Breaking News: 150 bird species identified at RedGate Park!
(read about efforts to reach 150)
New: the RedGate Bird Game is now available to print or view on your phone.
Click an image below to enlarge (photos by Vickie Baily).
Contact Vickie Baily with questions about birds at RedGate Park:
Birding at RedGate Park
In August 3, 2019 Rockville Resident Anne Mytych first went birding at what had just been made RedGate Park. She was surprised by the more than 30 species she found, not only more chipping sparrows than she had ever seen anywhere, but a rare Blue Grosbeak. She went back a week later and added a Black-crowned Night Heron to her list.
When she told fellow-birders Vickie Baily and Concetta Goodrich about RedGate, and they found that the Blue Grosbeaks were breeding there, it began to dawn on all of them that the former golf course was a kind of birding heaven.
On August 24th, Vickie asked that it be made a Birding Hotspot on the Cornell Ornithology site, eBird. Mike Bowen came to check out its suitability, and not only said yes to the Hotspot designation, but joined the little group of four that then dubbed themselves the RedGate Trailblazers. Seven months later that group, over 50 other birders have come to the site to see the unusual birds, and have seen more than 125 species so far.
RedGate Park is largely its grassland habitat, dotted with trees and water features, that makes it appealing to many birds that would normally be no closer to Rockville than Poolesville. Thirteen varieties of native sparrows (including towhees and juncos) have been seen there, many types of hawks, some surprising flycatchers, five types of vireos, and now a pair of Great Horned Owls. It is expected that as this first Spring arrives more species will be added, and, as we move farther away from the golf course’s chemical-use more types of birds will breed there.