Spreadsheet of Sightings


What Where When Reported by Comments
Buck Piney Branch Road & Sligo Creek opposite the tennis courts 1:44pm, Sun, Nov 20, 2011 Tim Parker There was a doe sitting on the ground right behind the buck.
Photo by Tim's sister
Perhaps a new beaver dam? Just upstream from the Piney Branch bridge, but not as far upstream as the tennis courts. Sat, Oct 29, 2011 Beth Martin The creek is blocked most of the way across by young green trees, positioned parallel to the current. Their leaves are upstream with the trunks pointing downstream. Can't see if the trunks have characteristic point left when a beaver cuts them because they are under water. But I've never seen trees line up like this. The water behind them is backing up to the trunks of the trees on the bank. Did not see an actual beaver.
White squirrel Playground where Long Branch passes under Piney Branch Rd 8am, Mon, Oct 10, 2011 Deb Rubenstein I understand there's a difference between an albino squirrel and a white one. Not sure which it was -but a handsome critter!

The FoSC Webmaster contributes the following:
Wikipedia states:
Although these squirrels are commonly referred to as albinos, most of them are likely non-albino squirrels that exhibit a rare white fur coloration known as leucism that is as a result of a recessive gene found within certain Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) populations, and so technically they ought to be referred to as white squirrels, instead of albino.

One can differentiate between an albino and a white squirrel by looking at eye color. Albinos have pink eyes; white squirrels have dark eyes like a grey squirrel.
Beaver Stone bridge on Park Valley Road just before it intersects with Sligo Creek Parkway 10:15am, Wed, Sep 28, 2011 John Cavanagh We were walking across the stone bridge where Park Valley Road comes into Sligo Creek Parkway, and a large beaver was slowly moving upstream toward the bridge. After about a minute of watching it, it dove under the water.
Stinkhorn fungus Hillwood Manor Garden. Where the Sligo Creek Trail meets New Hampshire Sat, Sep 24, 2011 Sarah Jane Marcus Something is ROTTEN in Sligo Creek
White egret or heron, likely a Great Egret Wading and hunting in the creek, about noon, about 1/4 down from Piney Branch; then about 1 pm, just above Piney Branch Sun, Sep 4, 2011 Alan Abrams smallish, slender, long graceful neck, all white plumage, yellowish bill, no plume. stalking, occasionally plucking tiny bits of ??? from the water and raising its head to swallow it.
Two deer 100 feet downstream of Maple Ave 8:20am, Tue, Aug 30, 2011 Keith Both deer seemed a little small, maybe teenagers? One peed in the water, thought that was kind of weird.
Night Hawks on our walk from Silver Spring: over lower Ellsworth and Bennington, and across the creek over Three Oaks 8pm, Fri, Aug 26, 2011 Alan Abrams and Janet Kinzer They were flycatching at maybe 250'-300' altitude, coming from various directions, but many from the NE. We had seen a greater swarm about two years ago, but perhaps that was earlier in the evening. The next day they were gone.
Yellow Crowned Night Herons - 13 Fledglings In three nests between Brunett Avenue and the Dallas Avenue Bridge June and early July 2011 Debra Benator This is Part III of the 2011 series.....sadly they leave us each year...but we can look forward to their return in March 2012, Sligo Creek still magical.
YouTube video by Debra Benator
Black Crowned Night Heron At a favorite Sligo Creek Waterfall, north of Brunett Avenue Late June 2011 Debra Benator A delay in sharing with you... a spectacular creature. ENJOY!
YouTube video by Debra Benator
Northern Water Snake Below New Hampshire Avenue, alongside the upstream end of the second bridge below Hillwood Manor Park Sat, Aug 13 Michael Wilpers Several participants in FOSC's annual Caterpillar Hunt noticed the snake and pointed it out to others. Although the snake has narrow white bands encircling its body at about 2-inch intervals (like a King Snake), they are very faint and the background color is gray. The King Snake (which is considered "expected" in Sigo) would be much blacker and the stripes much bolder. Thanks to Rob Gibbs (Mont. Co. Parks Dept.) for the ID.
Photo by Michael Wilpers
Photo by Jim Anderson
Black Crowned Night Heron on a concrete sewer bulkhead that crosses the creek, just upstream from Colesville Rd 1pm, Sun, Aug 14 Alan Abrams and Janet Kinzer Shy as always, the bird flew to the far bank. Then, it walked up the bank, in an exaggerated, bounding gait--like Harpo Marx. An hour later, it was back in the stream.
Archive Photo by Michele Gibbs
Various birds At the storm retention pond, upstream from University Blvd 1:15pm, Sun, Aug 14 Alan Abrams and Janet Kinzer Sighted around the pond:
  • about seven flickers and one pileated wood pecker in the same (dead) tree.
  • one juvenile accipter (probably a Cooper's hawk)
  • two juvenile buteos (probably red tailed hawks)
  • two orioles (one male and one female or immature)
  • two ducks that seemed darker and more uniform brown than mallards...American black ducks? (they had blue patches on their flanks but no apparent white stripes)
  • some sort of shore bird--6"+, whitish belly and throat, body and tail held horizontal, working the edge of the pond. A small rail?
  • two kingbirds
Barred owl North of Dennis Ave, East of the Creek Early morning, Fri, July 22, 2011, and Sat, Aug 6, 2011 Laura Mol Heard on two mornings, with dawn just lighting the sky, between 5-5:30A. Location unclear: from trees on Tenbrook (edge of kids' sledding hill)? or in the neighborhood (Sligo Woods) itself?
Call of the Barred Owl
Various breeding birds walking Sligo Creek between Colesville RD and the Beltway Sat, July 30, 2011 Noah Kahn I saw or heard many interesting species that are presumably breeding in the Park. Along with the year-round residents (robins, jays, cardinals, chickadees, titmouse, downy woodpecker, American goldfinch, etc.) there was Blue-gray gnatcatcher, Acadian flycatcher, Wood thrush, Eastern wood-pewee, Great crested flycatcher, Belted kingfisher, Eastern towhee, Barn swallow, Gray catbird, and of course the Yellow-crowned night herons.
Juvenile Night Heron In Wheaton Branch - off the bridge on Dennis Ave and Medical Park Drive 7:30pm, Thu, July 21, 2011 Rose Chang The bird flew overhead (from North) and landed in the creek. The legs and feet were a light green color - sort of sage green and uniformly colored. It appeared to be searching for food from a rock, and kept moving closer to the bridge where my son and I stood, not concerned with our presence
Photo by Rose Chang
A beaver Near the intersection of Worth Ave & Sligo Creek Pkwy, just downstream from Colesville Rd Dusk, Wed, July 6, 2011 Jim Williams I was walking along the asphalt trail on Sligo Creek Pkwy from the parking lot nearest to Rt 29 (on the E side of Rt 29). Shortly after walking past the 1st bridge on the right (S side, leading to tennis cts) I saw something ahead of me moving downstream in the water. There was some vegatation between the path & the creek. Once past that I was alongside the beaver & moved to the stone retaining wall when it slapped its tail & dove into the water & didn't reappear while I lingered in the area. It was past Civil Twilight & getting fairly dark.
Pair of either immature cooper's hawks or goshawks Behind my house on Parkside Road; near the Comstock Branch of Sligo Creek 9am, Sun, July 24, 2011 Heather Livingston I just heard a screeing noise and looked out and there were not one but TWO full-size hawks sitting in the little tree on my deck that's right against the house so that they were looking right in my living room window. One flew away after a few moments, but the other stayed a bit longer and then flew to another little tree (these are trees with maybe 5 inch diameter trunks) only slightly farther off, right against the deck. She is so beautiful! about 1 foot tall, light brown head looking all around, white speckled on darker brown back, white fluffy front, light and black striped tail. She's just chilling and occasionally preening and peering around (maybe waiting for her mate?) and occasionally screeing gently. Now she just watched a leaf fall. That was so cute! It fell lazily from above her head and behind her and she looked up at it and back over the top of her head to see it fall down to the ground. From discussion with friends and looking at photos, it seems likely they were immature cooper's hawks or goshawks. And yesterday in the late afternoon I found a small pile of gray feathery indefinable matter in the front walkway that I now suspect was hawk puke (there's a technical term for that I'm forgetting that I learned long ago in Once and Future King). And now that I know what they sound like, I am hearing them all around outside my house.
Gotta start keeping a camera by the window.
Additional Comments by Heather
Black-crowned Night Heron In the gravelly riffles beside the tennis courts, just below Colesville Rd 8am, Tue, July 19, 2011 Alan Abrams In a slulking posture, facing downstream. It noticed me noticing it, and paced away toward the far bank, despite that I was heading down the path and not approaching it.
File Photo by Don Olson
Snake looking over one of the bridges into the creek between old carroll and new hampshire ave 8am, Fri, July 1, 2011 Holly Mcclain 3-4 feet long, copper in color with diamonds down its back. swimming along.
Snapping Turtle At the intersection of Hilltop and Geneva, between the bike path and the road, on the grassy area next to the little parking area, facing the parking area (just upstream from Maple Ave) 12:19pm, Mon, July 4, 2011, on the way home from the parade Heather Livingston The turtle had been there, presumably, for some amount of time; I hadn't noticed her on the walk down a couple hours before, but not sure if I would have. People were gathering, and we were trying to decide if it was safe to leave her when a turtle expert came along from Mid-Atlantic Turtle and Tortoise Society and confidently picked her up and put her in the creek, downstream of the waterfall. The turtle seemed healthy and alert, other than having a tumor on the side of her face and possibly on one hind leg. Approximately 1 and 1/2 feet long (is my rough guess) and 1 foot wide (i did not measure her, just eyeballing in my memory). Although normally it might have been best to leave her, it probably wasn't the best situation with crowds coming home from the parade. Better she try her upstream jaunt, if that was her intention, on a different day.
File Photo by Michael Wilpers
Presumably a fox Brunett Ave and Sligo Creek Parkway, just upstream from Colesville Rd 9:45pm, Mon, June 27, 2011 Doug A darkish red-coated animal, possibly a fox, darted across Brunett Ave into the woods at the base of the hill from Acorn Hill Waldorf Nursery School shortly heading north toward Forest Glen at 9:45 PM from Sligo Creek. Probably too small to be a Coyote, too big to be an Opposum, too big and too awkward to be a kitty cat, and odd behavior for a dog (which it did not resemble). So, I am thinking it was some type of fox.
Parakeet Jefferson and Freemont Avenues, Takoma Park, across the creek from the Washington Adventist Hospital 6pm, Fri, June 24, 2011 Melissa An 8-9" parakeet (bright green/yellow, orange hooked beak) flew out of the woods and landed on a few of the house roofs on both Jefferson and Freemont Avenues. Saw it again this morning (Saturday 6/25) flying from house to house, landing on the roof for a rest before being chased away by other birds.
An encounter between a fox and a opposum Section 6, along the stream north of Flora Lane just West of Sligo Creek trail (just inside the Beltway) 10:30pm, Sun, June 19, 2011 T. Whorton I was out walking my dog and saw a small, gray fox approaching from the West, walking along the forest edge. We stopped to watch it and then the fox heard or smelled us and stopped about 50 ft away. The light was pretty good as there is a street light nearby. Unbelievably, I then saw another critter approaching from the East, along the same forest edge. It was a opossum. It was walking right towards the fox and did not slow down a bit, it did not seem to notice any of us. It walked right into the fox and in an instant the opposumn was laying on the ground. The fox did something but I couldn't tell if he grabbed it and dropped it or the opposum tried to jump away at the last minute. There was no noise. I cleared my throat and the fox ran off, I went up and the opossum was laying there but I could not tell if it was injured or just playing dead (I didn't want too get too close plus I was holding my dog). I went in and got a flashlight and put my dog inside but when I came back out it was gone.
Female Wood Duck with 6 chicks Just north of the Brunette Ave Bridge noon, Sun, June 19, 2011 Trish Koch  
Very large black turtle Park Valley Rd. bridge 9am, Wed, June 1, 2011 Deidre This was a very large turtle in the water near where the beavers were playing. This turtle had three bumps on it's back looking prehistoric. It was quite large. Earlier in the spring I saw a similar turtle in the North West Branch trail.
Black snake In gutter in front of 911 Larch Ave. Takoma Park 9am, Tue, May 31, 2011 Catherine Tunis I saw a fabulous 3 foot black snake this morning in the gutter in front of 911 Larch Ave in Takoma Park. I have never seen a black snake here and this one was a beautiful one. It was near my neighbor's car and I was worried it might be dead because it was so still. I went back to my house to get my camera. Just then the City street sweeper truck came up the other side of the street and I knew it would be headed down the snake side soon. When I came out, indeed that truck had started down the street and my neighbor was in her car and starting to leave... I ran down and she stopped, but the snake was gone. probably startled by the truck. So sorry I didn't get a picture, but at least it is safe from the car and street sweeper!

Black snakes are not poisonous or agressive. I was very pleased to see one here. We need to protect habitat for these critters.
Woodpecker Nest Bridge at Jackson Road and Sligo Creek Pwky, just below the Carroll Ave bridge Mon, May 30, 2011 Michele Gibbs We have been watching this nest for a couple of weeks. The baby(ies) have just begun to poke it (their) head out. Uncertain how many in the nest. Parents come at regular intervals to feed the young.
Parent Woodpecker Photo by Michele Gibbs
Babby Woodpecker Photo by Michele Gibbs
Deer In the creek next to the tennis courts just upstream from Piney Branch on Sligo Creek Pwky Mon, May 30, 2011 Michele Gibbs Pair were crossing the creek.
Photo by Michele Gibbs
The sensational Yellow Crowned Night Herons and Newborns Between Brunett Avenue and the Dallas Avenue Bridge May 2011 Debra Benator Youtube link to Yellow Crowned Night Herons, Part II
In bloom: Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium graminoides) In Kemp Mill portion of the Park, along the west side of the hiker-biker trail, near where the trail splits Mon, May 23, 2011 Michael Wilpers Despite its common name, this tiny, gorgeous flower is in the Iris family.
Photo by Michael Wilpers
Cinammon Fern, plus Lady, New York, and Sensitive Ferns and Skunk Cabbage On the west side of the stormwater ponds in Kemp Mill, and the upland above Mon, May 23, 2011 Michael Wilpers Cinammon Fern is listed as "rare" in Sligo in the 2003 plant inventory, occuring only in "acidic seepages" in section 9 (above Univ. Blvd.). The cinammon-colored stalks are the fertile ones. The large seepage area is carpeted with NY Fern and Skunk Cabbage, with Lady and Sensitive Ferns mixed in. At the base of one tree can be seen all four ferns, Skunk Cabbage, and Jack-in-the-Pulpit in a compact and pleasing arrangement.
Photos by Michael Wilpers
First cricket song of the season Yard near Sligo Creek Park after dusk, Fri, May 13, 2011- daily since Laura Mol A very familiar summer sound, but who's making it--that sustained trill with irregularly occurring, brief breaks--? First night, a single voice heard after dark; then some "singing" before dark; by May 16, multiple voices; now coming from the lemon-balm/black-eyed-susan tangle as well as the meadowish, tall-grown green(Robin Road & Tenbrook Drive, just N of Dennis). When one steps too close, silence falls. Tentative ID, based on www recordings, is the Eastern Trilling Cricket, also called the Southeastern Field Cricket (Gryllus rubens).
