The Stroud Preserve, 29 April 2013

Rue Anemone Thalictrum thalictroides (L.) A.J.Eames & B.Boivin 29 April 2013, Stroud Preserve, Chester County, Pennsylvania. 

Rue Anemone Thalictrum thalictroides (L.) A.J.Eames & B.Boivin 29 April 2013, Stroud Preserve, Chester County, Pennsylvania. 

When I got up this morning it was raining. I looked at the hourly forecast and looked as if the rain might disappear until the afternoon. So, I took my chances and headed out the door. As it turns out, my chances were not good and it rained constantly the entire time I was out. But, at least I got out.

I decided it would be a good day to visit the Susan Groome Harney part of the preserve to see what kind of plants might be found there. It is on the very north end disjunct from the rest of the preserve. As it turns out the plant community, at least the understory, is quite different from what I have seen in other parts of the preserve. A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had only found species of mustard, Cardamine concaternata, in only a few small places. This area was covered with it. In all, I found over ten new species of flowering plants that I have not recorded before. I suspect that the soil type might be a little different there. It will be interesting to see what else pops up over the summer.

I spent most of my morning looking for plants but I did venture back to the main part of the preserve to go see if the Bobolinks were back. I spent about 45 minutes walking at a brisk pace through the rain and found the Bobolinks were indeed back. I also saw my first of year Blue-winged Warbler, Gray Catbird and Solitary Sandpiper. I also saw my first fledglings of the year as a pair of Canada Geese were leading around 6 downy chicks. It was also my first confirmation of them breeding on the preserve. What was most surprising was that in my brisk walk through the constant rain, I tallied my highest daily species count for the year at 58! I’m still looking for that breakthrough spring day were birds are everywhere!

Start time: 8:55

End time: 11:40

Temp: 54°

Wind: 5-9 mph from the southwest

Skies: light rain

Species Total: 53

  • Great Blue Heron – 1
  • Canada Goose – 8, one pair with 6 downy chicks
  • Wood Duck – 2
  • Mallard – 3
  • Red-tailed Hawk – 1
  • Solitary Sandpiper – 1, FOY, flushed from the bed of the old farm pond
  • Mourning Dove – 3
  • Chimney Swift – approximately 40
  • Belted Kingfisher – 1
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker – 2
  • Downy Woodpecker – 2
  • Northern Flicker – 3
  • Eastern Phoebe – 3
  • Eastern Kingbird – 1
  • White-eyed Vireo – 5
  • Blue-headed Vireo – 1, heard only
  • Warbling Vireo – approximately 5
  • Blue Jay – approximately 10
  • American Crow – 2
  • Fish Crow – 1
  • Tree Swallow – approximately 100
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow – approximately 30
  • Barn Swallow – approximately 30
  • Carolina Chickadee – approximately 10
  • Tufted Titmouse – approximately 10
  • White-breasted Nuthatch – 1
  • Carolina Wren – 3
  • House Wren – 1
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – approximately 15
  • Eastern Bluebird – approximately 10
  • American Robin – approximately 10, two nests observed with female incubating.
  • Gray Catbird – 1, FOY
  • Northern Mockingbird – 1
  • Brown Thrasher – 1
  • European Starling – 5
  • Cedar Waxwing – approximately 25, one flock overhead, first observation since 14 January 2013.
  • Blue-winged Warbler – 1, FOY, right where Kelly said it was.
  • Yellow Warbler – approximately 10
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – 1
  • Black-and-white Warbler – 1
  • Common Yellowthroat – 3
  • Eastern Towhee – approximately 10
  • Chipping Sparrow – 1
  • Field Sparrow – approximately 5
  • Savannah Sparrow – 2
  • Song Sparrow – approximately 15
  • Swamp Sparrow – 1
  • White-throated Sparrow – approximately 5, heard only
  • Northern Cardinal – approximately 10
  • Bobolink – 8, FOY
  • Red-winged Blackbird – approximately 30
  • Eastern Meadowlark – 1, heard only from the corner of Creek and Strasburg Road
  • Common Grackle – 1
  • Brown-headed Cowbird – 6
  • Orchard Oriole – 1
  • House Finch – 2
  • American Goldfinch – approximately 15