Observation start time: 08:00:00
Observation end time: 14:00:00
Total observation time: 6 hours
Official Counter: Larry Lewis
Observers: Kathleen Pileggi
Visitore (2): Kathleen Pileggi.
Thanks everyone, for coming to beautiful Bucktoe Creek Preserve Hawk
Sunny to Partly Cloudy (0-40% cloud cover), Temps 22-34F, Winds West 15-20
----“Raptors” seen, but deemed not to be migrating: 1-Cooper's Hawk,
1-Red-shouldered Hawk, 6-Red-tailed Hawk, and numerous Black (24) and
Turkey Vultures (55).
----“BUCKTOE BIRD BLOG” (BBB) - (Comments on the events & “feel” of the day
– read on, if you dare) We see birds, many of them hawks; encounter other
wildlife; discuss plants; while striving to laugh and have FUN with it all!
Notes on the raptors will be here, other birds and wildlife we notice or
discuss, and humorous (I hope) stories and anecdotes. This isn’t brain
surgery. Trust me, I know about that. I’ve already been “dead” once (it’s
overrated). So, you WILL have to forgive me, but I AM going to have the
ultimate fun with what remains of this life!
TODAY’S ‘BBB:’ I’ve been away for two days due to the snow storm - anyone
else suffering cabin-fever? Hawk withdrawal? The “Bucktoe Blues?” With
the strong storm and frigid temperatures, the feeders at home sure were
busy with birds attempting to weather the storm. A Fox Sparrow – they’re
migrating now – and a White-crowned Sparrow were among the surprises there,
but there were more. We had a stunning male Bluebird on a tube feeder
eating hulled sunflower. A Mockingbird came by many times, doing the same
thing. Both were firsts. Less surprising, but still very nice, was a male
Sapsucker upon our suet feeder. Not “normal” feeding behavior for a
Sapsucker. They do what they must to survive. Some believe birds and other
animals have an exceptional sense for such things as forecasting storms. I
am not convinced of that or aware of any studies conducted to confirm that
suspicion. I feel birds and wild animals are more reactive than
predictive. If they could sense things, perhaps deer could better sense
that Buick bearing down on them on Route 30! Maybe their predicting skills
end at the meteorological realm. Anyway, I hope “our Phoebe,” an early
insect-eating migrant, did what he had to survive. I’ll be sure to check
on him today. By the way, just how heavy was that snow to shovel?
Had to stop at our main shed today and conduct the watch from our
original site. The driveway to our current site is not quite ready for my
van. A flock of gulls passing by contained Herring (species #58) and Great
Black –backed Gulls (#59), likely winding their way to nearby SECCRA
Landfill. I walked around on the snow…or rather what was first snow, now
with a solid glaze of ice on top, upon which I made absolutely no indention
nor even a “crunching” sound as I crossed. A testament to my new svelte
body and weight loss since getting out of the hospital? No, rather sadly,
a testament to the incredible tactile strength of ice and just how much of
it we got during the later stages of that storm, I should think. Tree
Sparrows became our 60th species, calling near our “main shed.” The few
bare earth spots were like gold on this day – providing feeding areas.
These widely scattered plowed areas, melting with solar radiation, hosted
many birds of numerous species. Many Robins clamored over prime softer
spots. Two Fox Sparrows were in another bare spot, sharing this select
locale with Field Sparrow, numerous Songs, A Towhee, and many others. A
Killdeer was on another bare spot. As I roamed from one such scrapping to
another, I came across two Red Foxes, busily hunting this day - all this
nature doing what they must to survive. Ah, the Phoebe? He was not found
despite searching the field with short trees he’d called home for at least
a week. Did he move on? Did he move down the valley to a sheltered spot
holding insects along the Red Clay Creek? I say he did, and because it’s
my story and I hate sad endings…that’s what happened. Very few birds were
in the air today. All the hawks appeared to be local, choosing not to
migrate today. We filled our feeder area spreading corn on the ground by
just bouncing it on the ice and letting the wind disperse it. A few birds
will feed easier…
----My thanks to Kathleen Pileggi for posting these sightings to ebird and
for helping with this submission to “Hawk Count.” Thanks also, to Delaware
Nature Society, and especially, to the Brokaws, for their incredible
support and gracious generosity in opening their property to the public for
this watch, and oh, so very much more!
----ADDITIONAL BIRD HIGHLIGHTS: 1-Killdeer, 60-Ring-billed Gull, 7-Herring
Gull, 1-Great Black-backed Gull, 3-Eastern Towhee, 2-American Tree Sparrow,
3-Fox Sparrow, 5-White-crowned Sparrow.
----OTHER WILDLIFE NOTED: Butterflies (0); Dragonflies (0); Reptiles &
Amphibians (0); Mammals (1): Red Fox.
----EBNT’s “Walk with Nature” ™ Program Daily Tally with our Fitbits:
This is a stationary watch, but if I stay stationary too long, I might tend
to “bulk up.” Besides, I am ever so fortunate to be walking unaided, at
all! Therefore, I keep moving (if you’ve been here, then you know that I
pace endlessly….) - my Fitbit thanks me and its part of my “Walk with
Nature” program. So, below are MY results at the watch for the day. Your
totals could all be zero, if you choose to sit and relax. You are
certainly welcome to take it easy….I simply choose not to, affording me a
panoramic view of our entire sky and a bit of exercise. So come join our
“Walk with Nature!” ™ Anyway, just for fun, here are my numbers at the site
for today (join me, if you wish): Miles: 5.34; Steps: 12,535; Floors:
----“SEASON’S BIRD SPECIES LIST” – we at Bucktoe are not just a hawk watch,
but conduct a migration tally from the site. We include it here, from time
to time (about once a week), to let you know what else we’re seeing here at
the Bucktoe Watch. Our tally board, on site, will feature an approximation
(very rough, best “guestimate,” – raptors must remain our primary focus)
for totals of each species seen for “The Watch” year.
TOTAL SPECIES – Identified from watch site: today: 40; this season: 60
NEW SPECIES ADDED TODAY TO THIS YEAR’S “WATCH SPECIES LIST (3):” Herring
Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, American Tree Sparrow.
Tomorrow’s flight looks a lot like today...good cloud cover, a bit warmer,
less wind. Hopefully more migrating hawks.
Come join us, folks! We’re here every day, 9am thru 3pm (at least). Rain
This report is being sent individually to participants and people deemed to
be interested parties. If you wish off the list, kindly notify me and you
will be removed. However, this one mailing list is how I notify every one
of our events, our walk schedule, tours and rare birds.
The Hawk Watch at Bucktoe Creek Preserve is sponsored by Delaware Nature
Society (DNS) and the Brokaw family. Please contact us at
<earlybirdtours...> with questions or comments.
Report submitted by Larry Lewis (<earlybirdtours...>)
High open meadow facing north near Red Clay Creek
Directions to site:
From Kennett Square, PA (in southern Chester County):
Take Union Street south out of town. This becomes Kaolin Road. Make a right
onto Hillendale Road. Proceed about 1.5 miles to Sharp Road and make a
left. At the second hilltop on Sharp Road, the entrance is on the left
across from Candlewyck development. (432 Sharp Rd.) Upon entering driveway,
make a right on gravel road opposite first driveway you see on left. Follow
gravel road (and the "Hawk Watch" signs for about 1/2 mile to the pavilion
on the left and the parking area in the grass to the right.