Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Westmoreland's "Woodpecker Woods"

On Friday, December 16 - a very cold day - I did a four mile hike in Westmoreland State Park, mostly along the Turkey Neck Trail.  But I am going to call it "Woodpecker Woods," because I saw five different kinds of woodpecker - downy, pileated, red-bellied, red-headed, and flicker.  I like hiking in almost any kind of weather, including the cold, although I could have used an extra layer at times.  The high temperature there was about 27 F.

Here is the route of my hike, starting and ending at the blue triangle, and hiking counter-clockwise:

And here is a satellite view of the area, along with my route.  Note the forested wetland along the eastern-most part of the hike.

Most of the park is fairly mature hardwood forest, with lots of beech.

This looks like a field but is actually a wetland of some type.  It was not real wet at this particular time.

This part had some standing water.

The park borders the Potomac River, and for part of it, has dramatic sandy cliffs.  Fossil shark teeth are often found here.  The area was closed because of the risk of the cliffs collapsing.  Getting buried alive was not in my plans for the day, so I chose to follow the rules on the sign.

I saw this little group of buffleheads (a type of duck) in the river near the cliffs.

This was a fun hike and I saw a lot of birds, and even a couple of mammals, enough to write a "What am I?" post or two later.  It's been over a decade since I hiked here, but I'll be back for sure, next time with a better camera to get animal photos.


  1. Nice walk. Wow lots of woodpeckers.

  2. Yeah, they are really cool. I need to come back in here and post my two "mystery animal" photos.