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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Don Jones
MAY 15, 2005
HAWKINS ROAD AND BRIGHTVIEW FARM
The weather cooperated. Although cloudy there was no rain and warm temperatures and high humidity. After a very slow start with several stops and few birds (at least to see, save for a close Scarlet Tanager which all the folks in back likely missed) by the time we got to the end of road a fairly cooperative Yellow-billed Cuckoo provided most a good look. Quickly following a very cooperative Blue-winged Warbler bee-bzzed through the treetops although the known Prothonotary Warbler failed to show or vocalize in this area. Back at another nestbox near the footbridge Prothonotary Warbler failed to answer the tape and the leader felt certain a mutiny was about to unfold. Fortunately a Hooded Warbler sang his alternate song and put on a spectacular show for several minutes. Finally assembling the group at Box 10A a brilliant Protonotary flew into view before one note finished playing on the tape and paused in a no foliage area barely 20 feet from the group. While here a Louisiana Waterthrush sang and obliged everyone by responding to the tape. We managed Redstart and Black-throated Blue on the walk back and a pair of Eastern Kingbirds seemed out of place habitat-wise. The determined group said “let’s make another try for the Acadian Flycatcher”. It had failed to materialize earlier in the morning. On this attempt the bird came into view and I believe everyone saw the bird although it only reluctantly sang a few times. Back at the road we added a visual White-eyed Vireo and told the group we’d re-assemble at Brightview Farm in about an hour.
When I reached my car, most of the group had already left for Brightview. I found a note on my windshield from Gar Reed and Eileen Krause stating they had observed a Sandhill Crane on the soccer field of the Burlington County Vo-Tech School less than a mile from our location. Dave Hoffman, Margo and Tom Sutherland were still there and we proceeded to the location and found the crane still on the soccer field. However before Dave and I left the crane flew off toward Medford then banked left toward Route 206.
Brightview provided the usual characters-Boblink, Eastern Meadowlark, Savannah Sparrow. Eastern Bluebird, and both orioles. We had two Black Vultures and a Bald Eagle (the first for this trip ever) thanks to Butch Lishman’s keen eyes. Thanks Butch! This is the first year we’ve dipped on having everyone see Grasshopper Sparrow well or for that matter-at all. Butch thought he heard one in the same area they occupied last year but none responded to a tape in that area.
Thanks to all who joined the forced march. By my count we totaled 60 species for the day-fairly typical of this itinerary. If you find any ommisions please let me know.
Great Blue Heron