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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Debbie Beer

February 3, 2008
Winter Waterfowl at Roosevelt Park, PA

Motivated by blue skies, sunshine and rising temperatures, 17 people gathered at Roosevelt Park this morning to enjoy close views of waterfowl. Often loud and trashy in the summertime, this urban, south-Philadelphia park provides a tranquil background for birding in the wintertime. The Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers we saw were blissfully unaware that Fairmount Park budget cuts – not green space plans – were probably behind their beloved dead trees (great places for insects).

The main lake was about half-frozen from low temps earlier in the week, still leaving ample open water for hundreds of Canada Geese, Ring-billed and Herring Gulls, and an assortment of waterfowl. Ducks included: Redhead (2), Lesser Scaup (1), Ring-necked (about 10), Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Bufflehead, American Coot, American Black Duck and Mallard. We enjoyed comparing the often-confusing female Redhead, Ring-necked and Lesser Scaup. Great, satisfying views were seen by all, as the small lakes allow for up-close study with a scope.

Additional species included Red-tail Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Great Blue Heron and common winter residents.

Afterwards, 8 of the group headed to nearby John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, adding several new species to the day list. Highlights here included: Red-shouldered Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Rusty Blackbird, Eastern Phoebe, Winter Wren, Field Sparrow, Common Mergansers and Northern Pintails among numerous ducks.

Pictures by Bert Filemyr