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Daily Archives: October 23, 2012

The Dark Eyed Junco is Back

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I know the seasons are changing when the juncoes return to my yard. We saw the first one this morning. Not the one in the picture below, because it disappeared too fast to capture. They become less jittery when it really gets cold and even my coming outdoors doesn’t bother them while they feed. Here is one very inquisitive bird from last winter.

dark eyed junco

They feed on the ground, and wander around under the bushes and the feeders. The chickadees and finches push the less desirable food out of the feeder to get to their favorites, and the juncoes get the leftovers that drop. Their return reminded me to look and see if the Centennial walks are up on the Howard Bird Club site.

It is fall birding season and yes, the Howard County Bird Club is again offering their weekly walks in November in Centennial Park. It is where we first learned to identify new birds, by sight and sound. It is also where we are learning more about waterfowl, as a change from the birds that visit our yard feeders.

These easy walks good for beginning birders start at 8 am. in the west area parking lot, entered off Centennial Lane. They are the 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th of November. Club members bring scopes to let you get really good looks at the birds. It is 2-3 hours at a leisurely pace, and a great way to spend a November Sunday morning.

Some pictures from two years ago. The trip reports, available on the web site, show you what we found that November day in 2010.

great blue heron over Centennial Lake

3 male and one female mallard on a pond off the main trail

Oh, and when we go off the main trail, we often flush out other inhabitants of the park, like this young buck.

The buck, mallard and heron pictures were from the 14th, a day we did not see the cedar waxwings that were there on the 7th.

cedar waxwings

This is fall migration season. It is interesting to see what birds will stop at the lake on their semiannual flights. The bird club does these walks every spring and fall. Put them on your calendar and join us.