by Kate Weatherby, WMA board member:
Sixteen hardy individuals showed up on a brisk morning for the Perham Stream Bird Walk led by ornithologist Peter McKinley. It was hard to get started with the walk after the property owner, Carson Hinkley, greeted us with coffee and, well, I was told they weren’t donut holes, but I can’t remember exactly what they were, besides good! As we were standing around the table getting fueled up we were constantly buzzed by hummingbirds. The abundance of birds around his house didn’t really encourage us to move along.
After we headed out, the chilly temperatures and fierce winds meant the birds were rather elusive. This only made us appreciate each and every bird that much more. Fortunately, the views were breathtaking and in between birds we could safely rely on Pete to regale us with interesting facts and stories. Occasionally, we would hear a warbler sing, but none were willing to be called in. A Ruby-crowned Kinglet finally showed up for us, but he was so quick I don’t think anyone got a good look.
Coming back down the trail we heard a Red-breasted Nuthatch. He was most accommodating when we played his call and came right up to us and even managed to draw in some Black-capped Chickadees, Pine Warblers, a Magnolia Warbler, and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Back on the road we were rewarded by once again running into plenty of birds around Carson’s house. We finished on a high note when Pete spotted a pair of Brown Thrashers by a hedge. Even though this wasn’t the most rewarding bird walk by numbers of birds, the trail seemed like it would be fantastic on a less windy day and I’m looking forward to returning there soon.
Complete list below: