While it’s possible to do the Moses Creek Trail
section of the Green Circle in a couple of hours,
it can easily provide a full morning of great birding.
Whether you experience the wonder of a dawn chorus in May or
the call of a lone White-breasted Nuthatch in January, this
is a trail well worth taking the time to get to know.
This section of the Green Circle has as its
centerpiece an extensive length of winding boardwalk
beginning at the Wilshire Drive trailhead. The boardwalk
provides a comfortable and quiet path through a beautiful
stand of mature mixed hardwood and white pine. In spring and
summer Scarlet Tanagers, Red-eyed Vireos, and Pine Warblers
frequent the forest canopy and are more often heard than
seen. Ovenbirds, Veery, and Wood Thrushes may be heard
nearer the forest floor. This area is great habitat for
thrushes and Swainson’s, Hermit, and Gray-cheeked are
regular spring and fall visitors.
The boardwalk also crosses an area of forested wetland where
Chestnut-sided Warblers, Northern Waterthrushes, and American
Redstarts may be found all summer. In winter the brushy
shrub layer of alders and birch may hold Goldfinches, Pine Siskins, and Redpolls.
After passing through a short area of red pine plantation, a second
boardwalk crosses an open wetland, one of the best birding
spots on the trail. Swamp and Song Sparrows, Sedge Wrens ,
Yellow and Nashville Warblers as well as Common Yellowthroats
and Redstarts are found here throughout the summer. In spring
and fall Olive-sided Flycatchers are occasionally spotted
here and in winter the tamarack, birch and alders provide
food for siskins and redpolls.
Further east, the trail passes through a stand of mature
spruce, a winter attraction for White-winged Crossbills and
Golden-crowned Kinglets and a good year-round spot for
Where the trail threads through dry pine and oak forest,
Eastern Wood Peewees and Indigo Buntings sing along the
woodland openings and House Wrens and Redstarts forage in
the thicker trail edge shrubs. Four species of woodpecker,
including Pileated are year round residents along the Moses
Creek trail and spring and fall sightings of Yellow-bellied
Sapsuckers are common.