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Weekly Report - 2017-03-17 - Cardinal Moon

Spring migration is underway despite the rock-solid snow coverage of the trail! I was unable to make it out on the trail last Friday so I'm back with an overdue weekly report to report that although the trail is birdy, it's also very slippery - Be careful if you head out there!

I kept the morning brief due to difficult navigation and time needed for parent-teacher conference preparation, but I still raked in 19 species for the morning. I would say that this morning's walk yielded no unusual birds, but there was a flurry of bird activity. Song Sparrows were singing in full force as were Tufted Titmouse. I did not see the Eastern Bluebirds in the box in the upper parking lot, but I did hear one on the playground as I scrambled over the plowed snowbank to the trailhead. Brown-headed Cowbird seemed to be more present than in previous weeks. Finally, I noticed that the Dark-eyed Juncos were not active by the cafeteria entrance. Instead, they were peppered throughout the White Pine across from the first bench on the trail!

Locally, there have been quite a few unusual finds! About two weeks ago, a Yellow-headed Blackbird was observed behind the Philadelphia Airport among a flock of Red-winged Blackbirds. Yellow-headed Blackbirds are native to the Great Plains and the western United States, but they do occasionally show up in our area in winter. At Exton Park, a locational favorite of Trailblazers, a Northern Shrike has been seen the last two days. First observed at the end of February, the Northern Shrike breeds in the northern United States in Canada and is a notoriously secretive species that often go undetected in an area. Much like the Yellow-headed Blackbird, this species sometimes leaves its native range and shows up in Pennsylvania in winter. Northern Shrike is a highly sought after species for me in Chester County as I have chased many previously observed individuals before with no luck! I did however get the chance to see a Northern Shrike at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in March of 2014.

Keep those feeders full and eyes to the sky. Migration is ON!!!

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35228914

Bethel Springs E.S.--Nature Trail

Mar 17, 2017

7:47 AM

Stationary

7 Minutes

All birds reported? Yes

Comments: Shortened checklist due to icy conditions on the trail. Light breeze with temperatures in the 30s and a completely snow covered trail.

Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.4.2 Build 114

1 Mourning Dove

1 Red-bellied Woodpecker

1 Downy Woodpecker

1 Blue Jay

4 American Crow

1 Carolina Chickadee

3 Tufted Titmouse

1 Carolina Wren

1 Eastern Bluebird

2 American Robin

8 European Starling

12 Dark-eyed Junco

1 White-throated Sparrow

3 Song Sparrow

1 Eastern Towhee

1 Northern Cardinal

1 Common Grackle

4 Brown-headed Cowbird

4 House Finch

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