The Stroud Preserve, 2 May 2013

Nodding Trillium Trillium cernuum L. 29 April 2012, Stroud Reseve, West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Nodding Trillium Trillium cernuum L. 29 April 2012, Stroud Reseve, West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Another fairly slow day for birds, however, I did get three new arrivals, Red-eyed Vireo, Wood Thrush, and American Redstart. The high pressure that we have sitting over our region needs to move on so our birds can come home. I also didn’t get to check things as thoroughly today as I would have liked as I had to rush off to a doctor’s appointment.

The up side to the nice weather is that the vegetation will be pretty full by the time things start to arrive in earnest. Trees like beech, maple and poplar are already pretty full. The oaks, hickories and ash still have a ways to go. I’m still adding many new plants to the preserve list and have quite a backlog of things to document. 

I have run into a small, no, actually a large disappointment so far with the plant inventory for the preserve. This time last year I found two specimens of the rare nodding trillium (Trillium cernuum). The day after the photograph above was taken the I went back to take a better picture of them but the plants had disappeared. I am assuming the cause of the disappearance was white-tailed deer foraging.

I was excited to find these plants here because there are only 30-60 probable sites for its occurrence in Pennsylvania and an estimated population of only 5000-5500 ramets (i.e., clonal colonies). I have put a great amount of effort in checking the creek drainage where these plants were found as well as other suitable habitats on the preserve and have come up empty. If the plants are still growing on the preserve I should have another month or so until they wither away and can no longer be found. So if the Pennsylvania birding community could keep your fingers crossed, I’d greatly appreciate it!

Start time: 9:00

End time: 12:20

Temp: 52-64°

Wind: 5-7 mph from the east

Skies: perfectly clear

Species Total:

  • Great Blue Heron – 1
  • Black Vulture – 2
  • Turkey Vulture – approximately 30
  • Canada Goose – approximately 10
  • Red-tailed Hawk – 2
  • Killdeer – 1, heard only
  • Mourning Dove – 4
  • Chimney Swift – approximately 30
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker – approximately 10
  • Downy Woodpecker – 4
  • Hairy Woodpecker – 2
  • Northern Flicker – 1
  • Eastern Phoebe – 3
  • White-eyed Vireo – approximately 15
  • Warbling Vireo – approximately 10
  • Red-eyed Vireo – 1, FOY
  • Blue Jay – approximately 20
  • American Crow – approximately 10
  • Fish Crow – 2, again on the west end of the preserve
  • Tree Swallow – approximately 30, numbers seem to be dropping for this species
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow – approximately 10
  • Barn Swallow – approximately 30, numbers seem to be climbing for this species.
  • Carolina Chickadee – approximately 10
  • Tufted Titmouse – approximately 10
  • White-breasted Nuthatch – 3
  • Carolina Wren – 2
  • House Wren – 3
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – approximately 15, either numbers have dropped or they are becoming less vocal
  • Eastern Bluebird – approximately 10
  • Wood Thrush – 1, FOY
  • American Robin – approximately 20
  • Gray Catbird – approximately 20, it is safe to say that the catbird factory is now in production!
  • Northern Mockingbird – 2
  • Brown Thrasher – 1
  • European Starling – approximately 10
  • Yellow Warbler – approximately 20
  • Palm Warbler – 1
  • American Redstart – 1, FOY
  • Common Yellowthroat – approximately 20
  • Eastern Towhee – approximately 25
  • Chipping Sparrow – approximately 10
  • Field Sparrow – approximately 10
  • Song Sparrow – approximately 30
  • White-throated Sparrow – approximately 10
  • Northern Cardinal – approximately 15
  • Bobolink – 1, heard only. I don’t know where the small group went that I saw earlier in the week has moved.
  • Red-winged Blackbird – approximately 75, there is still a large group of about 30 birds that forages in the old farm bed
  • Brown-headed Cowbird – approximately 20
  • House Finch – 2
  • American Goldfinch – approximately 40, numbers are way up for this species