Observation start time: 08:00:00
Observation end time: 14:30:00
Total observation time: 6.5 hours
Official Counter: Larry Lewis
Observers: Joe Sebastiani, Kathleen Pileggi, Tim Zador
THE SOUTHERN CHESTER COUNTY SPRING HAWK WATCH AT BUCKTOE CREEK PRESERVE
Visitors (8): Kathleen Pileggi, Ian Stewart, Joe Sebastiani, Tom Brokaw,
Margretta Brokaw, Tim Zador, Sequoia Rock.
Thanks everyone, for coming to beautiful Bucktoe Creek Preserve Hawk
Cloudy with Rain (100% cloud cover), Temps 50-66F, Winds SE 5-10 mph
----“Raptors” seen, but deemed not to be migrating: 4-Red-tailed Hawk,
1-American Kestrel, and numerous Black (16) and Turkey Vultures (40).
----Bald Eagle ages: 1 yr.-0; 2 yr.-0; 3 yr.-0; 4 yr.-2; adult-2
----“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:’ As I arrive this dreary, wet day, a Red-tailed Hawk is on
the first “planted snag” here. That’s right, all these obvious tall dead
trees were installed here by the Brokaws. INCREDIBLE!! Another snag held
a Kestrel. But there’s more… as I make the final turn to my Watch site – a
site, which I soon discover is too soggy to reach – what is sitting atop
“Golden Eagle Snag,” but an Eagle! This one an adult Bald.
A minute or two later, Margretta arrives just in time to enjoy it!! I
rushed to her car to tell her, but her broad grin told me she already knew.
Mrs.Brokaw saw the Eagle without being told of its presence and was just
thrilled as she reached me in the driveway. Her smile lighting up this
dingy day. Margretta was soon followed by Tom. Tom, drove right by the
bird without seeing it! I HAD TO SHOW Tom the Eagle, as he didn’t believe
me. Hey Tom, your wife showed you up!! I mean, come on Tom…it was only an
EAGLE! Those small birds are easy to overlook! I love you Margretta &
Tom. You and your family are truly amazing with what you do here at
Bucktoe! What’s this? NO WAY!! At 11:18am, a second Eagle joins the
first, this one a male by the noticeably smaller size. That snag forks a
foot from the top…there was now an adult eagle on each fork! Actually the
female was an adult, the male a fourth year bird as indicated by just a
touch of a black tip to the tail and a few flecks of dark feathers on the
head. Guess she was a “cougar?” (is that what they call that??) The newly
arriving male looked as though he had been in a fight with a fire hydrant
and emerged the loser - very wet. The weather must have been even worse
where he had been. The female spent a lot of time preening (check the
video, when DNS posts it)…some things never change.
The female Eagle remained on her perch until 12:25pm, occasionally shaking
off the accumulating rain from her feathers – obviously in a hurry to do
nothing. I feel you, Ms. Eagle. You picked the right day to do it, and
for a few of us, the right spot! With a final shake of her magnificent
feathers, our Eagle leapt into the air, and was on her way to … well,
wherever SHE wants to go. A few strong flaps carried her over the woods to
the north. She’s an Eagle, after all. The male chased right after the
female – ain’t it always the case(?) – maybe it was that extra preening.
You would think this was a horrible day – terrible weather, no hawks
moving. But no! OH, WHAT A DAY IT WAS!! You just never know what’ll
happen when you get out and experience nature, do you?
Thanks, Joe for coming to take their picture, as this unprepared
photographer was…well, in a word…unprepared! You bailed me out! Anyone
wishing a picture, email me (<earlybirdtours...>), and I’ll send it.
One will certainly find its way to our gallery on my trailer.
Just how cool was all this? I sure hope I never forget this morning, but
with what’s left of my brain…who knows? Perhaps Margretta’s smile will
place it firmly in my memory banks. Incidentally, Golden Eagle Snag gets
its name from last year when an immature Golden Eagle was on it as I
arrived one October morn. I drove right past that one, Tom!!
The day goes on. A Raven’s call pierces the heavy sky. With all this
morning’s excitement, my two bagels (with a proper portion of Berry cream
cheese) and coffee purchased from Landhope Farms, remained untouched until
well after 11am. Out of character… That’s OK. The coffee will taste
better now, right? The bagel? That berry cream cheese, even sweeter! On
a late day walk, Kathleen and I saw a Woodchuck where one had been
photographed earlier in the week up a tree. They are a squirrel and are
able to climb when threatened. Just before leaving, a singing Chipping
Sparrow became our species #74.
----My thanks to Kathleen Pileggi for posting these sightings to ebird and
for helping with this submission to “Hawk Count.” Thanks also, 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: 4-Wood Duck, 1-Killdeer, 2-Ring-billed
Gull, 1-Belted Kingfisher, 1-COMMON RAVEN, 2-Eastern Towhee, 1-Chipping
Sparrow (FOY), 1-Savannah Sparrow, 4-White-crowned Sparrow.
----OTHER WILDLIFE NOTED: Butterflies (0); Dragonflies (0); Reptiles &
Amphibians (1): Spring Peeper. Mammals (2): Eastern Gray Squirrel,
----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: 2.58; Steps: 6,050; Floors: 12.
----“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: 47; this season: 74
NEW SPECIES ADDED TODAY TO THIS YEAR’S “WATCH SPECIES LIST (1):” Chipping
Tomorrow’s flight looks like more of the same. If it turned out like
today's excitement, I'd take it!
Come join us, folks! We’re here every day thru April 30, 9am thru 3pm (at
least). Rain or shine…. but not snow or ice…
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 ... well,
sponsored by nobody at the moment (which, I guess, means it’s being
sponsored by me, for now, right folks?), although in the past sponsored,
alternately and personally very appreciatively, by the Delaware Nature
Society & The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County. and certainly
the Brokaw family. Please contact us at <earlybirdtours...> with
questions or comments.
Report submitted by Larry Lewis (<earlybirdtours...>)
High open meadow 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.