Date: 4/2/17 7:18 am
From: Alan Buriak <a_buriak...>
Subject: Swamp Sparrows, misc at Glade Run Lake, Butler Co
For the first time since Glade Run Lake was refilled, I decided to hike the trail along the northern edge and do a little exploring. The trail has been extended and now reaches the backwaters area, however today it was quite flooded and waterproof boots were necessary just to reach the end. This lake now contains some excellent wetland habitat. With all the vegetation left in place prior to refilling, there is a ton of cover for waterfowl and they seem to find it very suitable. A good bit of additional lake area can be viewed from the trail that cannot be seen from the parking lot area, and I am now kicking myself that I did not hike the trail with a scope 2-3 weeks ago. Today turned up 8 Wood Ducks, 20 Ring-necked Ducks, 5 Hooded Mergansers, 1 Blue-winged Teal, 2 Pied-billed Grebes, and the usual Mallards and huge amount of Canada Geese. I would guess that given the quality habitat, likely all of the expected waterfowl species stopped over at some point in the last month. There seems to be just as much water that is hidden by the vegetation as there is that can be seen.

Furthermore, almost as to reaffirm the quality of the wetlands, I found two Swamp Sparrows singing vigorously near the end of the trail. I don't know if the presence of Swamp Sparrows holds any value as a barometer of habitat quality, but I was pleased to see them. There appears to be an even larger area of marsh habitat along the southern shore of the lake, although I don't believe it is accessible except maybe by kayak. The dirt that was removed when deep trenches were dug for fish habitat has been placed on the upstream side of the island to produce shallow water areas, although with the current high water level, I could not tell if this or any other areas of the lake will provide any meaningful amount of mudflats for shorebirds, but my fingers are crossed. No sign of Osprey or Bald Eagles yet this spring, although a pair of Osprey have been returning to the dry lake yearly for a couple days ever since it was drained, so hopefully they haven't given up hope yet!

eBird checklist is here:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35634183

Good birding,
Alan Buriak
Gibsonia, Allegheny County



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