Observation start time: 11:00:00
Observation end time: 19:30:00
Total observation time: 8.5 hours
Official Counter: Larry Lewis
DELAWARE NATURE SOCIETY’S SOUTHERN CHESTER COUNTY KITE & SHOREBIRD WATCH AT
BUCKTOE CREEK PRESERVE
Visitors (16): Hank Davis, Dennis Davis, Lana Glass, Colleen DelMonte,
Jean-Marie Gauthier, Carl Mease, Maria Zouras, Elias Zouras, Laureen
Eick-Benson, Jerry Jeffers, Tim Sterrett, Janny Sterrett, Kathleen Pileggi,
Ken Reynolds, Sue McLaughlin.
Thanks everyone, for coming to beautiful Bucktoe Creek Preserve Kite &
----“Raptors” seen, but deemed not to be migrating: 2-Bald Eagle, 2-Osprey,
4-Red-tailed Hawk, and numerous Black (15) and Turkey Vultures (30).
----Bald Eagle ages: 1 yr.-0; 2 yr.-2; 3 yr.-0; 4 yr.-0; adult-0
----“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:’ - “A First” -
“The Early Bird Blog’s” daily words are “ravished” and “ravaged.” I would
have done well featuring these words here before using them in yesterday’s
blog…incorrectly. I must admit to looking at them, even now, and for a
moment, thinking them the same general meaning, but then realizing
something was wrong. Play along with me…how would you define them? Let’s
see how close you are. “One-Look” - my source for all my words - says
ravaged is an adjective meaning severely damaged; devastated; while
ravished is a verb meaning to seize and carry off by someone with force.
Thanks, PATRICK!!!! How close were you to the exact phrasing of the
definitions? We love words…do you? Choose the right one, use it in the
right way [YEAH, LARRY!] 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
May 20 – Today began with my regular Sunday Bucktoe Creek Preserve “bird
walk.” 10 of us saw the sun finally break out, relieving the birds from
their binds… first, the insects and then the warblers got active; we
enjoyed the results. Among the many species seen and heard were Blackpoll
Warblers, Blackburnian Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Prairie
Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Northern Parula,
American Redstarts, Northern Waterthrushes, Canada Warblers, while 2 Common
Loons and Cormorants migrated overhead.
Then a bird I had always hoped for at Bucktoe, in fact had expected here,
but never encountered, sang from a tall Sycamore along the Red Clay Creek.
“YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER!” I cried out. Eventually everybody got a great
look and I have included a picture of the beauty from Carl (if I get it on
time, but what are the chances of THAT?!?) This bird could readily breed
here. I will have to keep an eye on it. WOW!! There was lots more among
the 74 species we identified, including 15 warbler species! Jean-Marie was
there to add a flare of sophistication [he asked me to say that]. Lana was
there to not see, then stumble over a huge log and land “gracefully” on
top, while trying to see the Wilson’s Warbler, because…..well, who else? I
will forever deny that she has a drinking problem [she asked me to say
THAT!]! Then there was this: Maria and Elias, a married couple, arrived
LATE, even AFTER Carl [hard to do]. An endless saga ensued with Maria
finally saying “Traffic [weather or something – I don’t know, I wasn’t
really paying any attention to her] really aggravated me.”
Elias and I retorted in unison, “And that’s my/his job!” I know what you
both mean. I have a couple of people on walks that aggravate me. Yeah,
they show up late and have stories to tell…[gotcha guys!]
Later at the Kite & Shorebird Watch… good birds continued. Among our 62
species for that were: Green Heron, Ospreys, Bald Eagles, Common
Nighthawks, Redstart, Black-throated Green Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat,
Blackpoll Warblers, and Blue Grosbeaks.
Jerry arrived in time to see an Osprey, then another. Kathleen showed up
in time to miss the first, but in time to hear the Kentucky Warbler which
sang from the woods to the north and to see the Pileated Woodpecker, which
flew a few feet over our heads. Sue & Ken came and PROMISED to come again
tomorrow, and with wine, cheese and crackers! I don’t think it too early
to remind you that gifts of food and drink are always welcome and to be
encouraged here at the watch! A few Common Nighthawks, always a favorite,
were seen flying over the landscape landmark I’ve always called the “Cliffs
of Gibraltar,” because the shape of that distant tree line looks what I
imagine that famous landmark does. Howard, who’s been there, has told me
For the day, we had 18 species of warblers here at Bucktoe on this late
I wanted to thank Kay for her nice comments about the blog and her report
of a GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER on her property in Glen Mills [Del. County] last
week [KT]. And thank, Patrick, too, for his comments and noticing that I
had made an error with using “hurricane-ravished” in yesterday’s “blog,”
when “wordsmith” that I am, I had meant, “hurricane-ravaged.” And our
language isn’t even Patrick’s main language. He doesn’t speak it…. he’s
British! [Got you, my friend!] Note today’s word[s] of the day!
Now, I’ve got a quick word about successful “Kite & Shorebird watching”
here at Bucktoe. Kites are very rare, but most often seen riding afternoon
thermals on warm. Partly cloudy days, with southerly winds….before 6pm is
best. After 6pm, my whistle blows, and we switch over to watching for
shorebirds migrating in, often huge flocks overhead, appearing like smoke.
These birds lift off late in the day in mass off their staging grounds on
the Delaware Bay and migrate overnight, bringing them over waiting
appreciative eyes here at Bucktoe – usually just before dusk. Again, these
birds are rare, but this is one of the few Pennsylvania locations where
rarities like Whimbrel, Red Knot, Ruddy Turnstones, and Black-bellied
Plovers might be seen. In fact, they are seen…every year. Come join us.
It surely is fun watching with anticipation for these migrating miracle
With that said, tomorrow, “Whimbrel Week” begins for these magnificent
shorebirds – running May 21 thru May 27, with our “Whimbrel Day” being on
May 23, for our best chances of seeing this rarely-encountered, large
shorebird species in Pennsylvania. Peak numbers arrive in Ontario each year
on May 24, which means “our day” to see them pass over is May 23rd in the
evening for this nighttime migrant. This is so much fun! We need
photographers here for them too!! Do you hear me Hank, Holly, Carl,
9 new species today for this year’s watch, bringing our total to 77:
Kentucky Warbler, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Blue-gray
Gnatcatcher, Veery, American Redstart, Black-throated Green Warbler,
----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.
2-Green Heron, 3-COMMON NIGHTHAWK, 3-Willow Flycatcher, 1-Kentucky Warbler,
2-American Redstart, 1-Blackpoll Warbler, 1-Black-throated Green Warbler,
1-Yellow-breasted Chat, 2-Blue Grosbeak.
----OTHER WILDLIFE NOTED: Butterflies (6): Monarch - 2, Cabbage White,
Clouded Sulphur, Black Swallowtail, American Lady, Spring Azure.
Dragonflies (1): Green Darner. Reptiles & Amphibians (2): Spring Peeper,
Green Frog. Mammals (0).
----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: 12,196; Floors: 9.
----“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: 62; this season: 77
NEW SPECIES ADDED TODAY TO THIS YEAR’S “WATCH SPECIES LIST (9):” Kentucky
Warbler, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher,
Veery, American Redstart, Black-throated Green Warbler, Ruby-throated
Tomorrow’s flight looks OK.
The Kites – Winds wrong, but that's all.
As for the shorebirds… could be ok
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.