The Stroud Preserve, 29 November 2012

On my last visit to the preserve I thought about Winter Wrens as I started and sure enough I saw my first Winter Wrens for the preserve. Today, I thought about American Pipits and sure enough, I saw a flock of about 30 in the Bobolink fields! 145 for me, and 163 for the preserve. On my next visit I’m going to think about Ivory-billed Woodpeckers.

To be honest, I think about American Pipits nearly every time I visit the preserve. I am really quite surprised that I haven’t seen one before now. I find this to be a little odd as more than half the preserve is prime pipit habitat of open or plowed fields. Actually, pipits are not the only open country bird that I miss. I’ve seen Horned Larks only once, Eastern Meadowlarks only 6 times as spring migrants, and Killdeer only four times (three times as a distant vocalization and once as a flyover. I would think all of these birds would be more common here.

It’s only been a little over one year since I’ve been back on the east coast and it could just be that my perception as to what birds should and should not be around has changed over the past twenty years or, perhaps my perception of their status from twenty years ago is correct but their status has changed. Either way, one of the rewards of picking a local place to bird and visiting it often is think about and figure out small mysteries such as this.

Of course, I’ll keep you posted as I figure things out. Here is the rest of the bird list for today. As you can see from the frost on the grass, it was a little chilly!

Stat time: 9:35
End time: 12:30
Temp: 32-39
Wind: slight from the west.
Skies: clear
Species Total: 33
Great Blue Heron – 1
Black Vulture – approx. 100! There is a dead deer carcass down by the Brandywine. About 30 were on the ground feeding on it.
Turkey Vulture – approx. 20
Canada Goose – approx. 400
Mallard – 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1 immature
Red-tailed Hawk – 7 adults
Herring Gull – 2, only my third observation
Rock Dove – 4
Mourning Dove – approx. 100, mostly in two large flocks
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 2
Downy Woodpecker – 2
Hairy Woodpecker – 1
Northern Flicker – 1
Blue Jay – approx. 10
American Crow – approx. 500
Fish Crow – 2, heard only amongst the crowd
Carolina Chickadee – approx. 10
Tufted Titmouse – approx. 20
White-breasted Nuthatch – approx. 5
Carolina Wren – approx. 10
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 1, heard only
Eastern Bluebird – approx. 15
Northern Mockingbird – 2
European Starling – approx. 30
American Pipit – approx. 30, Bird of the Day!
Song Sparrow – approx. 10
Swamp Sparrow – 2, heard only
White-throated Sparrow – approx. 20
Dark-eyed Junco – approx. 10
Northern Cardinal – approx. 10
Red-winged Blackbird – 3
House Finch – approx. 30
American Goldfinch – approx. 10