Birding Bog Meadow Brook
Due to its varied habitat, this trail has great potential
for migrants and residents alike. More intensive birding
could prove this site to host an impressive number of species and may confirm use by some less-common species.
|The Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail is a two-mile trail following an abandoned railway through open marsh, wet meadow, and forested wetland habitats. There is a parking area on either end of the trail and benches and interpretive signs along the way. The diverse habitat, level terrain, and accessible location make for a very pleasing half-day of birding.|
Spring hosts both Rusty and Red-winged Blackbirds, along with Common Grackles which may be found in the marsh areas and wooded edges. Gray Catbird, American Robins, and European Starlings are common throughout, as well as Song and Swamp Sparrows. Baltimore Orioles add their brilliant color to the shady woods. Resident Canada Geese, Mallards, and Wood Ducks can be seen in the open water. They are joined by Hooded Mergansers and Ring-necked Ducks when the water level is high. When the water is very low, Solitary Sandpiper and Spotted Sandpiper can be seen probing for food in the mud. Warblers found in spring have included Wilson’s, Nashville, Mourning, Blackburnian, Magnolia, Palm, Tennessee and Canada – 22 species in all! American Woodcocks have been seen performing their courtship flights from the trail. Also, American Bittern has been heard in the grassy area 100-200 feet from the north trailhead off of Rt. 29.
During summer Turkey Vultures can be seen soaring overhead. Woodpeckers can be seen and heard throughout the trail; they include Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied, Pileated, and Northern Flicker. Over the larger bodies of water Tree Swallow and Barn Swallows can be found catching insects in flight. Belted Kingfishers will perch on a dead tree and plunge head first into the water for a meal of fish. Look for both Great Blue Heron and Green Heron while walking along the bog. Also seen during summer are American Kestrels.
As fall approaches American Goldfinch and Cedar Waxwings can be seen flying about. Look for Eastern Phoebes and Eastern Wood Pewees perched on low branches on the water edges. Also be alert for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds making their way south for the winter and Ruffed Grouse which may be flushed while walking the trail. American Tree Sparrows will soon be seen as they move into the area to spend the winter months.
Resident Blue Jays, Northern Cardinals, and American Crows can be observed during the winter, as well as other times of the year. As the snow begins to fall, Dark-eyed Juncos join the Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, and White-breasted Nuthatches among the trees. In late winter be on the lookout for Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglet.