Though the weather seemed to threaten in the early morning, things cleared up just in tome for the 21 who came out to Button Bay State Park for this years First Day Hike. This this is the fourth of theses walks we have held. One of many events like this that happen around the country at State and National Park to get people kicking off their year right enjoying exercise and nature on our beautiful public lands. Of course, as an Audubon chapter taking part in this, our walk is decidedly bird themed, and as Button Bay State Park’s eBird Hotspot shows, this is a great place to find them.

Not so much this year, however. With an absence of food in the woods there was a marked lack of songbirds, and despite having plenty of open water in the bay, waterfowl were hard to come by too. Still, we did manage to see some good things. A large flock of Black-capped Chickadees feeding on the ground around some trees led us to spotting two Brown Creepers working their way up the tree trunks. Out in the bay, the only thing we could find early on was a Common Loon, but it was a very cooperative one, letting everyone get good looks at it through the spotting scopes we had on hand. A pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers dropped in right in front of us on some bare branches. And Cardinals were found in several places skulking in the bushes.

Down at the end of the trial at the the point opposite Button Island we were able to get out on the rocks to scan the water. From there we were able to add Common Merganser and Ring-billed Gull to our list before we called it a day and headed back.

Even though our species count wasn’t that great, we did have a very fun walk with some great company and we look forward to holding this event again next year.