The Stroud Preserve, 1 March 2013

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The weather today started out great! A completely spring like day, then it began to get cloudy and breezy and colder. In fact, about 10 minutes after I left the preserve driving towards Exton, I ran into a brief snow squall! Not what I was expecting!

Despite the downturn in the weather, I did manage to 39 species for the day. The best among these was a flock of about 30 Northern Pintail flying north over the preserve. Fish Crows put in a good appearance (sorry Patty!). There were at least 15 and maybe as many as 30 or more. They were calling from all corners of the preserve today. One very vocal flock of 21 crows flew overhead with at least 5 calling fish crows at once and no calling American Crows. I suspect that they were all Fish Crows but there is no way to tell for sure. I ran into one sizable mixed flock of sparrows mostly consisting of Dark-eyed Juncos. Other than this flock, I saw no other juncos, and only a handful of White-throated Sparrows.

The Great Horned Owl was once again sitting high up on the nest. There was one bump on the nest that I haven’t noticed before, which could have been a chick. I normally don’t carry my scope with me on my daily walks, but I think I’ll bring it on my next visit to see if I can see any chicks.

 Snowdrops  (Galanthus nivalis)

Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis)

I also came across my first flowering plant of the year. Galanthus nivalis, commonly called snowdrops. There is a large group of many hundreds of these blooming on the south side of the preserve along Lucky Hill Road. It is a member of the Onion Family (Alliaceae) and is native to Europe. It is also a new plant for my plant list for the preserve.

Start time: 8:45

End time: 12:00

Temp: 37-32°! Holy cow, it got more colder!

Wind: none to start becoming brisk from the NNE

Skies: partly cloudy to start, becoming overcast by noon

Species Total: 39

  • Great Blue Heron – 1
  • Black Vulture – approximately 10
  • Turkey Vulture – approximately 25
  • Canada Goose – approximately 150
  • Mallard – 5
  • Northern Pintail – approximately 30, bird of the day!
  • Common Merganser – 3
  • Bald Eagle – 1, adult
  • Red-tailed Hawk – 7, 6 adults, 1 immature
  • Killdeer – 1, heard only
  • Ring-billed Gull – 3
  • Mourning Dove – 3
  • Great Horned Owl – 1, same bird, same place
  • Belted Kingfisher – 1, heard only
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker – approximately 10
  • Downy Woodpecker – approximately 10
  • Hairy Woodpecker – 8!
  • Northern Flicker – 3
  • Blue Jay – approximately 10
  • American Crow – approximately 100
  • Fish Crow – at least 15, as many as 30!
  • Carolina Chickadee – approximately 10
  • Tufted Titmouse – approximately 10
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch – 1
  • White-breasted Nuthatch – approximately 8
  • Carolina Wren – approximately 10
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet – 1, heard only
  • Eastern Bluebird – approximately 25
  • American Robin – 1
  • Northern Mockingbird – 3
  • European Starling – approximately 75
  • Eastern Towhee – 1, heard only
  • Savannah Sparrow – 4
  • Song Sparrow – approximately 100
  • White-throated Sparrow – approximately 25
  • Dark-eyed Junco – approximately 75
  • Northern Cardinal – approximately 12
  • Red-winged Blackbird – approximately 50
  • House Finch – 1, heard only