Lake Artemisia Natural Area Park

Lake Artemisia
College Park, MD, 301-927-2163

From the Capital Beltway (I-95), take Kenilworth Avenue (Rt. 201) south for 0.5 mile. Turn right on Greenbelt Road (Rt. 193) following it 0.75 miles. Turn right onto Branchville Rd. after Beltway Plaza (see sign for Lake Artemesia), following it for 0.7 miles. The road will bear left and left again crossing under Greenbelt Rd. where it changes into Ballew Ave. Just after the stop sign at Berwyn Rd., turn left into the parking lot for Lake Artemesia. The lake, not visible from the parking lot, is further down Ballew Avenue.  Walk along bike path into park.

It’s Official!  The Luther Goldman Birding Trail
Is Open for Birding!

The 2.2-mile trail loops around the 38-acre lake and alongside Indian Creek as it completes its circle.  Habitats along the trail include open water, wetlands, wood edge, riparian forest and meadow, which offer opportunities for woodland and field songbirds, as well as waterfowl and possible raptor flyovers.  Visit the Field Trips page for information on bird walks.

Date:  Saturday, May 17, 2008

(Posted on MD Osprey two days before the trail was officially dedicated and reprinted here with permission)  A friend and I took a mid-afternoon walk along the Luther Goldman Bird Trail -- my first trip to Artemesia in about two years and my friend's first time there  We arrived sometime around 12:30-1:00 and on our leisurely stroll saw BOTH male and females of the Orchard Oriole AND both Baltimore Orioles at close range. There were numerous purple martins, tree swallows, and a barn swallow or two.  We could hear the distinct low "poo poo pooooooinng" of a cuckoo,  but weren't able to find it in the thick growth along the edge of the Indian Creek trail.  Many Eastern Kingbirds were also in attendence.  Robins, crows, and red-winged blackbirds galore.  At one point this strange cackling noise came from directly over our heads; we looked up to see a green heron in flight, soon to perch at the top of a tree and "do that neck thing they do" where first it's really long and striped and cryptic and then they pull it back into their shoulders and it's another bird entirely.

Laura Appelbaum, Cloverly, MD

Date:  Saturday, May 24, 2008  (Inaugural Bird Walk)
Trip Leader:  Jack Saba

For the first official bird walk along the newly-dedicated Luther Goldman Birding Trail on Saturday, May 24, we had excellent weather, with temperatures in the 60's, a light breeze, and sunny skies. The walk started with thirteen people, eight of whom were new to our joint PBC/PGAS field trips, and four of whom had to leave part way through. The walk took about an hour longer than the scheduled three hours, running from 7:30 to 11:30, because of the number of interesting sightings along the way.  The group found 57 species, with a concentration of birds on the peninsula -- our hot spot for the day -- and five active nests, some without birds present.

Sightings of note:
  • Green Heron – In addition to spotting one bird flying over the lake, we looked at an active nest, but did not see a bird on it at that time.
  • Cooper's Hawk nest – We looked at an active nest, but the adult bird, present the night before, was not present or was keeping its head and tail well down.
  • Red-shouldered Hawk – A pair were actively calling from the very start of our walk, and soaring overhead as we walked beside Indian Creek near the end.  One obligingly landed in a tree by the bridge on Berwyn Road for a nice ending to our walk.
  • Laughing Gull flyover – A relative rare sight in this region at this time of year.
  • Purple Martin – There are five pair of martins in residence at the Martin house on the peninsula. They were present, active and quite noisy.
  • Tree Swallows occupied many of the bluebird nest boxes around the lake.  One perched on a post beside the trail at the beginning, giving a close-up view for all and a nice photo opportunity for those with cameras.
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – We saw several gnatcatchers as we walked the trail. In addition, we looked at three nests. One had a female on it, brooding eggs. A second had at least 3 young. The third nest appeared to be unoccupied, although there was a bird on the nest a week earlier.
  • Cedar Waxwings – There were either a large number or they were continually moving, if not both. We saw them over and over, and particularly enjoyed seeing a dozen close together on one or two Mulberry branches alongside Indian Creek, another good photographic opportunity.
  • Wilson's Warbler – We found a male Wilson's Warbler along the eastern shore of the lake. The bird was more cooperative than normal for a warbler, providing very satisfactory looks.
  • Orchard Oriole – There are a surprising number of Orchard Orioles nesting at the lake. We heard and saw several adult and first summer males, as well as a couple of females.

The rest of the list:
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Turkey Vulture
Black Vulture
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Spotted Sandpiper
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee (heard)
Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Phoebe
Red-eyed Vireo
Warbling Vireo (good looks)
White-eyed Vireo (heard)
Blue Jay
American Crow
Fish Crow
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Wren
House Wren (heard)
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher (heard)
European Starling
Northern Parula (heard)
Yellow Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler (heard)
Common Yellowthroat
Scarlet Tanager (heard)
Northern Cardinal
Song Sparrow
Brown-headed Cowbird
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow



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