Report a Sighting

Here is the place to post your sighting of animals and of plants in the Sligo Creek watershed or in the Park itself and to peruse what others have seen and reported. It is a fascinating list, growing year by year. No need to feel shy; what is of interest to you is what is fine to post, and interesting behavior and surprising locations are useful to record. Thanks for taking part - as a reader or as a reporter - in the web of life in Sligo Creek.

Spring Migrant
Bird Sightings
Native Plant
Photos by
Don Olson

What Where When Reported by Comments
Blood root flowering; cut-leaf toothwort; Dutchman breeches; and trout lily Blood root was found blooming in Section 4 below Piney Branch Road and in the woods along Dale Drive above the playing field. The cut-leaf toothwort, Dutchman breeches and trout lily were found in the woods between the Creek and the inside path. April 9, 2014 (blood root), others on April 16, 2014 James Anderson There are lots of patches of trout lily in most areas of Sligo Creek Park. Unfortunately, lesser celandine is over growing most areas where there are early blooming plants in Sligo Creek.
Photos by James Anderson
Common Ribbonsnake Trail near the Kemp Mill shopping mall 2:45pm, Sun, Apr 13, 2014 Will K. Large for the species (30+ inches I think), and very active, moving quickly through the brush near the trail. Healthy-looking animal.
Web Photo
American Bittern Close to the Parkway, just downstream from Schuyler Road, in a tuliptree adjacent to the tree with the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron nest 9:30am-7:30pm, Sun, Apr 13, 2014 Susan Hunt Seems unusual to see a bittern in a tree but it was quite unmistakable, viewed by many passersby and birders.
Web Photo
Two Yellow-crowned Night Herons Slightly downstream of where Windham comes into the path, in a tree right next to the Parkway - section 8 8am, Thu, Apr 10, 2014 Susan Hunt They were sitting close together on a small pile of sticks, fairly high in the tree--looks like nesting behavior to me
File Photo by Don Olson
Great Blue Heron Upstream from Dennis Ave, section 8 2pm, Wed, Apr 9, 2014 M. Faigin Amazing! It's a huge bird! Saw it swallow a large fish in one gulp.
Photo by Don Olson May 2009
Kestrels mating, Red-bellied Woodpecker tending nest, Towhee singing, 2 Black Vultures soaring In the Pepco powerline corridor along Sligo (btw NH Ave and EW Highway) Sun, Apr 6, 2014 Michael Wilpers The two Kestrels were on a horizontal branch about 20 feet up across from the 16th Pl entrance to the corridor, along the S border of the meadow. Further W along that border, the woodpecker was venturing into and out of a perfectly round hole at the top (30-ft up) of a decapitated Sycamore. The Towhee was singing from a branch about 15 ft up right where 16th Pl. meet the powerline corridor, but it sooned dashed into dense brush to the east. The vultures were circling high in the sky, eventually disappearing from sight.
American Kestrel File Photo
Yellow-crowned Night Herons Schuyler Road and Sligo Creek Parkway just upstream from Wayne Ave Tue, Apr 1, 2014 Pamela Maslen There are two herons nesting together.
Photo by Pamela Maslen
Eastern Bluebirds Section 9 along the bike path at the intersection of the path into the Kemp Mill Shopping Center 2pm, Mon, Mar 31, 2014 Leah Haygood Two bluebirds (a pair?) were softly singing. Also a Phoebe nearby -- the first I've seen this season
File Photo
In flower: Spicebush, Persian speedwell, Corn speedwell, Common chickweed, Purple dead-nettle, Hairy bitter cress, Lesser celandine Lower Sligo, between New Hampshire Ave. and East West Highway Sat, Mar 15, 2014 Michael Wilpers The Spicebush flowers might be males, but difficult to tell as it looked like the reproductive parts had not yet emerged. The celandine is a highly invasive alien. The rest are naturalized non-invasives and were restricted to the mown areas on either side of the paved hiker-biker trail at the Pepco powerline corridor.
Photos by Michael Wilpers
A bat Between Univ. Blvd and the Dennis Ave. recreation area, flying south over the Parkway Dusk, Mon, Mar 10, 2014 Michael Wilpers The bat had a wing span of about 10-12 inches and a fairly steady flight path approximately 15-20 feet above the Parkway. It was flying south about 100 feet in front of my car and stayed directly above the Parkway for about 200 yards before I lost track of it. All our bats (7 species considered "expected" or "possible") are insectivores, so it seems likely that some adult moths are already flying about.