Photo and Call of Southeastern Field Cricket
In bloom: Mountain Laurel, Maple-leaved Virburnum, Wild Yam, Fleabane & Clustered Snakeroot Just downstream from the Park Valley bridge (between Maple Ave and Piney Branch Rd) Mon, May 16, 2011 Michael Wilpers The taller of the two Mtn. Laurels along the Parkway has a massive trunk, at 3-4", at least twice the typical thickness, so may be very old. The snakeroot is abundant along the floodplain, alongside Spanish Needles. One of the fleabanes had two flowers fused together.
Photos by Michael Wilpers
A beaver couple Park Valley bridge over Sligo Creek 7:30pm, Sun, May 22, 2011 Bart Wickel I saw a beaver couple play around, get some food, chew on a trunk. It was starting to get dark so it was hard to get a good shot.
Photo by Bart Wickel
Bumblebee with stuffed pollen baskets, on blackberry Along the parking lot just upstream from Park Valley, on the west side of the Creek Tue, May 17, 2011 Michael Wilpers The bumblebee was visiting and re-visiting all the blackberry flowers, even though its "pollen baskets" on both high legs seemed to be packed to capacity. The bee collects pollen all over its hairy body then, in flight, brushes it to one area and combs it into the "baskets," to take back to the hive.
Photo by Michael Wilpers
Yellow Crowned Night Heron In the park above Sligo Creek on the left bank just downstream from NH Ave 1pm, Wed, May 18, 2011 Kristin Zimmer He was busy eating worms and very comfortable with passersby (human and leashed dog).
Photo by Kristin Zimmer
Magnolia warbler near University Blvd (Section 8) Sun, May 16, 2011 Madere Olivar Web Photo
Momma Mallard and 8 little ducklings In the creek just upstream from Park Valley bridge 5pm, Sun, May 15, 2011 Kit Gage Haven't seen so many ducklings at one time in Sligo before. They were really swimming fast and feeding along the bank as they went upstream. No Dad present.
Yellow-crowned night heron In Sligo Creek, fishing just below a small falls, near the intersection of Sligo Creek Parkway and Brunett Ave. (near Colesville road) 9:30am, Sun, May 15, 2011 Deborah Richie The bird was quite close to pedestrians who were stopping and enjoying the view--fine as long as everyone's dog stays on leash.
File Photo of a yellow-crowned night-heron
Scarlet Tanager Between Maple & Bridge over Carroll Ave 1:30pm, Sat, May 14, 2011 Polly Pettit & Peter Dowling Injured: But feisty; took it to bird sanctuary in Gaithersburg
Wilson's warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, louisiana waterthrush, yellow-throated vireo, cedar waxwings all except the waxwings were on the Flora Lane tributary between Colesville and Forest Glen Roads Wed, May 11, 2011 Madere Olivar Wilson's warblers are uncommon for this area. This one was quite fearless and put on a good show.
Hairy Sweet Cicely and Star-of-Bethlehem Just downstream from New Hampshire Ave., in a sunny opening along the floodplain on the left bank, visible from the north end of the foot-bridge. Fri, May 6, 2011 Michael Wilpers The Hairy Sweet Cicely (O. claytoni) was common in Sligo in the 2003 inventory and found in all sections. The Star-of-Bethlehem (O. umbellatum) is listed in the latest edition of Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas, which recommends pulling it up as soon as it's noticed.
Sweet Cicely Photo by Michael Wilpers
Star-of-Bethlehem Photo by Michael Wilpers
Canada warbler, warbling vireo Between Colesville and Forest Glen Roads Mon, May 10, 2011 Madere Olivar Photo of Canada Warbler
Photo of Warbling Vireo
In bloom: Deerberry, Maple-leaved Virburnum, Dewberry, Blackberry, Black Locust Below New Hampshire Ave, between Hillwood Manor Park and the Pepco corridor (except Black Locusts, which were along-side the parking lot of Don Bosco School) Sat, May 7, 2011 Michael Wilpers Both deerberry and dewberry were uncommon in Sligo in the 2003 survey, though found in all but one section. The black locust blossoms are edible and sweet.
Photo Album by Michael Wilpers
Creamy Violet (aka Pale or Striped Violet), Viola striata Just downstream from New Hampshire Ave., on the left bank, visible from the north end of the foot bridge Fri, May 6, 2011 Michael Wilpers This violet is common in the mountains, but not in the Piedmont. It was listed as "rare" in the 2003 plant inventory of Sligo, observed in only two sections, not including this one. The white flower, branching stem, and large spiny stipule (at the base of the branches) identify this violet. There were a couple dozen of them in a sunny opening on the floodplain, next to a 10-foot American elm and amidst greenbrier, Virginia creeper, Sweet Cicely, Star-of-Bethlehem, and non-native invasives.
Photo by Michael Wilpers
Photo of Spiny Stipule by Michael Wilpers
summer tanager, rose-breasted grosbeak, nashville warbler, northern waterthrush, redstarts, parulas, black-throated blue warbler, black-throated green warbler, common yellowthroat, blackpoll warbler, great blue heron edge of the park by Flora Lane (section 6) Fri, May 6, 2011 Madere Olivar first time I recall finding a summer tanager in the park. there are lots of scarlet tanagers, as always. it was nice to identify the northern waterthrush by its song, which sounds to me like "please, please, please, have it with ketchup."
