything from an eagle to a kinglet! With the help of David Smith we were able to add many species to our list as he identified them as they darted by or he heard them calling so we knew what to look for. I’m so glad he joined us! Thank you David!
Our total was 41 species of birds plus two fawns, several butterflies and a dragonfly. Included in our list of birds were the usual birds; several migrants and four species that should have left by now: a Gray Catbird, a House Wren, a Common Yellowthroat and a Tree Swallow!
We saw an immature Bald Eagle as a group but, after everyone left David and I were just standing in the parking lot talking when David looks up and saw an adult Bald Eagle fly by. Then another flew by right behind it. What a day for hawk migration!
Here is our list: Canada Goose, Red-tailed Hawk, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Turkey Vulture, Black Vulture, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, Tree Swallow, Eastern Phoebe, American Robin, Eastern Bluebird, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Cedar Waxwing, Blue Jay, Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, House Wren, Carolina Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Blue-headed Vireo, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, European Starling, Common Grackle, Song Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Northern Cardinal, Eastern Towhee.
Crystal Kunst, Walk Leader