Home » Have you ever….. Gone on a Bird Walk at the Pole Farm?

Have you ever….. Gone on a Bird Walk at the Pole Farm?

by Kim Robinson

I’m usually a “late to bed, late to rise” sort of person, but when I saw the notice of a 7:30am bird walk at the Pole Farm, I immediately signed up. I had really enjoyed a bird walk on Baldpate Mountain, led by Tyler Christensen a few years ago, but I have to sheepishly admit that I had never even been to the Pole Farm. So I thought… why not kill two birds with one stone? (Oops. Sorry. No. Don’t kill birds.)

When I got to the Pole Farm, which is a segment of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, and managed by Mercer County, and saw a bird literally sitting on the sign post, I knew it was going to be a good walk, and it definitely was. The red barn, at the intersection of Keefe Road and Cold Soil Road, is a good place to park and meet up with a group before heading out.

Moving first through the fields, we saw that bird boxes are numerous throughout the farm, and almost every box we saw had a bird in it, on it, or around it, and as we continued to walk, we literally had a variety of birds flying overhead, almost every second.

With the walk being so early in the morning, I wondered if I should prepare the night before, getting my camera and binoculars out and ready. Of course, I decided I didn’t need to, and so naturally, when I arrived at the farm, I had neither a camera nor binoculars. A member of the group generously let me use her extra pair of binoculars, but with only my cell phone, I apologize in advance for any so-so pictures.

But back to the walk.  Starting at the red barn, and led by Carol Fitzpatrick of Bucks County Birders, we walked for two hours through the farm, spotting many different varieties of birds… redwing blackbirds, northern flickers. catbirds, peewees, warblers, goldfinch, kestrels, vireos, tanagers, grosbeak, and more!  

One could not walk ten paces without seeing multiple species, and as the trail led into the woods, it was like entering a fairytale. The temperature lowered, the birds were singing, and I kept thinking that Snow White might appear at any moment, holding an apple and asking if she should eat it or not.

While I was a novice myself, my groupmates, some of whom had traveled more than an hour to participate, were experts, able to name almost all of the birds we heard by their call. But on the rare occasion when the group couldn’t decide, they used an app called “Merlin” that will listen to a bird call and identify the bird for you! I would highly recommend it for novice birders! (See https://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/ ) In contrast to my groupmates, the only bird I was confident about was the robin.

And while we may not have seen them on this trip, the Pole Farm is also known to have had red-shouldered hawks, yellow- and black-billed cuckoos, northern rough-winged swallow, wood thrush, chimney swift, eastern meadowlark, Carolina chickadee, indigo buntings, wild turkey, and many more.

The trail through the woods eventually led us back out into the sunlight, more beautiful birds, and the amazing skies we had that day.

As we continued back to the red barn where we had met, we even had an eagle flying overhead perhaps a signal that it was time for us to go home. 

Do go visit the Pole Farm and go on a bird walk. You will not be disappointed.

For more information about the Pole Farm, please visit:  https://lhtrail.org/features/mercer-meadow-pole-farm/

For more information about Bucks County Birders, please visit:  https://www.facebook.com/BucksCountyBirders/

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