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Sunday, June 10, 2012

A walk around Bucktoe Preserve

     This Sunday morning I decided to go to Bucktoe Preserve in Chester County. Holly Merker was leading a walk there and since I was in need of a Blue Grosbeak for the year, and I knew that one was reported from the preserve, I headed on down. All photos in this blog were taken by Hank Davis a frequent visitor to the preserve. It was going to be a hot one today so we quickly crossed the open field headed for the shade of the woods. On the way we came across a family of three Kestels feeding over the grasslands. 
     Once in the woods we found Veery, Warbling Vireo and Red-eyed Vireos. At one point along the stream we encountered a group of about four Baltimore Orioles and a large family of Orchard Orioles. In one sycamore tree there was an oriole nest, a Kingbird nest and a Gnatcatcher nest. Hank managed to get a photo of a  female Baltimore Oriole feeding the young in the nest.
Baltimore Oriole
     Further along the creek Holly and I both heard a warbler singing and both of us recognized the song but just couldn't place the songster. After a little searching we were thrilled to discover that we had found Bucktoe's first Cerulean Warbler.
Our surprise find for the day - Cerulean Warbler
      Everyone was able to get great looks at this very cooperative bird. Usually a treetop warbler this guy was only about 20 feet off the ground and constantly singing. 
      We managed a few other birds such as Belted Kingfisher and Wood Thrush with nesting material but then headed out of the woods again as we were finishing the walk. In a large field with a lot of saplings Holly heard a strange sound coming from the brushy area. We chased it down and discovered it was another rare bird at Bucktoe, a Yellow-breasted Chat. Once again Hank managed to get a nice picture of the big warbler.
Yellow-breasted Chat - A discussion ensued rather this bird is really a warbler or should be in another Genus
     As we got back to the parking lot, I still hadn't found my target bird. Hank mentioned that the grosbeak was seen in an area behind the lot so we all walked over to the berm area and I climbed up on the berm and to my surprise there was a Blue Grosbeak sitting on the split rail fence. Success at last.
     For a hot June day this bird walk was definitely worth the trip. Thanks to Holly and Hank for all their knowledge.

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