Stroud Preserve, 15 June 2013

Venus' looking-glass Triodanis perfoliata (L.) Nieuwl. 15 June 2013, Stroud Preserve, West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Venus' looking-glass Triodanis perfoliata (L.) Nieuwl. 15 June 2013, Stroud Preserve, West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Whoa! It’s been a long time since I’ve done a bird post to le blog. Since 10 May to be exact. You might wonder where I’ve been. Well, I’ve been here, I just changed gears a little bit from birds to plants. When I was mostly focused on birds, I could go out birding, then come home write my notes as a blog post, post it and be done with it all in 30 minutes or so. Plants are a different matter.

Many plants I know. Most I do not. Especially the hard ones, like grasses, sedges, and rushes. Many of these require that I collect a specimen and bring it home and examine it under my microscope. The technical keys are, well, technical. They also employ the botanical lexicon with which I am quite rusty. So, things are slow and I usually go late into the night working on plant identifications. The result is this doesn’t leave much time to blog [case in point, I wrote this post on the 15th and I’m just getting around to posting it!].

The other complication is that my schedule altered slightly and most of my visits have been in the afternoon well past the time good for birds. This was compounded by the fact that my car, a 1994 Honda Passport with 270,000 plus miles, needed some attention from our local mechanic. I’ll spare you from the details of that unpleasantry.

The good news for me is that school is out and I no longer have to see the kids off to the bus, which frees up my morning quite a bit. My car is now moving forward again. However, I still try not to drive it and use my bicycle when ever possible. I’ll still be focused on plants but should be able to do at least one breeding season post per week.

As far as plants go, feel free to check out my photo albums for each family. I have many hundreds of photos posted at this point. If you see anything that is incorrectly identified, please don’t hesitate to let me know. My main focus with the plant project is to inventory all that grows at the Stroud Preserve. You can check out my running list here.

As for birds, I did manage to get out on Saturday (15 June 2013). I believe everything on my list below is pretty normal for this time of year. The most exciting thing for me was the many Yellow-billed Cuckoos that I heard and saw. Last summer I did not see or hear any. In fact, I did not record one for the preserve at all until the fall. Even then, I only saw two. On Saturday I saw twice as many as I have ever see or heard in total previously!

Here are the rest of the details. I misplaced my notes on the numbers seen today so an X signifies presence. All observations from 15 June unless otherwise noted.

 

Start time: 8:00 AM

End time: 1:00 PM

Temp: 60-82°

Wind: slight to none

Skies: Clear

Species Total: 58

  • Black Vulture – X
  • Turkey Vulture – X
  • Red-tailed Hawk – I haven’t check the nest site on the north side of the preserve since the middle of May.
  • Wild Turkey – heard calling on 19 June on the southwest side of the preserve.
  • Rock Dove – X
  • Mourning Dove – X
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo – Up to 6 birds seen or heard. I did not detect this species at all last summer.
  • Barred Owl – a pair calling along the green trail where I suspect they nested.
  • Chimney Swift – X
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird – X
  • Belted Kingfisher – X
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker – X
  • Downy Woodpecker – X
  • Hairy Woodpecker – X
  • Northern Flicker – X
  • Pileated Woodpecker – Absent, last recorded on 10 May
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee – X
  • Acadian Flycatcher – A number of birds can be found calling in wooded areas of the preserve.
  • Willow Flycatcher – Many birds calling in open areas with small trees or shrubs.
  • Eastern Phoebe – X
  • Eastern Kingbird – X
  • White-eyed Vireo – X
  • Warbling Vireo – X
  • Red-eyed Vireo – X
  • Blue Jay – X
  • American Crow – X
  • Fish Crow – Not recorded at the preserve, however, numerous birds can be seen in downtown West Chester feeding fledglings.
  • Tree Swallow – X
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow – X
  • Bank Swallow – X
  • Carolina Chickadee – X
  • Tufted Titmouse – X
  • White-breasted Nuthatch – X
  • Carolina Wren – X
  • House Wren – X
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – X
  • Eastern Bluebird – X
  • Veery – X
  • Wood Thrush – X
  • American Robin – X
  • Gray Catbird – X
  • Northern Mockingbird – X
  • Brown Thrasher – X
  • European Starling – X
  • Cedar Waxwing – X
  • Blue-winged Warbler – Multiple males singing on territory.
  • Ovenbird – X
  • Common Yellowthroat – X
  • Eastern Towhee – X
  • Chipping Sparrow – X
  • Field Sparrow – X
  • Song Sparrow – X
  • Northern Cardinal – X
  • Indigo Bunting – X
  • Bobolink – 15 to 20 birds in the usual nesting area.
  • Red-winged Blackbird – X
  • Eastern Meadowlark – ? I have not been able to check the suspected nesting area because of road construction. Last noted on 10 May.
  • Common Grackle – Strangely difficult to see in the summer months. Very common in other urban areas around West Chester and Exton.
  • Brown-headed Cowbird – X
  • Orchard Oriole – X
  • Baltimore Oriole – X
  • House Finch – X
  • American Goldfinch – X