I had company on my walk today. I met Kelly Nunn in the parking lot. She was visiting from the Kennett Square area. Now that I think about it, this was the first time that anyone has joined me for a full stroll around the place. I had also planned to met another other birder, Larry Lewis, this morning as well. But I didn’t see his group around at the parking lot, so Kelly and I took off instead.
While it was nice to have an increase in birders around the preserve, it would have been nice if more birds showed up. With the unseasonably warm weather that we had today I had high hopes for lots of bird activity. Even though the final species count was on the high end for this time of year, the total number of birds was fairly low.
Still of interest for me is the influx of Fish Crows. Today we counted at least ten in the scattered flock of American Crows. This is strange as I went most of the year prior to this with on a few Fish Crows at all. The Great Horned Owl was still tending to her nest. I am tempted to bring my spotting scope with me on the next visit so I can get a close up and personal look at it.
I did get an email from Larry later in the day. He said that they got to the preserve a little late but did have a nice walk. Their highlight was a Brown Thrasher. They also saw two Wilson’s Snipe and 5 Swamp Sparrows, which we did not see.
Other birds of interest were 2 Mute Swans, 8 Ring-necked Ducks, and 2 Black Ducks in a farm pond on a property adjacent to the preserve along Strasburg Road. The Swans have been there for about a week but the other ducks showed up today.
Start time: 9:00
End time: 11:00
Wind: slight to brisk from the south
Skies: overcast with fairly low clouds
Species Total: 38
- Great Blue Heron – 2
- Black Vulture – approximately 10
- Turkey Vulture – approximately 35
- Canada Goose – approximately 500
- American Black Duck – 2
- Mallard – approximately 50
- Common Merganser – 9
- Cooper's Hawk – 1 adult
- Red-tailed Hawk – 5, 4 adults and 1 immature
- Ring-billed Gull – approximately 12
- Mourning Dove – 2
- Great Horned Owl – 1, female continues on the nest
- Belted Kingfisher – 2
- Red-bellied Woodpecker – approximately 5
- Downy Woodpecker – approximately 4
- Hairy Woodpecker – 3
- Northern Flicker – 3
- Blue Jay – approximately 20
- American Crow – approximately 250
- Fish Crow – approximately 10! Bird of the day, again. These continue to increase.
- Carolina Chickadee – approximately 10
- Tufted Titmouse – approximately 10
- White-breasted Nuthatch – approximately 8
- Carolina Wren – approximately 12
- Golden-crowned Kinglet – 2
- Eastern Bluebird – approximately 25
- American Robin – approximately 12
- Northern Mockingbird – 2
- European Starling – approximately 50
- Eastern Towhee – 2, heard only
- Song Sparrow – approximately 25
- White-throated Sparrow – approximately 25
- Dark-eyed Junco – approximately 10
- Northern Cardinal – approximately 15
- Red-winged Blackbird – approximately 10
- Common Grackle – 3
- House Finch – approximately 10
- American Goldfinch – approximately 10