Spring is slowly coming around. The average species count for my last five visits is 42 and the average count for the five visits prior to that is 33. So things are looking up! Where I am finding the most bird activity is in the lowland riparian areas around the Brandywine and the creeks that flow into it. This is a change from a few weeks ago when I was finding larger mixed flocks of sparrows and such in the brushy undergrowth areas of the uplands. The Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows are being replaced by Red-winged Blackbirds and American Robins.
My most exciting birds of the day were still the Icterids. I started off the day with 14 Eastern Meadowlarks in the same spot where I saw 16 last Friday. I had an exceptional view of a male Rusty Blackbird that was mixed in with a flock of Red-winged Blackbirds and Starlings near Creek Road entrance of the preserve.
I am keeping my fingers crossed for signs of nesting Fish Crows. I still seeing them in the preserve albeit in smaller numbers than a month ago. I have also been seeing and hearing Fish Crows at my house in downtown West Chester. Over the weekend I hear two Fish Crows calling down the street. A few minutes later, I found two crows one of them breaking off small branches of from a tree and flying off with them. I don’t know for sure if these were the Fish Crows that I heard calling, but if it was it would be pretty cool!
Start time: 10:30
End time: 1:00
Wind: 6 mph from the NNW
Skies: light rain to start be coming partly cloudy and sunny by the end.
Species Total: 41
- Great Blue Heron – 2
- Black Vulture – approximately 10
- Turkey Vulture – approximately 25
- Canada Goose – approximately 150
- Wood Duck – 2
- Common Merganser – 4
- Red-tailed Hawk – 5, 4 adults, 1 immature. This immature has been occupying the area around the bridge over the Brandywine since last summer. It is distinctive in that it is very pale, the head, in particular, is very pale. Somewhat reminiscent of a light phased Rough-legged Hawk.
- American Kestrel – 1, adult male
- Killdeer – 1, heard only
- Mourning Dove – 1
- Red-bellied Woodpecker – 4
- Downy Woodpecker – 2, heard only
- Hairy Woodpecker – 1
- Northern Flicker – 2
- Eastern Phoebe – 1
- Blue Jay – approximately 10
- American Crow – approximately 20
- Fish Crow – 1
- Tree Swallow – 3
- Carolina Chickadee – approximately 10
- Tufted Titmouse – approximately 10
- White-breasted Nuthatch – 6
- Carolina Wren – 5
- Eastern Bluebird – approximately 25
- American Robin – approximately 300. It seemed as if every open space was covered with robins today.
- Northern Mockingbird – 3
- European Starling – approximately 100
- Eastern Towhee – 4
- Field Sparrow – 6, all singing
- Savannah Sparrow – 2
- Song Sparrow – approximately 50
- Swamp Sparrow – 2
- White-throated Sparrow – approximately 25
- Dark-eyed Junco – approximately 10
- Northern Cardinal – approximately 10
- Red-winged Blackbird – approximately 50
- Eastern Meadowlark – 14 in the same location as last Friday
- Rusty Blackbird – 1
- Common Grackle – 3
- Brown-headed Cowbird – 1
- House Finch – 2