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Field Trip Report

November 7, 2003

Tinicum has never had a more gracious or knowledgeable walk leader than Kenn Kaufman. He led our group of 36 birders on a walk that included birds, butterflies, a baby snapping turtle, and dragonflies, many of which landed on participants' clothing and were easily studied. We began at 8 AM just as the foul weather was being pushed out by a moderate NE breeze and we ended in sunshine with fall colors aglow in the trees. No exotic species were seen, but Kenn elaborated on many of the resident and winter visitors with interesting facts of their identification and ecology. Among the 43 species American Bittern was probably the best bird. We watched the Bittern for 15 min. from the small boardwalk where he was hunkered down in a hibiscus clump at the edge of the impoundment. He was relatively still, but preened occasionally to the delight of several teenagers who got to tick him off as a life bird.

Other good sightings, mostly overhead, were 2 Black Vulture, moving south; a flock of 15 Dowitcher Sp. (Sorry, Frank, we did not see the tertials!); Sharpies, Mute Swans. The impoundment held Pied-billed Grebe, lots of Great Egrets, and Bufflehead, Am. Wigeon, and Gadwall. So-called "good" sparrows could not be phished up, but Winter Wren, Cedar Waxwing and Rusty Blackbird were heard and seen. Each and every Tree Swallow was studied to exclude any record Blue and White.

Kenn lingered at the EEC, talking to individuals and signing his books for them. Three refuge staff, including biologist Brendalee Phillips and the new manager, Kate McManus, attended the walk.

Doris McGovern