The Stroud Preserve, 20 March 2013

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Not a bad day for the first day of spring. It would have been perfect if the wind did not howl at times. The best observation of the day was approximately 2500 Snow Geese flying north over the preserve. The flew over in long lines for the first 10 minutes or so after I arrived. 

I searched the field for Eastern Meadowlarks again and only came up with 4, but I did hear one calling which was a first. I also flushed two Wilson Snipe and a Rusty Blackbird. The photo above is prime Rusty Blackbird habitat. Most observations that I have made of them this spring have been along the Brandywine.

Pilewort (Ranunculus ficaria) 13 March 2013, The Stroud Preserve, Chester County, Pennsylvania. 

Pilewort (Ranunculus ficaria) 13 March 2013, The Stroud Preserve, Chester County, Pennsylvania. 

I did spend a fair amount of time looking for flowering plants in some of the wooded areas (partly to get out of the wind!). One of the common weeds that is now blooming is and hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta). It is an introduced plant which is native to Europe. We have a native one called Pennsylvania bittercress (Cardamine pensylvanica). It is very similar and might be blooming now. I have never seen the native one on the preserve and still haven’t. Otherwise, the ground is exploding with Pilewort (Ranunculus ficaria) and garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata).

Start time: 9:00

End time: 11:45

Temp: 34-40

Wind: 8-20 mph from the West

Skies: Mostly clear

Species Total: 39

  • Black Vulture – approximately 10
  • Turkey Vulture – approximately 20
  • Snow Goose – approximately 2500
  • Canada Goose – approximately 250
  • Common Merganser – 4
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1 adult
  • Red-tailed Hawk – 5, 4 adults, 1 immature
  • Killdeer – 1, heard only
  • Wilson's Snipe – 2, flushed from the field below “No Hang Glider” Hill
  • Mourning Dove – 2
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker – 2
  • Downy Woodpecker – 2
  • Eastern Phoebe – 2
  • Blue Jay – approximately 10
  • American Crow – approximately 25
  • Fish Crow – 3
  • Tree Swallow – approximately 30
  • Carolina Chickadee – approximately 10
  • Tufted Titmouse – approximately 10
  • White-breasted Nuthatch – 2
  • Carolina Wren – 3
  • Eastern Bluebird – approximately 25
  • American Robin – approximately 150
  • Northern Mockingbird – 3
  • European Starling – approximately 100
  • Eastern Towhee – 5
  • Field Sparrow – 3, all singing
  • Savannah Sparrow – 1
  • Song Sparrow – approximately 50
  • White-throated Sparrow – approximately 50
  • Dark-eyed Junco – 4
  • Northern Cardinal – approximately 10
  • Red-winged Blackbird – approximately 100
  • Eastern Meadowlark – 4
  • Rusty Blackbird – 1
  • Common Grackle – 18
  • Brown-headed Cowbird – approximately 15
  • House Finch – 3
  • American Goldfinch – 1, heard only