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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Debbie Beer

January 31, 2010
Tinicum (not Roosevelt Park) Trip Report

Thwarted by locked gates at Philadelphia’s Roosevelt Park, today’s field trip made a last-minute move to nearby John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. Just as well, as a week’s worth of below-freezing temperatures froze the lakes at Roosevelt Park, pushing out most of the waterfowl and leaving only masses of huddled Canada Geese and Ring-billed Gulls on the ice.

At Tinicum, five of us joined the regularly-scheduled Sunday morning refuge walk, led by Dennis Brennan, adding more eyes and ears to the venture. The refuge’s main impoundment was also frozen solid, but there were more species here to capture our attention. Under picturesque blue skies and bright sunshine, temps in the mid-20’s didn’t feel quite as cold as yesterday. We warmed up immediately at the sight of an immature Red-shouldered Hawk perched handsomely in the trees bordering the parking lot. We got good looks at several more species in the next 3 hours, including Field and Fox Sparrows, Common Merganser, Hairy Woodpecker and one of Tinicum’s pair of adult Bald Eagles bringing sticks to it’s nest on the far side of the impoundment. Twice we caught sight of a resident Red Fox, suffering from mange evident on the back half of his body.

Thanks to everyone who braved the frigid weather to enjoy the field trip at Tinicum.