Monday, October 21, 2013

Bird Walk with Friends of Exton Park-October 20, 2013

By Debbie Beer
I was delighted to bird Exton Park for my first time ever, on Sunday October 20, 2013.  I substituted for Bird Walk leader Sue Lucas, who provided me with great information about trails and expected species.  It was a crisp, chilly morning when our group of 5 people met in the parking lot and set out to explore Exton Park, public spaces managed by both Chester County and Whiteland Township.

The trail led us through dense thicket, filled with sparrows, yellow-rumped warblers and a few cardinals. The nearby fields and sky overhead was alive with hundreds of Canada Geese constantly circling, landing, and taking off again.  It was difficult to count the numbers, not knowing which ones were newly arriving, or just switching locations.  The pond hosted Mallards, a female Hooded Merganser and a pair of Green-winged Teal.  We found an Eastern Phoebe, Belted Kingfisher and several Great Blue Herons in the picturesque wetlands.

The park is a mecca for sparrows this time of year, and we were delighted to find a White-crowned Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, and several Swamp Sparrows amongst myriad Song and White-throated Sparrows.  I got a quick look at an ammodramus sparrow, likely the Nelson's that had been reported twice earlier in the week.  I'd like to get better looks to rule out other similar species.

We ended a wonderful walk with 39 species + 1 sparrow species.  The Friends of Exton Park invite everyone to their regularly-scheduled Thursday morning bird walks, which meet at 8:30 am in the parking lot.  Special thanks to Carol Kuniholm who co-led the walk with me, and is spearheading excellent efforts with Friends of Exton Park!

Below is bird list submitted to eBird:
Canada Goose 400
American Black Duck 1
Mallard 19
Green-winged Teal 2
Hooded Merganser 1
Great Blue Heron 3
Black Vulture 2
Turkey Vulture 2
Red-tailed Hawk 3
Rock Pigeon 10
Mourning Dove 2
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 4
Eastern Phoebe 1
Blue Jay 4
American Crow 25 (Many circling overhead. High count of 25 at one time mobbing a Red-tailed Hawk).
Tree Swallow 15
Carolina Chickadee 4
Carolina Wren 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Eastern Bluebird 4
American Robin 25
Gray Catbird 1
Northern Mockingbird 1
European Starling 12
Cedar Waxwing 3
Common Yellowthroat 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 25
Song Sparrow 18
Lincoln's Sparrow 1
Swamp Sparrow 4
White-throated Sparrow 20
White-crowned Sparrow 2
Sparrow species. 1 (Ammodramus species seen very briefly. Face showed orange crescent around gray cheek. Seen in same location as Nelson's previously-reported twice this week, on Thursday 10/17 and Saturday or Sunday)
Northern Cardinal 4
Red-winged Blackbird 15
House Finch 2
American Goldfinch 5

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