Well it’s officially autumn now, and one of the many harbingers of fall is the sound of the geese returning. They’re not here in full force yet, but we have heard a few honks lately.
Speaking of birds, if you’ve been to visit us this summer, then you may have caught a glimpse of one of the Barred Owls that are living here at the Brampton Inn. So many guests have told us that they’ve never seen an owl in the wild before, or at least not as close as these two seem to be comfortable with. It has been quite a treat to watch them almost every evening, and even sometimes in the mornings. Guests staying in the Sunrise Room in the Garden Cottage have the very best vantage point. The private patio for this room looks out over the area where the birds seem to like to hunt. We are forever indebted to one guest in particular: Bob Wilhelm took some fabulous shots when he and his wife Carole were visiting from Ohio. He is responsible for these:
These are particularly wonderful because of the daylight: the owls can be seen as early as 4 or 5 each afternoon. These photos show a young owl born this spring, as evidenced by the tiny bits of down still visible on the edges of the tail feathers and on the face and head. We’ve also learned that the fact that this owl is sitting there and preening in broad daylight (see next photo) indicates the naivety of a youngster. We are hoping he or she gets a little wiser (ha! owls are supposed to be wise, right?) and is here with us for a long time.
And while this is a critter that’s pretty easy to recognize, the Brampton is home to a myriad number of birds that are a little trickier to name on sight. Recently, the Kent County Bird Club was here again early in the morning to lead us on a nature walk and identify as many species as we could see and hear! This time there were 28 species identified, but the owl was not one of them! He or she must have been sleeping in that day.
Here is the list of what was seen:
Turkey Vulture 8
Killdeer 2 Full-grown juveniles, on pond
Mourning Dove 1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 3
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee 3
Blue Jay 5
American Crow 2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1
Purple Martin 4
Carolina Chickadee 1
Tufted Titmouse 1
Carolina Wren 9
Eastern Bluebird 1
Gray Catbird 2
Northern Mockingbird 1
Common Yellowthroat 1
American Redstart 1 Young female.
Wilson’s Warbler 1 Male, probably adult based on extent of cap.
Chipping Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 9 Young birds being fed by parents.
Blue Grosbeak 1
Indigo Bunting 6
Bobolink 8 All flying fairly high overhead calling.
Baltimore Oriole 3
American Goldfinch 1
The Wilson’s Warbler was named “best bird”, simply meaning it’s not something that you see everyday. Fall is a great time for birding because of all the migrants that come through. So if you come to visit and aren’t sure of the difference between a sparrow and a finch, don’t worry, we have the bird books to help you identify them. You may even get hooked on Maryland birding and leave with a new hobby!