Bats of Sligo Creek
Smooth Alder bush (Alnus serrulata) Just below the first parking lot downstream (south) of Univ. Blvd., on the right (stream) side of the Parkway Mon, Feb 17, 2014 Michael Wilpers This shrub in the Birch family is listed as "uncommon" in the 2003 inventory of native plants of Sligo. I hadn't seen it here before. The dried fruits look like tiny pine cones. This particular plant had retained most of its leaves (all gnarled up), even at this late date(see photo), like some Ironwood trees I noticed this year (C. caroliniana), also a birch.
Photo 1 by Michael Wilpers
Photo 2 by Michael Wilpers
Pair of Red-tailed Hawks Atop a snag (dead tree) at the Kemp Mill stormwater ponds, located just north (upstream) from Univ. Blvd. Dusk Mon, Feb 17, 2014 Michael Wilpers I've seen Red-shouldered Hawks here before but this my first Red-tailed. I didn't notice them in the dimming light until one of the pair flew off. Thanks to Susan Hunt for help with the ID.
Photo by Michael Wilpers
Active Hawk Nest between Park Valley Rd and Piney Branch Sat, Mar 8, 2014 Kit Gage Huge nest, high up in a medium sized sycamore tree. Will try to determine the kind of hawk.
Photo by Kit Gage
Emerging leaves of Spring Beauty Sligo woods, N of Dennis, W of paved path Wed, Feb 26, 2014 Laura Mol Snowcover recently melted, the linear leaf of this early woodland wildflower is just starting to emerge and be visible against the leaf layer--now mostly oak leaves remaining. This first sighting is on a south-facing slope that is part of the rise from tuliptree-spicebush bottomland to oak-hickory upland, notable for an annual late-March show of many little flowers of Spring Beauty (Claytonia) amid also-eye-catching cobbles of mica-schist.
Photo by Laura Mol
Woodchuck Skull Between Piney Branch and Wayne (38.998609, -77.010201) 2:15pm, Sun, Mar 2, 2014 Hugh A. Rand The large post-orbital processes and large size of skull (along with squirrel-like incisors) make it a woodchuck. It was just lying on the ground - not buried at all. No other bones were found.
Photo by Hugh A. Rand
Eastern Phoebe Along the Sligo Creek trail between Forest Glen Road and Dennis Avenue 9:30am, Thu, Feb 20, 2014 Angela Atwood-Moore I don't recall every seeing Phoebe's this early. Last years mild winter seemed to bring them in a little earlier than usual (or maybe I was just out and about sooner with milder conditions), but I was very surprised to see this guy this morning, on a brisk February day. He will either establish a very coveted territory or he will freeze his little bouncing tail feathers off. I'm hoping for the former.
Web Photo
Wild Turkey Walking down Westland Drive then onto Balfour Drive (which backs onto the creek) - downstream from Riggs Rd in Hyattsville 10am, Mon, Dec 30, 2013 BJ Miller Another person says he's seen the turkey twice in the Creek area at the bridge entrance from Balfour Drive.
Photo by BJ Miller
Mallard ducks In Sligo Creek across from the golf course Fri, Dec 27, 2013 Laura Mol Paddling about in the creek, 22 mallard ducks--11 of whom were green-headed drakes (males). About 7:30 a.m. in brisk cold; location is a bit south of the Beltway.
File Photo by Don Olson
Red Fox Forest Glen Road at Sligo Park Mon, Dec 23, 2013 Laura Mol Just past dusk and seen in car headlights, a Red Fox was moving rather quickly northward (upstream) across Forest Glen and into Sligo Park just east of the stream. It was identifiable by the white tip to its bushy tail.
File Photo by Kit Gage
Coyote My yard next to Crosby Road bridge across from golf course 9am, Sat, Dec 7, 2013 Debbie Morley I have seen her in my yard twice before after the squirrels.
YouTube video explaining how to tell the difference between a fox and a coyote ?
Wood Duck pair On the water in Long Branch, just upstream from the playground at Kennebec 3pm, Sun, Dec 1, 2013 Michael Wilpers My sister Helen and her husband (visiting from Seattle) saw a "very colorful duck" while on a walk and identified it from a field guide after returning to my place. To my recollection, this is the first I've heard of a Wood Duck being spotted in Long Branch.
2011 Photo by Don Olson
Bald Eagle Upstream from University Blvd near the pond on the west side of the trail Wed, Dec 4, 2013 Anne I was cycling south on the trail, heard a bunch of agitated ducks, and suddenly a huge bird with a wide wingspan and a bright white tail flew out and up in front of me. I was not able to keep up with it on my bike, and it vanished from view.