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For September’s Third Saturday Bird walk, we explored the north region of Mt. Pisgah. Dennis Arendt was our leader. I was particularly looking forward to this walk, as I had never birded the area before.

The dozen and a half who gathered on this cool and lovely morning included several new birders and even a pair from out of state! Birds were not plentiful, but twenty-nine species were identified, by sight and/or by ear. A possible Pileated Woodpecker was heard, though not seen. One major highlight was a Great Horned Owl, spotted as it flew in for a landing. It remained in sight for as long as anyone cared to view it. 

Another exciting encounter began with the telltale bouncing ball call of a Wrentit. After Dennis played a digital recording of the bird’s vocalizations in hopes of luring one into view, not one or two, but three Wrentits happily complied! Wrentits are an interesting species, considered to be sedentary. They are only found in a narrow strip of habitat in North America, but no further north than the Columbia River, as they do not fly far enough to cross that stretch of water.

A few old structures along the way fired my hopes of seeing a Barn Owl, which would be a life bird for me. But none were seen. A few very active Downy Woodpeckers captured our attention, as a large flock of Canada Geese flew overhead. Two people even saw a Praying Mantis. 

Fall migration is in full swing, and I look forward to visiting Mt. Pisgah and other local areas frequently in the weeks to come.wrentit

by Rebecca Waterman