Blacktone Parks Conservancy
Dan Berard at the telephoto on the NBC boat house deck. Elena Riverstone on the right helped organize the outing.

Dan Berard at the telephoto on the NBC boat house deck. Elena Riverstone on the right helped organize the outing.

Birds and bird lovers turned out in large numbers February 28th for the BPC’s first Winter Duck Walk along the Seekonk River (last year’s was prevented by ice).  Fifty-seven of the human species saw seven species of migratory ducks float by and preen on old pilings. Counting other birds sighted at the river, there were 16 species of birds, plus a few others on land. Happily, we spotted two uncommon birds, the Barrow’s Goldeneye and the Black Vulture. But the show stopper was a pair of  Bald Eagles perched on a pole across the river, their white heads gleaming in the sun.

Dan Berard, the knowledgeable vice president of the Ocean State Bird Club, led our walk.  He and other experienced

birders from the Club shared considerable information and their spotting scopes to help us all see the birds in detail.  Afterward many of us returned to the Narragansett Boat Club outdoor deck for coffee, cocoa, and – for the youngest birders – coloring books. We are happy to announce that Dan will return to Blackstone Park for future bird walks: stay tuned for news of our next bird program.

 

List of Birds Identified on Seekonk River Duck Walk

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  7

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)  6

Gadwall (Anas strepera)  6

American Wigeon (Anas americana)  3

American Black Duck (Anas rubripes)  11

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  15

Greater Scaup (Aythya marila)  382

Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  64     Best count, likely more

Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)  52

Barrow’s Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica)  2   

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)  7

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) 2

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  5

Herring Gull (American) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus)  87

Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)  7

Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  1

 

Interested in learning more about the Ocean State Bird Club?  The Ocean State Bird Club (OSBC) is the only birding club in the state of Rhode Island. The OSBC offers free walks, talks and events throughout the year at  some of the state’s hot spots and  lesser known birding areas.  Walk locations/themes are planned to coincide with the presence of  interesting and unusual species.

Walks and talks are free and open to the public. The OSBC does encourage birders to become members so they can take advantage of members-only events such as a private boat trip to see thousands of roosting Tree Swallows. Members also receive a quarterly newsletter including articles on what to expect in the upcoming season, bird identification articles, book reviews, a species spotlight and more. Annual dues are $15!

When the bird coloring books ran out, a seven-year-old named Penelope shared hers with a six-year-old named Linus.

When the bird coloring books ran out, a seven-year-old named Penelope shared hers with a six-year-old named Linus.