This session of Trailblazers Adventure Summer Camp marked our second session of the season and our first session of Trailblazers Adventure since the start of the pandemic! In honor of this welcome return to our summer schedule, we made sure this session featured a healthy mix of favorite trips along with some new destinations. We also tallied a grand total of 60 different species of birds. All told, this session was a fantastic way to end our summer season!
Our Monday began as usual with our morning being spent on the BSES Nature Trail followed by a trip to the Concord Elementary School Nature Trail! We had beautiful, sunny day to kick off our week, which made for both great birding and great creek walking.
Tuesday's trip was to Okehocking Preserve in Willistown Township; a Trailblazers favorite!! Conditions on this trip were both very HOT and rather HUMID. This made for very happy creek walkers, but it made it a challenging journey for us birders! We were lucky to see a family of Wood Duck, close views of a male Scarlet Tanager, loads of Purple Martins, and most exciting of all: a Red-tailed Hawk being chased by a Cooper's Hawk being chased by a Barn Swallow. It was an electrifying aerial bird fight for all to enjoy!
Wednesday marked our first-ever visit to Valley Forge National Historical Park with Trailblazers! Our home base for the day was outside the Philander Chase Knox Estate. This allowed us easy access to a very beautiful section of Valley Creek! We were also within walking distance of some cabins from the Revolutionary War and Mount Misery (which we did not climb!) On this trip, many students got to see a male Indigo Bunting, a singing Wood Thrush, and a few Common Yellowthroats that sang in the fields nearby!
Thursday was also a new trip for us! We visited the DuPont Environmental Education Center on the waterfront of Wilmington, Delaware. This trip offered a unique marsh habitat we hadn't yet experienced in other locations. As a result, we saw a whole set of different birds! We had a very close flyover Great Egret. We had tons of Tree, Barn, and Northern Rough-winged Swallows. We even saw a family of Osprey on the nest right near our bus! After our visit, we went back to BSES to cool off and enjoy Mr. BQ's famous Migration Game in the gym.
Friday was spent all day at school! We visited the BSES Nature Trail as well as nearby Peanut Pond to see what we could find as we reflected upon our week of learning. We did some bluebird box monitoring, and we saw Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows with babies!!! We also did one last walk on the nature trail before we spent our afternoon inside beating the heat.
This session was an absolutely fantastic week that featured some serious heat and some even more serious fun. Thank you to all who joined us this summer for Trailblazers. We look very forward to seeing you this school year for club and next summer for camp as we celebrate our tenth anniversary!!!!!!
For a full list of the birds we observed, check out our eBird Trip Report for the week!