Observation start time: 12:00:00
Observation end time: 19:30:00
Total observation time: 7.5 hours
Official Counter: Larry Lewis
DELAWARE NATURE SOCIETY’S SOUTHERN CHESTER COUNTY KITE & SHOREBIRD WATCH AT
BUCKTOE CREEK PRESERVE
It was just me here on this rainy day. It was also just me to enjoy the
Thanks everyone, for coming to beautiful Bucktoe Creek Preserve Kite &
----“Raptors” seen, but deemed not to be migrating: 1-Red-shouldered Hawk,
4-Red-tailed Hawk, and numerous Black (15) and Turkey Vultures (23).
----Mississippi Kite ages: Sub adult-_; adult-_ Unable to age our kite
today due to poor light conditions.
----“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!
---“Go Fly, Kite!”---
“The Early Bird Blog’s” temporarily, daily word is “snit.” Again, a word
you think you know, but do I/we really? Play along with me…how would you
define it? Let’s see how close you are. I finally settled upon it meaning
confusing anger. But how close was I? “One-Look” - my source for all my
words - says it means a fit of irritation; to sulk. This noun has unknown
roots. How close were you to the exact phrasing of the definition? I
think I was a little off. We love words…do you? Choose the right one, use
it in the right way and it can say so much for you. While certainly if you
don’t, it can cause so much harm. Feel free to suggest your favorite.
May 18…more of the same miserable weather – ONLY WORSE! It truly had me in
a snit!! Strong winds from the Northeast are perfectly wrong for Kites and
shorebird migration. Not to mention rain! Oh well….we shall see, right?
Blue Grosbeaks cheered my mood as I waited to see what happened by… And
then suddenly, there it was. Well, what should happen by but a MISSISSIPPI
KITE [obviously FOY] at 4:15 pm! It was low, too! The long pointed wings
with shorter first primary, long squared-off darkish tail, as well as and
kiting activity (soaring, diving, swooping), clearly on display. WOW!!
Due to poor light conditions, I was unable to age the bird, as it soared
off to the north. I put the word out right away, but nobody came on this
dreary day. No worries - it, or his kinfolk, will be back again. Horrible
weather for Kites? What do I know??
A word about “Kite watching” – These are RARE birds. They are named
“Mississippi Kites” for a valid reason….they are more associated with the
Deep South. I remember when I was but a lad, the stir these birds caused
when first being found at Cape May at this season - well north of their
usual haunts (then about north to North Carolina). They are rare, but of
annual occurrence here at Bucktoe, and in numbers, too. We’ve had them
every year here at the Bucktoe Creek Preserve Kite & Shorebird Watch - and
numbers of them, too - the only Pennsylvania locale to boast such a claim.
Why here? Not sure, but the habitat is nice for them with wooded river
valleys, interspersed with meadows and plenty of dragonflies to feed upon.
Are there local breeding birds, as yet undiscovered, or are they just
wandering vagrants? We just don’t know, but the sightings are of both
adults and immatures. When looking for them at Bucktoe, before 6pm is
best, soaring on thermals and feeding, sometimes more than 1. This
continues thru early June, as do I here at Bucktoe. Shorebirds are to be
looked for flying overhead from 6pm till dusk, having lifted off their
staging grounds on the Delaware Bay and in flocks migrating overnight to
the distant north.
As 6 pm approached and I shifted my attention to potential shorebirds
migrating over, I noticed a White-breasted Nuthatch had made the long
flight out into the middle of the meadow to visit my sunflower feeders,
picking from it, a single prized seed, before returning to the woods a few
hundred yards distant. I wonder how could that be worth the effort, but as
we’ve already asked, “What do I know?” Purple Martins really appear to
have taken over the gourdes now, with 6 of them there at once. Their
plaintive “Churrr” is a welcome addition to the background sounds here.
Other “highlights” of the day were: Wood Duck, Great Blue Heron, Great
Egret, Red-shouldered Hawk, Willow Flycatcher, numerous Cedar Waxwings, and
A Little Brown Bat, as I left, was my first this year. Tomorrow is
predicted as yet another rainy day. Well, it worked today, didn’t it? You
just never know, do you?
A Barred Owl has been seen in Unionville Community Park [AB], a place where
I’ve heard them in the past.
11 new species today for this year’s watch: Canada Goose, Great Blue
Heron, Black Vulture, MISSISSIPPI KITE, Red-shouldered Hawk, Chimney Swift,
White-breasted Nuthatch, Eastern Bluebird, Cedar Waxwings, Chipping
Sparrow, and Common Grackle.
----My thanks 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: Shorebirds: None, yet.
2-Wood Duck, 2-Great Blue Heron, 1-Great Egret, 1-Willow Flycatcher, 2-Blue
----OTHER WILDLIFE NOTED: Butterflies (0). Dragonflies (0). Reptiles &
Amphibians (0). Mammals (1): Little Brown Bat.
----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: 5.78; Steps: 13,557; 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
Kites and migrating shorebirds, must remain our primary focus) for totals
of each species seen for “The Watch” year.
TOTAL SPECIES – Identified from watch site: today: 52; this season: 63
NEW SPECIES ADDED TODAY TO THIS YEAR’S “WATCH SPECIES LIST (11):” Canada
Goose, Great Blue Heron, Black Vulture, MISSISSIPPI KITE, Red-shouldered
Hawk, Chimney Swift, White-breasted Nuthatch, Eastern Bluebird, Cedar
Waxwings, Chipping Sparrow, and Common Grackle.
Tomorrow’s flight looks again horrible with rain, but who knows?
The Kites – Poor Conditions
As for the shorebirds… equally so for mass movement
Come join us, folks! We’re here every day thru June 6, 3pm thru 8:30pm.
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 Kite & Shorebird 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 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.