We were welcomed by a beautiful wintry scene as we drove down into the Green River Gorge to begin our tour. A layer of snow covered the ground and stuck to the trees but it soon melted away as the sun rose, skies completely cleared, and temperatures warmed. One of the first birds we got a good look at was an overwintering Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. A pair of Downy Woodpeckers also delighted us as we watched them performing courtship rituals. We arrived at the Walcott Tract and began making our way back towards the fields that are known for high sparrow abundance and diversity. As we walked along the river we saw a male Common Merganser for a few seconds before it disappeared floating downstream. Winter and Carolina Wrens called as we walked through the forest and a House Wren appeared briefly on top of a debris pile. As we entered the fields, we welcomed the suns warmth and it seemed the birds did too! Activity picked up and hordes of Song Sparrows foraged among the undergrowth. We managed to pick out a red Fox Sparrow and handful of other sparrow species. A singing Pine Warbler reminded us that spring was not far away. Good numbers of overwintering Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets also made their argument that winter was definitely not over! As we began to make our way back to our vehicles an adult Red-tailed Hawk soared overhead.
Great Blue Heron
Great Horned Owl