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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Frank Windfelder

May 4, 2013
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, PA

This spring has in general been absolutely awful for passerine migration in the Philadelphia area. Persistent northeast and east winds have forced birds to go around us to the west. As a result, my expectations were very low when we met in the parking lot at 6:30 AM. We started down the dike and my fears were immediately confirmed when we encountered practically no migrants. At least the nesters were in.

Fortunately, I had an ace up my sleeve in the form of two juvenile Great Horned Owls on a nest at the horseshoe. This made the day for several members of the group. We then proceeded to the warbler woods, where we again encountered few migrants. Through the morning, we did manage to eke out nine species of warblers, the best of which was a late but singing Yellow-throated Warbler. This bird was heard by Sam Perloff, Lynn Roman and myself, among others.

A couple of male American Redstarts brightened our day, along with a heard Black-throated Blue Warbler and a couple of Ovenbirds. We had two different Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nests. A Cooper’s Hawk on nest only showed its protruding tail.

It turned out to be a nice day after all, with good weather and good company. Other participants were John Fahey, Margie Keefe, Sandy Grimwade, Maureen Breakiron-Evans, Joe Donegan, Bob Brezak, Barbara Granger, Jack Creighton and Ann Reeves.

Frank Windfelder
Philadelphia, PA