Yellow-crowned Night-heron In the field at the intersection of Sligo Creek Pkwy and Brunett Ave Sat, Apr 30, 2011 Monique Zastrow There were at least 4 birds. One was observed flying with nesting material in its beak. I have seen them several times since.
File Photo of a yellow-crowned night-heron
Pinxter Flower and Mayapple in bloom Lower Long Branch, between Jackson Ave. footbridge and Becca Lilly Park Sun, May 1, 2011 Michael Wilpers The Pinxter Flower (aka Pink Azalea, a native) was surrounded by Maple-leaved Viburnums, next to a 9-foot Mockernut Hickory, with Mayapple, greenbrier, Sassafras saplings, & English Ivy below. Most Mayapple flowers on Long Branch were fading; usually, most plants in a colony will be asexual but, in one collection, almost all the plants had flowers (8 can be seen in the photo).
Pink Azalea Photo by Michael Wilpers
Mayapple Photo by Michael Wilpers
Coyote scat? On the bike path North of University Blvd (literally on the pavement) just South of where the Colt Terrace field path branches off to the right. Sat, Apr 30, 2011 Leah Haygood Size of a large dog poop but composed almost entirely of fur and showing the characteristic tapered end.
Yellow-crowned Night-heron University Blvd stormwater pond (on the trail, just North of University Blvd) Mon, Apr 25, 2011 Leah Haygood I haven't seen a yellow-crowned night heron at this pond before (also haven't seen it since).
Yellow-crowned Night-heron near Worth Ave & Sligo Creek Parkway just downstream from Colesville Rd, in the creek 11:30am, Sat, Apr 30, 2011 Jennifer File Photo of a yellow-crowned night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron On Flora Trib 150 ft upstream from Sligo Creek Sun, Apr 24, 2011 Chris Swarth As it walked in the water among the rocks I watched it catch and eat a small gray-brown crayfish.
Plants emerging: fern fiddle-heads, baby oak leaves, tiny maple seeds Lower Long Branch; Sligo between Maple and New Hampshire Mon, Apr 18, 2011 Michael Wilpers A few dozen Christmas Ferns just leafing out in the gorgeous "fiddle-head" fashion amidst Mayapple in Long Branch just below Carroll; tiny White Oak leaves emerging in pale red color near the Long Branch-Sligo confluence; baby Red Maple seeds (samara) dangling from buds alongside a footbridge over Sligo.
Fern Photo by Michael Wilpers
Baby Oak Leaves Photo by Michael Wilpers
Maple Seeds Photo by Michael Wilpers
An unusual violet Lower Long Branch (between Carroll and the confluence with Sligo), along the edge of the terrace-floodplain over looking the creek bed Mon, Apr 18, 2011 Michael Wilpers A small patch of 6-8 of these violets, all have white flowers on unbranched stems, with side-petals showing yellow hairs advertising the nectar source & tiny bracts mid-way up the flower stem, all suggesting it could be the uncommon white form of Common Blue Violet (V. sororia, aka V. papilionacae, f. alba). Alternatively, could be Large-leaved White Violet (V. incognita), which was not reported in the Sligo mainstem in the 2003 inventory. Thanks to Cris Fleming and Joe Metzger for ID assistance. More documentation on Viola papilionacea f. alba
Photo by Michael Wilpers
Photo by Michael Wilpers
Photo by Michael Wilpers
Star Chickweed & pollinator bee Along lower Long Branch, just upstream from Becca Lilly Park, and along Sligo, right behind the playground at Flower Avenue (btw. Maple and New Hampshire) Mon, Apr 18, 2011 Michael Wilpers In Long Branch, they were growing on the downslope side of a large, downed tree that protected them from masses of leaf-litter dumped from a backyard at the top of the slope. The pollinator is probably one of the solitary bee species.
Star Chickweed Photo by Michael Wilpers
Closeup Photo by Michael Wilpers
Photo showing Pollinator by Michael Wilpers
Belted Kingfisher and Pileated Woodpecker Kingfisher - just downstream from Colesville Rd
Woodpecker - downstream from Piney Branch Rd
Kingfisher - 4:30pm, Thu, Apr 21, 2011
Woodpecker - 2:30pm, Sat, Apr 23, 2011
Deborah Richie I heard and then briefly glimpsed the belted kingfisher twice at this spot where I haven't noticed one before.
Web Photo of Belted Kingfisher Pair
Photo of Pileated Woodpecker by Don Olson
Nesting Yellow Crowned Night Herons One above the Dallas Avenue parking lot. Another in a nearby sycamore tree. April 2011 Debra Benator We've seen three pair close by, but only two nests. Has anyone had sightings of the third? YouTube video of nesting heron pair on Sligo Creek
Monarch butterfly near the park, between the Park Valley bridge and Piney Branch 2pm, Thu, Apr 20, 2011 Kit Gage I have never seen a monarch this early in the spring. It was pretty beat up but feeding on nectar.
