Observation start time: 10:00:00
Observation end time: 17:00:00
Total observation time: 7 hours
Official Counter: Larry Lewis
Observers: Kathleen Pileggi
THE LAND CONSERVANCY FOR SOUTHERN CHESTER COUNTY’S HAWK WATCH AT BUCKTOE
Visitors (4): Kathleen Rengert, Jim Balint, Kathleen Pileggi .
Thanks everyone, for coming to beautiful Bucktoe Creek Preserve!
----“Raptors” seen, but deemed not to be migrating: 1-Cooper's Hawk,
2-Red-shouldered Hawk, 4-Red-tailed Hawk, and numerous Black (60) and
Turkey Vultures (65).
----“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:’ ---“Sparrow Wars”---
Happy 101st Birthday, Howard Brokaw!
First in was a Swamp Sparrow, picking cracked corn up near our “water
feature,” spread just there for that expressed purpose, and making the time
I used to get it yesterday seem well-spent. But a Song Sparrow would
simply have none of it – driving it back into the brush. At 9:39 our first
White-crowned Sparrow (becoming our 120th species at The Watch) appeared -
an immature, born just this year. It’s size, if not the site’s
familiarity, giving it the edge over our “unhospitable” Song Sparrow. A
second White-crowned joined in the melee, this going to the bath itself.
Get in there and clean that ‘dirty bird.’ You had a long flight in, fella.
These White-crowned Sparrows have never set eyes on Bucktoe Basin before,
yet suddenly had full control like they’ve been her for years. Oh, those
The sky remained devastatingly blue, hiding all those within its depths. I
stayed with “my sparrows.” Four Song Sparrows now overwhelmed the water
feature, leaving water flying in every direction and splashing our current
star of the show – a smaller and darker Lincoln’s Sparrow – who remained in
the adjacent brush. He was obviously to me, in desperate need of a drink
and a bath. I feel your pain, my friend – I’ve been there! At 9:49, “Mr.
Lincoln” got his chance, delicately splashing the water. It’s amazing how
upon close observation, birds “personalities” are revealed – don’t you
think? A Savannah Sparrow was next, avoiding the bath, opting for food.
(I’ve been there, too!) But “Sparrow…clean thyself!!” I must remember that
I said that the next time I reach for the refrigerator over the shower
curtain. Now, a Song Sparrow displaced EVERYONE, ferociously taking a bath
and vanquishing all others to the thicket.
Skies still were empty to the non- scanning eye, besides this bathing
escapade was too much fun to lose it all training my eyes in to that
endlessly deep blue wasteland. There’ll be lots of time for THAT!
A Field Sparrow finally made its way in, feeding first, then daintily
sipping from Bucktoe Basin, perturbing the Song Sparrows, already drenched,
to no end. The chase was on. Songs won at first; Field persisted, winning
in the end. With all this incessant activity, it’s no wonder why I have to
add water every day – it’s this Bucktoe Basin Bathing Brawl thing!
A single Broad-winged Hawk became visible, somewhere in that blue vastness,
breaking up my “terrestrial fun.” Not to be outdone (or out cleaned) a
Common Yellowthroat came in, as did a Palm Warbler. Finally, a third
White-crowned, this one of the few adults we get here. Already
pristine-looking, he bathed anyway, just to show the youngster’s how it’s
done. Just then, another pregnant Praying Mantis flew by, alighting in the
meadow grasses, a painful reminder and more sadness for our brothers in
arms, fellas! Likely, one less of our brethren!! Rejoice in your “male
Anyway, there it was – six Sparrow species (3 or 4 not normally seen at
your feeders, right?)– working things out between themselves and with no
threat of nuclear holocaust involved. All ending up cleaned, fed and
bathed. At least those that wanted to…Mr. Savannah! Maybe the way they
handle things TRUMPS how we do things? That last statement was forced at
my hand by “Bucktoe Jimmy.” You all know “Bucktoe Jimmy,” right? He’s our
stuffed corvid mascot – usually with a bottle of “Old Crow” in hand….er,
uh…in wing. ‘Jimmy’ has definite political ideas, theories (aspirations?)
that he won’t squelch – I’ve tried – he won’t listen to me…rather choosing
to ‘crow’ about something. A bit opinionated, he is - his mind ravenous
(sorry) with activity.
Back to the blue sky - you know, blue was always my favorite color…that is,
until I started counting hawks…
Kathleen covered our adjacent “warbler meadow” ragweed field this morning
reporting it alive with activity including 2 Black-throated Blue Warblers,
many Ruby-crowned Kinglets and a Magnolia Warbler. [KR]. We covered it
later in the day finding those and adding a late female Blackburnian
I had fun with the sparrows this morning, trouble finding hawks all day in
this sky, now it’s time for some real sadness and tears, right? A good
healthy cry is in order?? I called my mom finally, after forgetting my
birthday on Saturday. I had avoided it…not knowing what to do. Mention
it? Ignore it? What?? Well, in true “Larry fashion” I dealt with it,
minimally, by calling, but avoided the crux of the matter, not mentioning
it at all. My mom still knew nothing of it in conversation. A mere,
“What’s new?” came from mom. I just couldn’t bear to tell her what was
new. It was breaking my heart how this was not her. I didn’t want her to
feel sad or sorry, right? Is anything worse than this??? Too sad to write
I will be late arriving again on Wednesday…another doctor’s
appointment…arriving by 11am. I will stay until 5pm to make up for it. I
stay until then, anyway, writing… What better place to write than my
“field office” in the….well, field?
---- Thanks to The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County 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-Great Blue Heron, 4-Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 3-Magnolia Warbler,
2-Black-throated Blue Warbler, 1-Blackburnian Warbler, 1-Palm Warbler,
1-Savannah Sparrow, 1-Lincoln's Sparrow, 1-Swamp Sparrow, 4-White-crowned
----OTHER WILDLIFE NOTED: Butterflies (13): Monarch - 22, Cabbage White,
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Eastern Tailed Blue, Clouded Sulphur, Pearl
Crescent, Red-spotted Purple, Orange Sulphur, Common Checkered Skipper,
Buckeye, Variegated Fritillary, Wild Indigo Duskywing, Sachem. Dragonflies
(2): Green Darner, Black Saddlebags. Reptiles & Amphibians (0): Mammals
(1): Eastern Cottontail.
----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: 5.2; Steps: 12,208; Floors: 24.
----“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,” – searching for Hawks must remain our
primary focus) for totals of each species seen for “The Watch” year.
TOTAL SPECIES – Identified from watch site: today: 54; this season: 120
NEW SPECIES ADDED TODAY TO THIS YEAR’S “WATCH SPECIES LIST (1):”
Tomorrow’s flight looks ____
Come join us, folks! We’re here every day thru Nov. 30, 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 Hawk Watch at Bucktoe Creek Preserve is sponsored by THE LAND
CONSERVANCY FOR SOUTHERN CHESTER COUNTY. 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.