Our previous visit to the wetlands was in December -- truly WET-lands and few birds, but with the promise of a habitat that would be filled with birds in the spring. And spring is here!
This wonderful dead tree looked like a perfect place for woodpeckers and nuthatches.
Scanning it with my binoculars, I found a RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH working around the trunk near the top.
The air was full of singing WARBLERS and SPARROWS - at least 8 to 10 TOWNSEND'S WARBLERS flew in and out of the large conifers.
The area most heavily populated with the warblers and other singing birds was clearly marked "You Are Here" (ok, probably a coincidence).
|Warblers Are Here!|
When we returned on Saturday, the area was still full of song and birds.
In addition to the warblers, we enjoyed watching and listening to GOLDEN- and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, BLACK-CAPPED and CHESTNUT-BACK CHICKADEES, a HUTTON'S VIREO, and several HERMIT THRUSH.
We think we spotted a LINCOLN'S SPARROW along with the numerous SONG SPARROWS.
A DOWNY WOODPECKER hung from a branch over our heads.
Deeper in the woods, I spotted a bit of red at the tip of a tall conifer. First studying it in the binoculars, then snapping several distant photos, I was excited to see that we were looking at a RED CROSSBILL - a first for us!
After visiting Turtle Lake (no turtles that we could see), we looped around the western edges, where there were fewer birds but tons of beautiful scenery.
As we reached the path that led back to the car, we heard a familiar song and stopped to try to locate the shy PACIFIC WREN.
To our delight, he was perched on a branch in the shadows and stayed for a couple of photos before fleeing into the brush. The wren brought our total to 30 species for the two-day visit to the wetlands.
Cutler City Wetlands Open Space has a number of trails. The main entry is on SW 63rd, but there is very little parking (a small turnout on the side of the road). If you come on a damp day, wear boots or shoes you don't mind getting muddy.