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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Frank Windfelder

May 19, 2010
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, PA

The afternoon before the trip, a strong cold front with gusts up to 45 miles per hour had ripped through Philadelphia. In the morning of our bird walk, the temperature had dipped to 43 degrees and it was still very windy, so much so that my car almost blew off the road as I drove to Tinicum. Not surprisingly, there was a small turnout, but I enjoyed the company of Georgia and Barrie Ashby, Pattie Rehn, Sandy Grinwalde, Dieter Schifferlie, Sam Perloff, and Bob Brezak.

Despite the conditions (cold!!), we had a wonderful time. We immediately got onto Northern Parula and Northern Waterthrush along the dike. Sam’s good ears picked up several Blackpoll Warblers. A Solitary Sandpiper decorated the opposite bank of Darby Creek. There was a Willow Flycatcher and an Eastern Kingbird. But Pattie found the bird of the day, a perched Common Nighthawk. We were able to study it at length and take pictures.

After crossing the big boardwalk, many saw a Swainson’s Thrush. The warbler woods produced a number of species, including a singing male Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

We walked the pipeline cut and haul road, picking up Great-crested Flycatcher and a number of warbler & vireo species. A Black Vulture soared overhead. Two Wild Turkeys graced the cut. We saw a Cooper’s hawk on nest. Returning to the warbler woods, we saw a Chestnut-sided Warbler and heard a Tennessee Warbler.

As we headed back to the parking lot, we stopped at the new observation deck between the big boardwalk and the center, where we picked up Osprey and two Lesser Yellowlegs, a fitting end to the morning.

Frank Windfelder
Philadelphia, PA