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Live From The Hive
Free Morning Bird Walks for the Public to be Held
Those who go on the first Saturday Morning Bird Walk on April 1 at Hills Creek State Park may see a ring-necked duck (shown).
Members of the Tiadaghton Audubon Society will lead the Saturday Morning Bird Walks at Hills Creek State Park located on Hills Creek Road in Charleston Township, about seven miles northeast of Wellsboro. The walks are free and open to the public.
All of the nine walks will begin promptly at 8 a.m. on Saturdays, April 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 and May 6, 13, 20 and 27.
Registration is not required. Everyone is invited to participate, including both children and adults and birders of all levels, first timers to experienced.
Bring binoculars and cameras and wear warm, subdued clothing and sturdy walking shoes. “The Tiadaghton Audubon Society usually brings a few extra pairs of binoculars that people can use during the walks. They are smaller and ideal for all ages, particularly younger users, ages 7 and up,” said Sean Minnick bird walk coordinator.
For the walks, participants meet at the Hills Creek State Park office at 111 Spillway Road, Wellsboro Pa. 16901-9676 just prior to 8 a.m. and at 8 a.m. drive to the nearby starting location.
“The walks may last two hours depending on how many birds we are seeing. They are slow-paced and cover a limited distance,” said Minnick,
The walks provide people with an opportunity to see the many varieties of water and woodland birds that live in or migrate through Hills Creek State Park. Bald eagles and ospreys are often observed on Hills Creek Lake.
“Usually, the weather for the first couple of bird walks is cloudy, blustery and cold,” Minnick pointed out.
“At this time of year on Hills Creek Lake, we see waterfowl that are migrating through. Cloudy and rainy weather tends to ground migratory species that might just fly over our area otherwise,” Minnick added.
In case of inclement weather, the group may opt for a driving tour to several nearby key stops.
“There should be a variety of diving ducks and puddle ducks on the lake during April. Also I would expect to see some horned grebes, pied-bill grebes, loons and possibly some tundra swans,” Minnick said.
“We’ll also be looking for the birds that wintered here, such as the northern cardinal, blue jay, black-capped chickadee, nuthatches, both white and red-breasted, woodpeckers – downy, hairy, red-bellied and pileated, and the golden-crowned kinglet, just to name a few.
“I suspect some bluebirds are hanging around the nest boxes near the amphitheater. We may also see some of the newly arriving spring birds like robins, red-winged blackbirds and, if we’re lucky, maybe a pine warbler. Eastern phoebes, and several species of sparrows,” he noted.
The variety of birds will increase dramatically as spring progresses,” Minnick said.
For updates on birds that have been seen in the area and helpful birding tips, visit tiadaghtonaudubon.blogspot.com or www.facebook.com/TiadaghtonAudubon/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Minnick at (570) 948-9052.
For information about Hills Creek State Park, call the park office between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays at (570) 724-4246.
Writing: Diane Eaton