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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Art McMorris

Saturday May 21, 2011 - RIDLEY CREEK STATE PARK

Twelve participants joined leader Art McMorris for a morning of birding in Ridley Creek State Park in Delaware County, PA. We birded in the bridle trail area north of Gradyville Road, the most wooded portion of the park, which has fine second-growth stands dominated by American Beech and Tulip Tree. We were fortunate to have the first non-rainy day in over a week. The temperature was 55 degrees when we started out at 6:30 AM and gradually rose to 70 degrees by 11:30 when the birds got quiet and we all went our separate ways.

We started out following Ridley Creek and soon branched off through scrub-shrub habitat which yielded such birds as Blue-winged, Chestnut-sided and Prairie Warbler and Common Yellowthroat. We then branched off to a small hill which usually has a couple of Hooded Warbler territories, and we were not disappointed. The Kentucky Warblers which nest here annually but are always a challenge to find proved to be too much of a challenge, and we came up empty. A return along the main creek and smaller tributaries yielded riparian species such as Acadian Flycatcher and a late-singing Louisiana Waterthrush, probably an unsuccessful male still trying valiantly. Other goodies included Scarlet Tanager, a migrant Swainson’s Thrush, and good looks at at least 4 Pileated Woodpeckers. We ended the morning with 46 species.

Birds seen and heard (46 species):

Great Blue Heron
Red-tailed Hawk
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
White-eyed Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Swainson’s thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing
Blue-winged Warbler
Northern Parula
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Prairie Warbler
American Redstart
Louisiana Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Eastern Towhee
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole

Pictures by Bert Filemyr