The open fields glowing with goldenrod and the wooded trails of Tatum Park were the backdrop to Monmouth County Audubon’s first field trip of the season this morning. This late summer flower, together with the asters, keeps the honeybees in business now and the sight of it will be a welcome memory to anyone walking these same fields come the dark days of December.
Our group of twelve enjoyed the restless voices of Robins and Catbirds in the woods, had a nice look at a Cooper’s Hawk gliding through a swarm of Tree Swallows high overhead and had a demonstration from our field trip leader of the explosive seed dispersal technique of jewelweed after a brief glimpse at a hummingbird feeding among its flowers.
We ended our walk puzzling over the identity of a quickly departing flycatcher while a fawn of the year emerged from the jewelweed and goldenrod at our feet. Two Common Yellowthroats and a Downy Woodpecker were found feeding in the same area. While there didn’t seem to be many birds present today, the warm sun and all that goldenrod made up for the lack of migrants.