Coyote or fox den Between Colesville Road and Arcola (exact location withheld) Sat, Mar 26, 2011 Michael Wilpers Rob Gibbs of the county Parks Dept. said, "The hole looks large enough [for a coyote den]. It could [also] be a very large fox den, but it would be worth keeping an eye on it." A casual look revealed no paw prints on the mound of dirt or nearby.
Photo by Michael Wilpers
Closeup Photo by Michael Wilpers
Mallard Mating Dance former beaver pond, just inside the Beltway Wed, Apr 6, 2011 Don Olson Here are some shots of male mallards going through the mating rituals at what is left of the beaver pond. By the way I have not seen any sign that the beavers are still in this spot.
Album by Don Olson
Spring Beauty, Trout-Lily, and Mayapple Lower Long Branch, between Carroll Avenue and the confluence with Sligo Sun, Apr 10, 2011 Michael Wilpers Hundreds of Mayapples poking through the carpet of English Ivy on both sides of the footpath through the narrow floodplain and up the slope to the east. The many colonies of Trout-lily were restricted to the wetter, creek side of the path. Only a few Spring Beauties were apparent.
Spring Beauty Photo by Michael Wilpers
Mayapple Photo by Michael Wilpers
Dutchman's-breeches Long Branch, between Carroll Avenue and the Jackson Avenue bridge Sun, Apr 10, 2011 Michael Wilpers Half-a-dozen of these marvels were growing in a small patch on the edge of the flood-plain, over looking the stream, amidst trout-lily, greenbrier, and English ivy, with Mayapple nearby. One of the trout-lilies was also in flower. Dutchman's breeches were not reported along the Sligo mainstem during the native plant inventory (2003).
Dutchmen's Breeches Photo by Michael Wilpers
Trout Lily Photo by Michael Wilpers
Cranefly orchid leaves In the middle of the woods north of Dennis, east of Sligo Middle School fields, west of the hiker-biker paved path Mon, Apr 4, 2011 Laura Mol "About the woodlands I [did] go/ to see the cherries hung with snow" ... but found only a couple ornamental cherry escapes, yet nearby stumbled upon a site with nine Cranefly Orchid plants, each a single distinctive leaf--a dark and warty green above, a shiny purple underneath.
Photo by Laura Mol The general habitat is upland oak-hickory--very few invasives in this area relatively far from the disturbances of edge/paths, but everything also very deer-browsed.
Photo by Laura Mol
Yellow crowned night heron on the concrete bulkhead 10yds upstream from the bridge by the Bennington tennis courts Mid-morning, Sun, Apr 3, 2011 Alan Abrams My neighbor said she saw YCNH's two weeks prior (+/-Mar 20), near the same location. It seems like the herons are much later arriving, and fewer in number. In prior years FOSC first sightings are in the 1st week of March.
Pair of Wood Ducks Next to basketball court in Section 2, at the bend in the creek 6:30pm, Tue, Apr 5, 2011 Marty Ittner So cool to see beautiful wood ducks in section 2 (Maple Ave to New Hampshire Ave). We have mallards a plenty.
Photo by Marty Ittner
Solitary Trout Lily and Spring Beauty blossoms Between New Hampshire Avenue and the Pepco corridor Mon, Apr 4, 2011 Michael Wilpers Amidst a colony of dozens of single-leaved Trout Lily plants was this individual in flower. Nearby was this one flowering Spring Beauty, similarly surrounded by many in leaf only. A bit further downstream, these plants were mixed with non-native Lesser Celandine and English Ivy, and beyond that a dense mat of the Celandines with no other plants amongst them.
Trout Lily Photo by Michael Wilpers
Spring Beauty Photo by Michael Wilpers
A pair of Wood Ducks Down stream of the Carroll Ave. bridge 2:30pm, Mon, Mar 28, 2011 Don Olson I wonder if this may be the same pair that I saw at the Beaver pond
Photo by Don Olson
Young Pileated Woodpecker Downstream of the stone bridge at Park Valley Rd 2pm, Mon, Mar 28, 2011 Don Olson I believe this was a male, it may have been the same one I saw earlier in the month near Piney Branch Rd. as it was about the same size.
Photo by Don Olson
Small fish activity At several locations as far upstream as Dallas Ave. and down stream to Maple Ave The first that I saw was off the footbridge near Dallas Ave. parking area on March 27, 2011 about 4pm Don Olson I hope that there are enough for the herons that have been sighted to get a meal after the long flight back.
Photo by Don Olson
Painted Turtle & 100+ Robins sunning themselves The picnic area just upstream from Piney Branch Road Mon, Mar 28, 2011 Michael Wilpers Both the turtle and the Robins were sunning themselves in the bright, late-afternoon sunlight on a cool day. The painted turtle was resting on a large rock in the creek, just downstream from the footbridge at the north end of the picnic area. The 100+ Robins were arrayed, facing sunward, evenly spaced across the extent of the old ballfield, while still others perched themselves, facing the sun, in trees between the field and the creek.
Mottled Squirrel Woodman Av - Wheaton Branch below Water Ponds Tue, Mar 29, 2011 Michael Pollock A mottled squirrel, to go with the piebald squirrel reported earlier this year.
