SLAS/FPF Bird Walk at Forest Park, 060615

June 10, 2015

The first Saturday of June dawned pleasant for the bird walk…and clear.


So even though the ground was still soggy from the rains, I walked to Forest Park. I looked up at the historic birdwatcher of St.Louis. The statue of Franz Siegel carries a pair of binoculars, and you can see him straining to id that raptor in the distance! I meandered over to the meeting point at 8.15am, for a walk around the Steinberg Prairie area.

About 15 of us were guided by Mark Glenshaw, Amy Witt of Forest Park Forever, and Karen Meyer of SLAS.


But several in the group were excellent at spotting the birds, making it much easier for the "Where is it?" birders like me. We started off watching several Eastern Bluebirds, parents IMG_9948 and fledglings IMG_9950 executing their breakfast dance between grass and trees. Truly, they are bluebirds of happiness! Several other Great birds (a Great Blue Heron, a Great Egret, a Great Crested Flycatcher) , a possible Acadian Flycatcher, a possible Red-tailed Hawk (well, a Buteo, definitely!) high up in the sky, were points of delight and much exclamation. A Ruby-throated Hummingbird,with its feathers gleaming in the sunlight, perched several times on the open twig of a dead tree. IMG_9985 Even the bird which most birdwatchers seem to scorn--the Brown-headed Cowbird (why, I'd like to know. Otherbirds like cuckoos are also brood parasites, so why does this bird always meet with a "hmmph" reaction?) was marked and observed. A Brown Thrasher made me come home and google for more information about whythe bird is so called. Overhead, Chimney Swifts chittered as they flew, hawking for insects. It was nice to see several Purple Martins near the Steinberg Skating Rink, utilizing the "apartment complex"and gourds built by humans that they now depend on entirely for housing. IMG_9957 Traveling to the US each year is making my bank balance critically endangered...I wish someone would build me a free home in Forest Park! Here are some of the birds: Blue Jay: IMG_0026 Northern Flicker: IMG_0027 Green Heron: IMG_9987 Great Crested Flycatcher: IMG_9997 Brown Thrasher: IMG_0002 Great Blue Heron: IMG_0014 Red-tailed Hawk soaring very high above: IMG_0020 Purple Martin: IMG_9939 Song Sparrow: IMG_9935 Acadian Flycatcher or Eastern Phoebe: IMG_0024 Eastern Kingbird: IMG_0011 Baby Barn Swallow: IMG_9928 I had a great breakfast of wild mulberries IMG_9936 and wild strawberries! IMG_0004 Though billed as a bird walk, this was truly a nature ramble.Thanks to the guidance of Mark and Amy, we were able to observe a lot of native plants Pickerel weed: IMG_9976 Waterlily: IMG_9977 Bee on Clover: IMG_9989 Fragrant Sumac IMG_0003 Wild carrot: IMG_9999 and trees, and some of the denizens of the water bodies, too, such as turtles IMG_9994 and bullfrogs. IMG_9966 IMG_9983 Here were two mating White butterflies: IMG_9856 There were abandoned websites, too: IMG_9926 We did see Mink swimming in the water, but I got their car number plate instead! IMG_0032 We walked through cool shade and (increasingly) warm sunshine, learning about how the native plants and grasses are being brought back painstakingly by Forest Park Forever, and the various stages and challenges of the process. It was also a walk across the Victorian Bridge, redolent of times past. IMG_0006

My eBird list (Karen may need to add or amend it) is


and my photos on a FaceBook album,


Thank you to the several people who did a great job of spotting birds…many eyes, especially experienced ones, make light work of birding for me!