The Stroud Preserve, 1 May 2013

Wild ginger Asarun canadense L. 1 May 2013, Stroud Preserve, West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Wild ginger Asarun canadense L. 1 May 2013, Stroud Preserve, West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Today I a nice May Day surprise and finally added a long over due Purple Martin to the preserve list. When I first started birding here one of the first things I noticed on the checklist for the preserve was that there were only three swallows listed, Barn, Tree, and Northern Rough-winged. Thinking back to when I lived in southeastern Pennsylvania back in the 1980s I didn’t recall that Bank, Cliff and Purple Martin were all that difficult to come across. When I adopted the preserve as my own little bird and plant project, I predicted that I would add these birds to the list without any trouble. It would just be a matter of looking at all the swallows carefully.

I’m happy to say that, as predicted, as of today, I have added the other three swallows to the preserve list, however, not as predicted, it was a lot of trouble! I have spent more time than I’d like to admit sorting through the large groups of swallows that occur here. I had given up hope of seeing them last season then very late in the fall I had a handful of Bank and Cliff Swallow pass over head. Today it was again pretty slow and I had given up on any new spring arrivals. Then literally the last bird I saw as I opened the door to my car was a large, dark swallow with a notched tail. It was not calling or vocalizing at all so I could have easily missed it. 

I was unable to check on the Eastern Meadowlark today as the bridge on creek road is being worked on and I didn’t have time to walk to the area. I also did not see any Bobolinks either. I walked all the way around the nesting area and didn’t see or hear any. For the third day in a row, there was a Solitary Sandpiper in the east end (the drainage end) of the old farm pond.

Start time: 8:45

End time: 1:10

Temp: 50-64°

Wind: 6-8 mph from the northeast

Skies: clear

Species Total: 53

  • Great Blue Heron – 1
  • Black Vulture – 5
  • Turkey Vulture – approximately 20
  • Canada Goose – 2
  • Wood Duck – 2
  • Mallard – 2
  • Bald Eagle – 1, immature
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1 adult
  • Cooper's Hawk – 1 adult
  • Red-tailed Hawk – 3 adults
  • Solitary Sandpiper – 1
  • Mourning Dove – 4
  • Chimney Swift – approximately 30
  • Belted Kingfisher – 1
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker – approximately 10
  • Downy Woodpecker – 3
  • Northern Flicker – 2
  • Eastern Phoebe – 3
  • White-eyed Vireo – approximately 10
  • Warbling Vireo – approximately 10
  • Blue Jay – approximately 15
  • American Crow – approximately 8
  • Fish Crow – 1
  • Purple Martin – 1, adult male FOY, first for the preserve.
  • Tree Swallow – approximately 50
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow – approximately 30
  • Barn Swallow – approximately 25
  • Carolina Chickadee – approximately 10
  • Tufted Titmouse – approximately 15
  • White-breasted Nuthatch – 1
  • Carolina Wren – 3
  • House Wren – 2
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – approximately 25
  • Eastern Bluebird – approximately 10
  • American Robin – approximately 25
  • Gray Catbird – approximately 15
  • Northern Mockingbird – 2
  • Brown Thrasher – 1
  • European Starling – approximately 10
  • Blue-winged Warbler – 1
  • Yellow Warbler – approximately 10
  • Common Yellowthroat – approximately 15
  • Eastern Towhee – approximately 20
  • Chipping Sparrow – 1
  • Field Sparrow – approximately 10
  • Savannah Sparrow – 1
  • Song Sparrow – approximately 30
  • Swamp Sparrow – 1, becoming hard to find
  • White-throated Sparrow – approximately 15
  • Northern Cardinal – approximately 20
  • Red-winged Blackbird – approximately 50
  • Brown-headed Cowbird – approximately 10
  • American Goldfinch – approximately 20