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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Art McMorris

Saturday May 19, 2007 - RIDLEY CREEK STATE PARK

5 members and 3 non-members joined leader Art McMorris for a field trip to the bridle trail area in the northern portion of Ridley Creek State Park near Newtown Square in Delaware County, PA. We had a gorgeous day for our trip. The predicted rain failed to materialize, and instead we had a blue sky with scattered clouds and a slight breeze, and temperatures that started out at 45 degrees at the start of the trip at 6:30 AM and rose to about 55 degrees by the time we finished at 11. The bridle trail is in a beautiful area of mixed broadleaf forest, with many very large old American beech and tulip trees. It roughly follows Ridley Creek and several small tributaries and also goes through more upland forested areas, and areas of scrub-shrub. At this time of year we typically find a good variety of breeders as well as late migrants. Our main targets were Kentucky and Hooded Warblers.

In all we had a very good variety of birds, with 48 species being seen or heard. We found Hooded Warbler in the same spot where they breed each year on the steep slope below the old family cemetery in the woods. Other highlights included Yellow-billed Cuckoo, 5 species of woodpeckers including Pileated, Acadian Flycatcher, abundant Wood Thrushes and Veeries, 3 species of Vireos including Yellow-throated, 12 species of warblers, Scarlet Tanager, Baltimore Oriole, and Indigo Bunting in perfect light. However, the Kentucky Warblers chose not to make themselves seen or heard, even though they had been seen recently in their customary breeding territory. We also missed Louisiana Waterthrush, which breeds early and has usually gone silent by this time of year. Instead we found a migrant Northern Waterthrush.

Birds seen and heard (48 species):

Canada Goose
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Chimney Swift
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Gray Catbird
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Blue Jay
American Crow
White-eyed Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
American Goldfinch
Blue-winged Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-and-White Warbler
American Redstart
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Canada Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Eastern Towhee

Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole