Observation start time: 17:00:00
Observation end time: 20:00:00
Total observation time: 3 hours
Official Counter: Larry Lewis
Observers: Kathleen Pileggi
DELAWARE NATURE SOCIETY’S NIGHTHAWK WATCH AT BUCKTOE CREEK PRESERVE
Visitors (4): Sue McLaughlin, Ken Reynolds, Kathleen Pileggi.
Thanks everyone, for coming to beautiful Bucktoe Creek Preserve!
----“Raptors” seen, but deemed not to be migrating: 1-Cooper's Hawk,
1-Red-shouldered Hawk, 3-Red-tailed Hawk, and numerous Black (10) and
Turkey Vultures (25).
----“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:’ ---“Do You Know Where Your Nighthawks Are?”---
My walk up the hill from “Hotel TLC” produced Scarlet Tanager and good
cardio-vascular. Yeah, my heart was racing just a tad, as I settled in at
the Watch at 4pm. I had scared up some Meadow Voles as I neared the site.
A Red Fox that I had seen on one of the trails climbing the hill, likely
would have relished those and the Cottontail I saw casually grazing on my
corn, spread for the birds, when I arrived. It was a half hour’s walk, to
a lifetime of memories. So many of our walks with nature are, aren’t they?
Shortly, nine Nighthawks flew low, directly overhead – it was
5:22pm…sorry, to say I was by myself. Where was everybody? Do you know
where your Nighthawks were? Right over my head! Then, still more of YOUR
Nighthawks flew over first 3, 3 more, then a group of 30 to our north,
followed by 5, 3 more, and 8, a single followed by another, then finally 6.
How many is that? Sixty-nine of YOUR Nighthawks, people. I wish you’d
keep an eye on YOUR Nighthawks…literally. OK, a few people finally did
show to enjoy them. A recently retired Sue and a still working boyfriend
Ken were among them. Then suddenly Ken was gone.
“He has a habit of just walking off.” Said Sue. “I never know where he
Yes, Ken had wandered off. I couldn’t help but chuckle. This was so
mindful of another person I know. His name is also Ken. “My Ken” was a
wanderer – always walking off, driving his wife, Judy nuts. But that’s not
why I am currently laughing by myself. Ken and his wife went with me on a
tour I led to Florida back in the 90’s. They were recently retired. Well,
Ken seemed to be having fun, but was having a bit of trouble seeing some
birds. Then I looked closely at his “setup” - his binocular caps were on.
Later on the same tour, we were at Key West and I was taking the people
down to Duval Street to show them some of the sights I know, having lived
for a time with my parents 20 miles from this fun town. That street is
akin to a mini Bourbon Street. We hopped a trolley and we all talked about
what we wanted to see and do. Then we stopped again to pick up more riders
and THAT was our downfall. In strolled a couple of young “bathing
beauties” each sitting on the side of our poor Ken on the crowded trolley.
Well, Ken is an intelligent, well-read and traveled man. Yet his
intelligence was instantly sapped by the two young ladies. Worse yet, they
began to talk with Ken.
“Where are you going?” asked a stunning blonde.
Ken announced with a mere shrug that he didn’t know…no words passing his
lips, but beads of sweat were now forming across his forehead.
The brunette took a shot. “Are you from here or a tourist?
Ken didn’t know – apparently incapacitated by beauty. Mind you, Judy was
sitting right across from her husband watching all this unfold.
The blonde took another stab. “My name is Mary. What’s yours? Where are
She should have known better than to ask him a dual question like that. It
just wasn’t fair. Perhaps she was just toying with Ken, now.
Ken had no chance. He was squirming now. “I live somewhere in
Pennsylvania.” claimed Ken.
Ken lived in New York City.
Ken didn’t even know his name, a blank look encompassing his face. Rather,
he chose to try to answer the first question instead. “I think we’re going
Judy just shook her head at her husband’s reaction. “I expect nothing
else!” Adding, “Ken you are in Florida.”
Thankfully, the duo got off at the first stop. Otherwise, Ken would have
soon been a drooling idiot in the corner of the trolley. Decades of
personal knowledge swept over him and we soon got our Ken back. Must be
the name - Ken.
While I relived fond memories (glad I retained that one), Blue Grosbeaks
were in constant song, their warbled whistle lying in stark contrast to the
“blink” call notes of the Bobolinks, which were also present. Walking back
to my temporary housing, there was calling Screech Owls and a Barred Owl to
add to the stroll.
---- Thanks to Delaware Nature Society for their support, and especially,
to the Brokaws, for not only their incredible support, but gracious
generosity in opening their property to the public for this watch, and oh,
so very much more!
----ADDITIONAL BIRD HIGHLIGHTS:
2-Screech Owl, 1-Barred Owl, 69-COMMON NIGHTHAWK, 3-Blue Grosbeak,
----OTHER WILDLIFE NOTED: Butterflies (8): Monarch - 15, Cabbage White,
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Clouded Sulphur, Pearl Crescent, Black
Swallowtail, Orange Sulphur, Common Checkered Skipper. Dragonflies (2):
Green Darner, Black Saddlebags. Reptiles & Amphibians (0): Mammals (3):
Eastern Cottontail, Meadow Vole, 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: 8.53; Steps: 20,018; Floors:
----“SEASON’S BIRD SPECIES LIST” – we at Bucktoe are not just a Kite &
Shorebird 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,” – searching for
Hawks & Nighthawks, must remain our primary focus.
TOTAL SPECIES – Identified from watch site: today: 49; this season: 61
NEW SPECIES ADDED TODAY TO THIS YEAR’S “WATCH SPECIES LIST (0):” None.
Tomorrow’s flight looks like a continuation of fine weather for migration.
Come join us, folks! We’re here every day thru Sept. 3, 5pm thru 8:00pm.
And from Sept. 1 thru Nov. 30, every day 9am thru 3pm. Rain or shine.
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 Nighthawk Watch at Bucktoe Creek Preserve is sponsored by Delaware
Nature Society. 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.