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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Keith Russell

Sunday November 28, 2004
ROOSEVELT PARK, Pennsylvania

This year's Roosevelt Park took place despite a steady rain which fell throughout the early morning hours of November 28. Only one brave participant attended but we had a profitable day birding, and we enjoyed rain free weather during the latter half of the morning. One of the attractions of the park are its wintering waterfowl and the fact that within the park’s friendly confines they become tame and can be observed at close range. This year we enjoyed close looks at many species including Double-crested Cormorant, American Coot, Pied-billed Grebe, Bufflehead, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Ruddy Duck, and Ring-necked Duck. The waterfowl list was rounded out by Mallards, Blacks, and a thousand Canada Geese, among which was a long Snow Goose. One unfortunate part of the morning's observations was the site of a dozen or more oiled Canada Geese and over 70 oiled Ring-billed Gulls which had obviously flown in from the Delaware River. While these birds were fortunate to have not died outright at the site of the oil spill currently ravaging the Delaware, they are nevertheless helpless to remove the oil without injesting it and they may all be doomed to perish despite the fact that they can still fly.

After the rains abated (for the most part) around 9:45 land birds became more active and we encountered flocks actively feeding virtually everywhere. Highlights included numbers of kinglets (both species), several Fox Sparrows, and a unidentified adult male blackbird (Rusty or Brewers) feeding on the golf course with starlings and redwings. Unfortunately we did not get close enough to the bird to be able to make a more precise identification. We would have probably found more species if the weather had been better, but our total of 48 species was a good one given the rainy conditions.