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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Steve Kacir

February 20, 2016
Falls Community Park, PA

Observers: Bob Bauers, Sandy Bauers, Bruce Beans, Steve Kacir
Notes: Windy and cold, despite the 60F forecast for later in the day. Gulls were ever present; though, not roosting in huge numbers during the field trip as one might hope. Immediately after I closed the eBird checklist for the field trip, over a thousand gulls descended on the water, but no new species were observed (only the four expected species for the county: Herring Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull). We made the best of the conditions by walking around Falls Township Lake and taking a brief side-trip along Wheatsheaf Road to view the water in what I presume is a quarry on the east side of the road. That quarry was holding at least 450 Common Mergansers, plus a few other species of waterfowl. By walking around the park, we had the opportunity to sample the gull flock as the birds dropped in to roost on the water. A much briefer visit might have provided only a fraction of a snapshot of the gull population, which at times was only a handful of birds and culminated in over a thousand gulls right after the field trip ended (of course!). Plus, we got the chance to intersect our paths with the local waterfowl and passerines, not to mention the raptors.

Ebird list at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S27703592

Species List:

Canada Goose: 160
Mute Swan 4
Northern Mallard: 15
Domestic Mallard: 5
Bufflehead: 7
Hooded Merganser: 1
Common Merganser: 500
Pied-billed Grebe: 2
Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
Bald Eagle: 2
Red-tailed Hawk: 2
American Coot: 14
Killdeer: 3
Ring-billed Gull: 150
Herring Gull: 350
Lesser Black-backed Gull: 5
Great Black-backed Gull: 43
Mourning Dove: 3
Downy Woodpecker: 1
Blue Jay: 4
American Crow: 10
Fish Crow: 35
Crow Sp.: 2
Carolina Chickadee: 5
Carolina Wren: 4
American Robin: 7
Northern Mockingbird: 1
European Starling: 6
Slate-colored Dark-eyed Junco: 8
White-throated Sparrow: 15
Song Sparrow: 3
Northern Cardinal: 2
Red-winged Blackbird: 6
Common Grackle: 4
House Finch: 4
House Sparrow: 5