Birders Flock to the LBA Woods on Saturday

Neither rain nor hail kept a stalwart band of birders from following field-trip guide, Bob Wadsworth, through the LBA Woods on Saturday morning. This was the fifth guided walk of the woods offered by the Friends of LBA Woods this spring and certainly one of most popular. Thanks to Bob’s amazing bird identification skills and familiarity with the habitat, the group saw and/or heard 21 species of birds. Highlights included listening to the lush up-lilting song of the Swainson’s Thrush at close range and spotting a cavity nest of flickers high in a tree with chicks awaiting feeding. The hailstorm was memorable, too!

The LBA Woods provides a variety of habitats for birds–66 species detected so far. This upland forest boasts a multi-storied canopy, mix of deciduous and evergreen trees, a rich understory of native bushes (including many fruit bearing ones), open meadow-like area, and tangles of plants and underbrush that provide cover. As neighborhoods surrounding the LBA Woods are developed, this new parkland is increasingly important as a refuge for birds, both resident and migratory.

The list of birds spotted on Saturday is at the bottom of this post.

Foxglove and its bee and hummingbird pollinators attract the gaze of birdwatchers. This area, covered in scotsbroom, has been replanted with native understory plants and trees.

 

Bob Wadsworth, a popular field trip guide for Black Hills Audubon, Stream Team, and other groups, knows his birds by sight and ear. He’s documented 66 species in the LBA Woods.

Not long into our tour of the woods, the skies changed and the cumulonimbus clouds let loose with hail storm that sent the birds and birders for cover.

 

Pellets of hail fell across the forest and scotsbroom meadow–after pelting the birders.

 

Looking like a flock of freshly bathed bluebirds, the birders took refuge from the hail under the massive limbs of this Big-Leaf Maple.

 

Skies cleared at the end of the bird walk as the lingering birders walked across the LBA Park baseball field to stir up insects, which, as guide Bob Wadsworth predicted, drew the swallows in to feed as they circled around the foursome.

Here is the bird list for Saturday’s walk (below) and same list posted on eBird.

 

 

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