I normally don’t visit the preserve in the weekends but my son William loves water critters and wanted to go wade around the Brandywine. I figured it was just warm enough not to get hypothermia incase he fell in, so off we went.
We went down stream where it was more wooded. I let William have at it and I kept an eye out for birds and plants. I did pick up two new first of the year birds, Eastern Kingbird and Black-and-white Warbler. Again, the most common bird in the trees was Blue-gray Gnatcatcher of which I found two more nearly completed nests. I also found a couple of pairs of Rough-winged Swallow with burrows in a cut bank of the creek. Most exciting was a borrow of a Belted Kingfisher. This was just barely within the preserve boundary. I was glad to add that to my list of nesting birds.
I still looked very hard for Louisiana Waterthrush and Prothonotary Warbler. This area should be ideal habitat for these species. This habitat would also be good for Hooded and Worm-eating Warblers, which are also absent from the preserve list. I’ll continue to check the area over the coming months. Hopefully, one of the four species will make an appearance. The only new plant that I came across was a species of pondweed called curly pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) which native to Europe. I only saw a three or four plants along the half mile or so of stream bed that we walked along. So it wasn’t that common.
William had a great time. And as I predicted, he fell in the water up to his neck when he tried to walk across a log that broke in half when he was completely over the water, and as I predicted, he did not go hypothermic. He did find a baby snapping turtle. They sure are cute when they are the size of a silver dollar. I told William to make nice with it now because the next time he comes across it he may not have such a pleasant disposition!
Check out photos of our walk in the mud here.
Start time: 11:30
End time: 1:300
Wind: 5-7 mph from the south
Species Total: 39
- Black Vulture – 4
- Turkey Vulture – approximately 10
- Canada Goose – 2
- Mallard – 2
- Red-tailed Hawk – 1
- Mourning Dove – 4
- Chimney Swift – approximately 20
- Belted Kingfisher - nest in creek bank
- Red-bellied Woodpecker – 3
- Downy Woodpecker – 2
- Northern Flicker – 1
- Eastern Phoebe – 4
- Eastern Kingbird –2, FOY
- Warbling Vireo – 2
- Blue Jay – approximately 10
- American Crow – 2
- Tree Swallow – approximately 50
- Northern Rough-winged Swallow – approximately 20, nesting in burrows in the creek bank.
- Barn Swallow – approximately 10
- Carolina Chickadee – approximately 10
- Tufted Titmouse – approximately 10
- White-breasted Nuthatch – 2
- Carolina Wren – approximately 5
- House Wren – 1
- Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – approximately 15
- Eastern Bluebird – approximately 5
- American Robin – approximately 10
- European Starling – approximately 20
- Yellow Warbler – approximately 10
- Yellow-rumped Warbler – 1
- Black-and-white Warbler – 2, FOY
- Common Yellowthroat – approximately 10
- Eastern Towhee – 3
- Song Sparrow – approximately 10
- Northern Cardinal – approximately 10
- Red-winged Blackbird – approximately 25
- Common Grackle – 2
- Brown-headed Cowbird – approximately 10
- American Goldfinch – approximately 20