Thursday, September 28, 2006

September Eastern trip - Philadelphia area

I was in Philadelphia on a family emergency, the sudden but not unsurprising death of my Mother. There was a lot of time to drag through while waiting for the gears to grind out their sad duties, and I needed time alone. I went birding at John Heinz NWR three times, and made a couple of trips to Ridley Creek State Park as well. Heinz, also known as Tinicum, was very good. I managed to walk the whole way around the main impoundment one morning, and found about eight southbound migrant warblers, the best being a Connecticut, up close clear view, and the bird had the most perfect eye-ring I'd ever seen. I wasn't sure what it was, but had time to look it over carefully and get the field marks, so after checking the field guide I was back in the Visitor Center to make sure I noted the location in the sightings book. I was told the next day someone had put it on the hotline. I tried to get it posted on the listserv, by asking tht someone on birdchat forward the info, but that didn't seem to work. I also found new ducks, herons, and flycatchers, so by the end of the visit I'd added 16 new tics to the PA list, now at a decent 135.

Ridley Creek was a completely different habitat, almost entirely hardwood forest and some brushy meadows, and one long walk along the riparian corridor of the creek proper. I didn't feel like I'd done that well there, in spite of arriving early on a cool wet morning. When I was following the PA list on a previous visit, it had a lot of good birds of the passerine kind, mostly near the office which had the best habitat. The walk along the creek was motivated by a talk with another birder I met at Tinicum, but except for the first quarter mile wasn't very active. It was later in the day, and mostly it was very high canopy and not much underbrush. Probably too many deer.

On the way home I visited my brother Chris at Bellefonte, and got directions to a State Park near there called Black Moshannon, where he likes to spend a week with his son from time to time. Great place, a genuine extensive mountain bog, a true tarn, complete with black water and carnivorous plants. I wasn't able to spend a lot of time, and it was late afternoon, but I'm certain I'll be back some spring. It's part of the Susquehanna Wildlife Trail, which has a nice guide available for around ten dollars coveringa a lot of sites in central Pennsylvania.


Blogger Bird Girl said...

Hi. I live near Black Moshannon and didn't realize there was such an impressive blog area there until googling this afternoon. (which is how I came across your blog). Just wondering if you saw anything exciting there? Think I'll go there tomorrow and check it out.

Happy Birding!

3:02 PM  
Blogger JP Valentik said...

Hi Bird Girl, I stopped there in June of this year and got some nice Boreal Warblers by walking the boardwalk and the extension trail on the west side, past the cabins. I still want to stay overnight during migration and see what shows up.

6:47 AM  

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