Photo by Michael Pollock
Jan 1, 2011, Photo of Piebald Squirrel by Michael Pollock
Hundreds of solitary bee nests Sligo Middle School, all across the slope between the upper and lower playing fields Sat, Mar 26, 2011 Michael Wilpers Some of the mounds consisted of light brown soil particles, others of bright white. They were densely scattered up and down the area, which stretched about 20 feet up the slope and a couple hundred feet across its length. These tunnels are distinguished from ant-hills by the pencil-thick diameter of the opening. Solitary bees (which include Mining Bees and Sweat Bees) pollinate Sligo's earliest blooming flowers, incl. red maple, serviceberry, black cherry, and black willow.
Photo by Michael Wilpers
3 White tail deer Near the Beltway & Sligo Creek path 1:30pm, Thu, Mar 24, 2011 Don Olson Walking upstream I saw the three in the woods off to the left just before the Beltway overpass.
Photo by Don Olson
A small woodpecker About a half a block upstream from the path coming from Crosby Rd. (The beaver pond) 2pm, Thu, Mar 24, 2011 Don Olson As I was walking down stream I saw it in the trees to my left.
Photo by Don Olson
A pair of wood ducks At the Beaver pond across from the gulf course 2:15pm, Thu, Mar 24, 2011 Don Olson I beleave these are the same ducks that have been seen by myself and others in the last few weeks at the same place.
Photo by Don Olson
Yellow Crowned Night Heron Pair Area adjacent to the Dallas Ave bridge Thu, Mar 17, 2011 Debra Benator Welcome Back! They return, ready for spring, still lovely but perplexed. Where's my home?? Two of three nests down from ThunderSnow and the Big Rain.
Photo by Don Olson from 2007 sighting
Yellow Crowned Night Heron South of Colesville (Three Oaks Drive & Sligo) Tue, Mar 22, 2011 Michele Gibbs I first saw one in the tree where last year there was a nest. Shortly after that I saw three more flying together from that tree toward Wayne.
Photo by Don Olson from 2007 sighting
Trout Lily and Spring Beauty sprouts Between New Hampshire Avenue and the Pepco corridor, along the right (west) bank of the creek Mon, Mar 21, 2011 Michael Wilpers A colony of about 30 trout-lilies poking through the leaf litter beneath ironwood (C. caroliniana) and young beech. All of these seemed to be one-leafed, which means they will not flower, typical of most individuals in a trout-lily colony. Scattered among them were the thin twin leaves of spring beauty waiting to send forth their flowers.
Trout Lily Sprouts Photo by Michael Wilpers
Spring Beauty Sprouts Photo by Michael Wilpers
A pair of Wood Ducks At the former Beaver pond across from the Golf course 1:30pm, Mon, Mar 21, 2011 Don Olson Photo by Don Olson
Mapleleaf virburnum leafing out & spicebush blooming Between New Hampshire Avenue and the Pepco corridor, along the right (west) bank of the creek Mon, Mar 21, 2011 Michael Wilpers End buds of mapleleaf virburnum at two stages of leafing out on the same plant. Perhaps the soft hairs help protect the young bud from freezing in late winter. Flower parts seem to be within the same bud, waiting until leafing out is complete. Spicebush flower is male, with pollen-containing anthers ready for insect visitors.
Mapleleaf Viburnum Photo by Michael Wilpers
Spicebush Bloom Photo by Michael Wilpers
Bluebird In the woods North (upstream) of Sligo Creek and University Blvd Fri, Mar 18, 2011 Stuart Armstrong Web Photo
A young male Pileated Woodpecker Upstream of the Carroll Ave. Bridge on the road side of the creek 1:45pm, Sun, Mar 20, 2011 Don Olson It was smaller than the ones that I have seen in the past so I think it was a younger one
Photo by Don Olson
Fox in perigee-moonlight Parking lot of Sligo-Dennis basketball courts 6am DST, Sat, Mar 19, 2011 Laura Mol Outside to see the 1-day-short-of-full perigee moon setting down over the Sligo woods to the west, sighted a fox--ID presumed from silhouette & gait--poking about and then trotting off into the deep shadows.
Screech Owl A few feet downstream of the county line in P.G. county, section 1 Thu, Mar 17, 2011 Don Olson A nice lady saw me with my camera and ask me if I had seen the owl, when I said no she turned around and took me back down the path to show me where it was.
Photos by Don Olson
One of the solitary bee species that pollinates red maple Near Wayne and Sligo Creek Pky 2:30pm, Sat, Mar 12, 2011 Don Olson with technical assistance of Michael Wilpers Red maple is one of the few canopy tree species in Sligo that does not depend upon wind to spread pollen from flower to flower.
Photo by Don Olson
Photo by Don Olson
Wood Ducks The new beaver pond near Crosby, by the soccer field Sat, Mar 5, 2011 Chris Swarth A pair was investigating the trees overhanging the new beaver pond near Crosby, by the soccer field. They flew down and landed on the water among the 25+ Mallards. Another sign that spring is not far off.
Photo by Michael Wilpers
Web Photo of Wood Duck Pair
Red-backed Salamander In Sligo woodland, north of Dennis, west & upland of paved path 5pm, Sat, Mar 5, 2011 Laura Mol Pulling japanese honeysuckle out from mostly oak-leaf duff atop moist soil, next to a small log, exposed a slender, wiggly, 3-inch critter of shiny blue-gray color--almost iridescent: the Red-backed Salamander in a lead-back phase.
