Bird walks begin Saturday at Hills Creek

WELLSBORO — Gary Tyson, Tiadaghton Audubon Society field trip coordinator, is leading the Saturday Morning Birding Walk series, beginning Saturday, at Hills Creek State Park. The park is on Hills Creek Road in Charleston Township, about 7 miles northeast of here.

Walks in April will begin at 8:30 a.m. In May, they begin 30 minutes earlier.

The birding walks are free and open to everyone, regardless of experience with birding. Attendees should meet at the park office. Registration is not required.

Bring binoculars and wear warm, subdued clothing and sturdy walking shoes.

“Each walk may last about two hours depending on how many birds we are seeing,” Tyson said. “When it is cold, we walk pretty fast.”

The nine scheduled two-hour walks provide an opportunity to see the many varieties of water and woodland birds that live in or migrate through the park.

“More often than not, the weather for the first couple of bird walks will be cloudy, blustery and cold,” he added.

This week , cloudy and rainy weather is predicted in the Wellsboro area, with temperatures in the 40s and 50s.

“With a lot of open water on Hills Creek Lake, we usually see some interesting birds. Cloudy and rainy weather tends to ground migratory species that might just fly over our area otherwise,” Tyson said.

In case of inclement weather, the group may opt for a driving tour with several key stops nearby to keep optics and the participants dry.

“We might see a bald eagle. There should be a variety of diving ducks and puddle ducks on Hills Creek Lake during April,” Tyson said. “Also I would expect to see some horned grebes, pied-bill grebes and maybe a loon.

“The bluebirds are singing, and I suspect some are hanging around the nest boxes near the amphitheater,” he added. “We should see some robins, red-wing blackbirds, eastern phoebes and several species of sparrows.”

Later in the month, those on the walks may be able to spot rough-wing, tree and barn swallows and several species of shorebirds.

“The variety of birds will increase dramatically as spring progresses,” Tyson said.

More information is available by visiting tiadaghtonaudubon.blogspot.com, by emailing raven@tiaudubon.org or by calling Hills Creek State Park at 570- 724-4246.

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