A Summer of Surprises

There has been a number of surprising sightings at Salter Grove this summer!

Birds

Bald Eagle by Ian Ohara

Immature Bald Eagles have been sighted now and then during the winter months over the park. However, in early August, a few visitors got to see a mature adult perched in the black oak southeast of the entrance to the causeway. It was photographed as it flew off by Ian Ohara, a graduate student in the Environmental Studies Department of the University of Rhode Island. 

Friends of Salter Grove member Jason Major was on scene as well and captured cell phone video of the eagle perched in a tree just east of the causeway path entrance:

In mid-June, David Mozzoni reported seeing a Common Nighthawk as it flew over the breakwater from the direction of Passeonkquis Cove. 

Common Nighthawk (Kenneth Cole Schneider licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird by David Mozzoni

In late July, David observed a Ruby-throated Hummingbird in a black cherry tree on Audubon Field. Neither species had been documented in the park since 2006 when published data first became available on eBird. Hummingbirds are rare within the park because the few nectar-bearing flowers present cannot possible compete with the feeders in the neighborhood. The bird photographed was either a female or an immature. 

Mammals

In early July, FoSG member Jason Major witnessed an American Mink successfully hunting a rodent on a slope below Narragansett Parkway, along the Audubon trail. He recorded the mink scampering through the dry understory, far from its usual haunts along the rocky shores of the Causeway and Rock Island.

First-time visitor to the park Chilsea Wang spotted a dead Northern Short-tailed Shrew on the lawn south of the parking lot at the end of July. This is a second record of this species for the park. 

A clearly-marked track in the marsh vegetation along South Cove suggests that White-tailed Deer come through the park regularly but they are not often seen. However, Jason spotted this six-point buck on Audubon Field one evening in early August.

White-tailed Deer buck in Audubon Field by Jason Major

And the summer is not over yet! 

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