Ahhochee Hill Field Trip, 5 April 2024

It was a gorgeous morning on April 5th and the second day after a major cold front passed through. Fifteen bird folks gathered and were greeted by Christie Anderberg and Billie.  We were also greeted by a Summer Tanager singing high in the oak that we were parked under.  We spent time trying to see it but to no avail.  Northern Parulas were in the trees on the edge of the yard.  A Swallow-tailed Kite gave us a brief look at it.  A female Ruby-throated Hummingbird showed itself.  Perhaps twenty Cedar Waxwings hung out in the tree tops waiting for us to leave the area of the Mulberry tree.

We made our way down through the meadow and to the excellent habitat for woodpeckers. Red-bellied Woodpeckers were heard but, strangely, were not seen. There was no sign of a Red-headed for the first time in many years. And no Downies. But other species cooperated. Pileated Woodpeckers sounded off. A second Summer Tanager sang high in a Long Leaf Pine. We got to it before it flew off. It was on a mostly shaded limb, but it did provide the chance ​for a long range photograph.


Then we had a nice visit with a pair of Great Crested Flycatchers.  Although they were up high, we got good looks. Several folks got photos. They shared their boisterous vocal repertoire.  On the way
back a Black Vulture flew up onto a snag and posed for photographs.  Near the end of the birdwalk another Summer Tanager sang for us, but it was too far into the trees to try for visually.
Finally upon exiting the forest we saw and captured the elusive Rey-Wells’-Widow resting on a snag (last photo).  It was a most enjoyable morning in great company at a wonderful property.  Thank you, Christie!

Text and photos by Rey Wells and Bob Ross