Audubon Society Bird Walk, 280413 Kennedy Forest, Forest Park

April 29, 2013

Here’s my email to Bob Bailey, who led the walk:

Thank you so much for the list, Bob!

I had been struggling to remember some of the names (especially as there were so many that were new to me!). As I walked home from Kennedy Forest, along Skinker Blvd, I spotted a lone American Crow. For me, coming from a country where crows are the most common bird, it’s amazing that a virus seems to have decimated the population of these birds, at least in St.Louis. I also saw an Eastern Kingbird (I distinguished it by the white on its tail). The walk back along Skinker, and then along Lindell. was very enjoyable, too. I did “stop and stare” for a while, at the simple sight of a Robin “feathering its nest” as Mary Poppins sang. It may be a common sight…but still something I enjoyed very much.

A list really does not convey the happy feeling of the entire morning, traipsing along paved paths and mud ones, watching the binoculars go up, trying to decipher both the birds’ names that are being exclaimed, and the birds themselves!

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It didn’t help when I was looking for the Orange-crowned Warbler, only to be told that it is actually quite a nondescript bird, not quite the orange-headed bright beauty I was imagining! However, the Scarlet Tanager more than made up for this. I do go in to raptures over raptors, and the Cooper’s Hawk couple were a delightful highlight for me.

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A Cooper’s Hawk with a squirrel catch, wow!

I'm rather Wobbly About Warblers even back home in India, so it didn't bother me that I couldn't identify anything except the Yellow-rumped Warbler. I found it excellent to go with people who "bird by ear", and hopefully, I've learnt a little. ghowl fp 280413 photo DSC05645.jpg Not having a car, I could not make it to Tower Grove, but it seems as if you had an equally good time there. I'm attaching a few of the photos I took today (it certainly was not a day for bird photography, as the lady with the 150-500mm lens said, as she lugged it patiently along). One can clearly see the squirrel in the claws of the Cooper's Hawk. With many thanks, and looking forward to next Saturday's FPF/Audubon Bird Walk , for us beginners, while the experienced birders are away at the Audubon's meeting! Here's the bird list that Bob sent out: (I did not have a car, so I didn't go to Tower Grove, but walked back home contentedly along the edges of Forest Park). Kennedy Woods (mostly complete list): Canada Goose Mallard Cooper's Hawk Great Horned Owl Belted Kingfisher Red-headed Woodpecker Red-bellied Woodpecker Downy Woodpecker Northern Flicker Eastern Phoebe Great-crested Flycatcher Blue-gray Gnatcatcher American Crow Black-capped Chickadee Tufted Titmouse White-breasted Nuthatch Carolina Wren Ruby-crowned Kinglet American Robin Gray Catbird Blue-headed Vireo Blue-winged Warbler Orange-crowned Warbler Nashville Warbler Northern Parula Yellow-rumped Warbler Black-throated Green Warbler Yellow-throated Warbler (on solo separate side trip) Pine Warbler Palm Warbler Black-and-white Warbler American Redstart Ovenbird Kentucky Warbler (vocalizing only) Scarlet Tanager Northern Cardinal Rose-breasted Grosbeak BLUE GROSBEAK Indigo Bunting Eastern Towhee White-throated Sparrow Northern Oriole American Goldfinch Tower Grove Park: Pine Warbler Purple Finch Red-breasted Nuthatch Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Rose-breasted Grosbeak Other photos on my FB album at here