Read more about the Red-backed Salamander.
Web Photo
cedar waxwings On the edge of Sligo Creek near Washington Adventist Hospital and Carroll Ave bridge 7am, Tue, Mar 1, 2011 Holly Mcclain I woke up this morning at 7am to a huge flock (40 or so) of cedar waxwings in my pear tree off my deck. They are still perched there 6 hours later!
Web Photo
Three red shouldered hawks Ellsworth Drive and Dale Drive downstream from Colesville Rd 11am, Sat, Feb 26, 2011 Alan Abrams and Janet Kinzer We first heard the call of one bird in the trees near the intersection; then noticed two on the wing very high, returning the calls--the two wheeled about for awhile and finally dived — a few moments apart — into the tree as they appear in the photo. Two birds had mature markings; one was immature.
Photo by Alan Abrams
Delicate winter remains of aster flowers Between Maple and Piney Branch, half-way up the steep west slope, at foot of a very old Tulip Tree Sat, Feb 12, 2011 Michael Wilpers This beautiful winter flower shows the thin, white strands of the "pappus", each of which is attached at the bottom to the fruits (an "achene"), which had not yet dispersed. Below these are the "receptacle." Very likely a White Wood Aster (thanks to Joe Metzger of the Md. Native Plant Society for assistance).
Photo by Michael Wilpers
small, long tailed hawk, probably a sharpshin at the bottom of Ellsworth Drive, in a tree on the odd side of the street, just downstream from Colesville Rd 9am, Sat, Feb 19, 2011 Alan Abrams and Janet Kinzer  
two pair of wood ducks just downstream from the footbridge, below the tennis courts by Bennington Lane 9:10am, Sat, Feb 19, 2011 Alan Abrams and Janet Kinzer  
A large herd of white-tailed Deer Near the Beltway 4pm, Sat, Feb 12, 2011 Don Olson Walking on the path I saw a dog in the woods chasing the herd towards the Beltway, there were at least six to ten deer.
The largest flock of mallard ducks that I have ever seen in Sligo Creek At the beaver dam across the road from the golf course 3:20pm, Sat, Feb 12, 2011 Don Olson I have seen a large flock there on other days, but the flock seems to be getting larger as the water level goes up.
Photo 1 by Don Olson
Photo 2 by Don Olson
Skunk cabbage flowering and leafing out In the wetland across the creek from the Dennis Avenue recreation area Sat, Feb 12, 2011 Michael Wilpers One of the Skunk Cabbage plants was in flower and the other just barely leafing out, both nicely filtering the late afternoon sunlight. Up close, the flower smelled like fresh skat (the odor attracts pollinators). This wetland area will be filled with the giant leaves of skunk cabbage later this spring, but today I could find only these two. Nearby were a few fruiting stalks of Sensitive Fern, with their spore cases not yet opened.
Photo 1 by Michael Wilpers
Photo 2 by Michael Wilpers
Photo 3 by Michael Wilpers
Red-shouldered hawk just upstream from Wayne Ave 4:15pm, Fri, Feb 11, 2011 Alan Abrams Location Photo by Alan Abrams
Closeup Photo by Alan Abrams
Belted Kingfisher Section 8, above Dennis, along the creek Sun, Jan 30, 2011 Susan Hunt I hear -- and often see -- the Belted Kingfisher at just about this same location as it flies along the creek, giving its loud rattling call.
Web Photo of Kingfisher Pair
Listen to the call of the Belted Kingfisher
A pair of wood ducks Section 1 - downstream from New Hampshire Ave at 1st bridge Mon, Jan 17, 2011 Kerry Stone The male and female wood duck were hanging out with about 15 mallards.
Web Photo
Beaver Dam Downstream from footbridge across from Golf Course noon, Sat, Jan 1, 2011 Don Olson Beaver damage to trees was reported on November 25, 2010, by Dee Clarkin. At that time the beaver dam was under construction and looked like nothing more than a pile of leaves. The dam has been finished.
Photo Album by Don Olson
Jim Anderson reports on Jan 14: I had a great time watching at least 2 different beavers. One was larger than the other, but both were relatively small.
Photo by Jim Anderson
Bald Eagle Aloft on Sligo between Dale and Colesville 2pm, Sun, Jan 2, 2011 Kit Gage  
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker Uphill from Sligo Creek Parkway between Park Valley and Piney Branch, close to Park Valley, in a holly tree 2pm, Sun, Jan 2, 2011 Kit Gage It was poking away at the holly tree bark in search of insects. Got a close view of it, and heard its distinctive sort of mewing sound.
Web Photo
Flock of Mallard Ducks Downstream from footbridge across from Golf Course noon, Sat, Jan 1, 2011 Don Olson The ducks are all mallards. One male seems to have a deformed or damaged leg.
Photo of Flock by Don Olson
Photo of Male Mallard by Don Olson
Piebald squirrel Wheaton Branch Spur noon, Sat, Jan 1, 2011 Michael Pollock This sure looked like a grey squirrel with one large black spot. I don't recall ever seeing a bi-colored squirrel before. Has anyone else seen this (I suppose it could have been an injury of some sort)?
Photo by Michael Pollock