NORWAY – Birders saw 28 species in two hours during the 21st annual bird walk at Roberts Preserve earlier this month.

“We got most of the warblers,” said Robert Van Nest, who along with his wife, Mary, have organized the event for years and have been birding together for about 40 years.

This year, a group of more than a dozen birders with binoculars met on May 5 on Pikes Hill around 8 a.m., said Lee Dassler of the Western Foothills Land Trust, who oversee the preserve land.

Although birds tend to keep to their migratory schedules because their patterns are influenced by daylight hours rather than temperature, Van Nest said they wanted to get an early start on the walk because the early budding trees limited the view of the birds.

Van Nest, who hosted the annual event on their 80-acre Pikes Hill farm for many years before Roberts Preserve was opened to the public, said they saw a good variety of birds including 10 varieties of warblers.

Dassler said the birders, ages 18 months to 60 years old, identified black-throated green, yellow rump, black-throated blue, black and white, blackburnian, chestnut-sided, pine, and Nashville warblers.

Other species identified were: bluebird, blue-headed vireo, ovenbird, crow, tufted titmouse, tree swallow, black-capped chickadee, hairy woodpecker, redstart, least flycatcher, brown creeper, white-breasted nuthatch, yellow-bellied sapsucker, white-throated sparrow, hermit thrush, mourning dove, herring gull, goldfinch, rose-breasted grosbeak, and robin.

While the walk only recorded birds observed, backyard observations testified to the return of bob-o-links, hummingbirds, and orioles, Dassler said.

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