Birding on the Birdwalk

This has been a strange year for everyone, however, not everything has been bad. With the roar of traffic absent, birders in the metropolitan area have been able to enjoy their passion in a way not possible for several decades. The constant hum of traffic has been replaced with the songs of birds and choruses of frogs. I have always enjoyed birding at Hard Bargain Farm but this year has been very special.

Unlike the fast pace of spring migration, where birds are in a hurry to reach their breeding grounds, the fall migration is much more subdued and relaxed. Warblers of every sort have been winding their way through the woods, while our beloved White-Throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed juncos have been arriving in mass and will stay throughout the winter. 

This year we have seen an explosion of Pine Siskins and Ruby-Crowned Kinglets. We have also had some Rare Visitors, A Sabine’s Gull several weeks ago decided to hang around for a few days and a Black-Bellied Whistling duck. The observations of the Black-Bellied Whistling Duck are now under review to be included in a scientific study on extreme migration variants.

– from the notebook of Bill Townsend, Alice Ferguson
Foundation educator and wildlife enthusiast


Check out the birds Bill has spotted so far this fall.


Next up for migration, wintering ducks.


If you’d like to do some bird-watching of your own and see if you can spot some of the birds Bill has seen, come on down to Piscataway Park. Piscataway Park is open year-round from sunrise to sunset and the gate at Accokeek Creek Site opens at 9:00 am to access the inner parking lot. Learn more here.

To learn more about the birds in our area and across the world, visit

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