ASCM November Nature Walks

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

Audubon Bird Walk, Audrey Carroll Sanctuary - November, 2008

When we got up this morning and saw the rain outside we figured the bird walk would be a "no show," and if we hadn't been leaders we would have skipped It! However, we drove to the sanctuary in case any hardy souls showed up.

When we got there the rain had stopped and in due time three other people arrived. As we headed down the trail the weather got steadily better, the sky cleared, and it gradually got warmer.

We saw 30 species of birds in our leisurely stroll and picked up a new species for the Sanctuary, Pine Siskin, which brings the Sanctuary total up to 171 species. Along the way we saw---or in some cases only heard---a nice variety of birds. Lots of sparrows: White-throated, Song, Field, Junco, and good views of a Fox Sparrow thanks to Dave Smith and his spotting scope. Golden-crowned Kinglets put on a nice show, as did the Pine Siskins. We did not see, or hear, Turkeys, so we definitely need to go back. It was 11:30 when we had looped back to our cars; a nice walk.

Join us on the next trip; it will be winter by then and birds will probably vary a bit as will the scenery, especially if it has snowed!

Dave and Elaine Pardoe

Audrey Carroll Audubon Sanctuary - November, 2010

Fifteen bird watchers (including four elementary school students and one pre-schooler who made it to the end) gathered on a perfect fall day to greet the winter residents at the AC Sanctuary.

Before we even got going we were treated to a tree full of Cedar Waxwings and a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, and a flock of turkeys that we could just see on the opposite hill. By the time we'd made the circuit and arrived back at the gatehouse we had seen 22 species, with a good look at a Pileated Woodpecker beyond the stream at the bottom of the hill. Networking was in full progress as we exchanged emails and even acquired a future sanctuary volunteer for our Manager Bill Becraft. We couldn't make any of the numerous turkey vultures overhead be a raptor, but one can't really complain about getting healthful exercise and having a good time too.

Elaine Pardoe, Trip Leader

Audrey Carroll Audubon Sanctuary - November, 2013

Morning clouds gave way to welcome sunshine as twelve nature lovers of all ages gathered at Audrey Carroll Audubon Sanctuary in Frederick County. Birds at this time of year can be, no are, hard to find. Spring’s breeding season is gone, so except for the always cooperative white-throated sparrows and Carolina wrens they’re not singing. (A lifetime of trying to identify the chips that replace their songs at this time of year is why some of us look a little funny.) Many of the winter birds are “skulkers,” like sparrows, who seem to have an aversion to being seen, especially by humans with binoculars. Still ... what’s not to like about something that’s “good for you” that involves a ramble through the golden fields of autumn, a stream crossing, and a return along a wooded trail with views through the trees of a pond and a still-green meadow? And introducing young people to the privileges of being part of the natural world?

And we did see birds, twenty species, including a hermit thrush, a skulker if ever I saw one (or didn’t), a red-tailed hawk, a yellow-bellied sapsucker, a treetop full of cedar waxwings, and the ever-present bluebirds. Now who would have thought a few decades ago that the endangered bluebird would now be “ever-present?”

Bundle up and join us in January for our next walk, or admit you’re not that addicted to birding and wait until the March walk to look for early spring migrants returning from their winter beach holidays. Walks are conducted every month (except December) on the third Saturday, alternating between our Audrey Carroll and Fred Archibald sanctuaries. These sanctuaries are open to walkers at any time; directions are on the Audubon Society of Central MD web site at

Elaine Pardoe

2008-2013 Authors & The Audubon Society of Central Maryland

Updated: 01.24.14