Hopkins Pond-Journal Entry #3

I decided to head out to do some birding on Wednesday, March 13th over spring break. I visited Hopkins Pond in Haddonfield, New Jersey at 2:28 until 4:00 pm. The weather was a very nice 51 degrees, it was sunny for the first hour which is when I saw the most birds, and then after that the clouds came in making it a little cooler outside with less bird activity. The habitat consisted of a small pond with some trees/wooded area and a walking path around the entire circumference of the pond. Through a small patch of trees on one side of the ponds, there is a road and elementary school about 50 ft. away which added some occasional noise of screaming children and cars to the otherwise quiet and serene pond ecosystem.
Before I even got to the entrance of the pond walking trail, I spotted a huge flock of Canada geese in a field right next to the entrance. There were about 12 walking around, and it seemed as if they were foraging around in the grass. They all seemed to be doing the same exact thing, yet they were not really interacting with each other. When I first started walking through the woods, I heard the familiar cackle of the White-breasted Nuthatch, which sounded very close to where I was standing. I looked up in a nearby tree and immediately spotted two of them, hopping together from tree to tree. It seemed as if they were cackling to each other, and one immediately followed the other into its previous position if the first one moved. They seemed to be unusually small compared to White-breasted Nuthatches i have seen in the past, but it could have just seemed that way because they were very high up in the tree.
I then walked down to the edge of the water and after a few minutes a pair of Mallards swam leisurely by me, so close that if I reached down I could probably touch them. I sat down to observe them at a deeper level and to see how they interacted with each other. There was one male and one female and both were synchronized together and moving at a very slow pace. I did not hear them make any noises, but they were swimming as close to shore as possible and seemed to be foraging in the mud with their beaks. I found it very interesting to compare the plumage and coloring of the male and female of the same species. As I watched them their very different and distinct coloring was making a lot of sense to me. The male Mallard needed his bright purple and green coloring in order to attract a mate. The female on the other hand was very dull brown with spots and looked almost like the colors of dead leaves or twigs. This would make sense, because it could act as a form of camouflage in the brush when the ducks are nesting.
As I trekked further into the muddy swampy area, the large wingspan of the Turkey Vulture caught my eye. I looked up and immediately spotted another one trailing right behind it. They were both soaring overhead, and appeared to be doing loops over and underneath each other. They seemed very in sync, and they were definitely looking for prey as they glided around and dove through the trees.
During my walk, I also heard the Black-capped Chickadee call a few times, but I was not able to spot where the call was coming from. I saw and heard the shriek of multiple Blue jays, two of which I saw hopping around and perching on branches in a large bush and tree. I saw and heard three very small Tufted Titmice, none of which were together in the trees. I saw four American Robins on my walk which were darting from bush to bush seemingly in a small flock. They seemed like they were definitely traveling in a pack. My most exciting observation by far was towards the end of my walk. As I was about to leave the trail entrance to the pond, I heard the loud clicking of the Belted Kingfisher. I ran back to the pond and was able to follow the call to a nearby tall tree at the water's edge. I had never seen one before while knowing what it was, and it seemed a little larger than I had pictured it being.
I did not have much luck with attracting any birds with the mini-activity, I can see how if done correctly a bird could mistake the “pishhhh” noise for either another bird or bug. When I did it, it seemed like I was too close to the birds and they all flew away and seemed scared by the noise. I tried this activity on both the American robins and the tufted titmice that I observed.

Posted by kaschmec kaschmec, March 14, 2019 17:51

Observations

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Canada Goose Branta canadensis

Observer

kaschmec

Date

March 13, 2019

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis

Observer

kaschmec

Date

March 13, 2019

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

Observer

kaschmec

Date

March 13, 2019

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura

Observer

kaschmec

Date

March 13, 2019

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus

Observer

kaschmec

Date

March 13, 2019

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata

Observer

kaschmec

Date

March 13, 2019

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Tufted Titmouse Baeolophus bicolor

Observer

kaschmec

Date

March 13, 2019

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

American Robin Turdus migratorius

Observer

kaschmec

Date

March 13, 2019

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