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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Art McMorris

Saturday May 21, 2005 - RIDLEY CREEK STATE PARK and KIRKWOOD PRESERVE

Three members and three non-members came out for birding from 6:30 AM until 12:30 PM today, and logged a total of 53 species.

Ridley Creek State Park is a large park (2606 acres) in northern Delaware County, PA. It has large stands of mature mixed hardwood forest interspersed with fields and old fields. We birded the bridle trails in the northernmost portion of the park, north of Gradyville Road. The area we covered was mostly wooded and followed Ridley Creek and the small streams feeding it. We also spent some time in scrub-shrub and field habitat.

Although the trip was billed as “Ridley Creek,” we also spent an hour at the Kirkwood Preserve, a grassland of approximately 100 acres in southeastern Chester County that was very recently acquired and established as a conservation preserve by the Willistown Conservation Trust. To reach Kirkwood, take West Chester Pike (PA Rte. 3) to Providence Road in Newtown Square. Go north on Providence Road approx. 1 mile to the first stop sign, turn right onto Goshen Road, and take the first left onto Grubbs Mill Rd. In a few hundred yards you will see the sign for Kirkwood Preserve on your right.

At Ridley Creek we had a good mix of local breeders on territory, and a few late migrants. Highlights were two Hooded Warblers seen well, a Pileated Woodpecker, Acadian Flycatchers, Yellow-throated Vireo, good looks at Red-eyed Vireo, Chestnut-sided and Blue-winged Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush and Wood Thrush. Wood Thrush and Veery were abundant but were mostly heard rather than seen. The biggest miss was Kentucky Warbler, which is known to breed in the area and was reported earlier in the week, but which chose to keep silent today.

At 11:30 half the group departed and the other half went to Kirkwood, a fine example of large unbroken grassland, which is increasingly rare in the East. Eastern Meadowlarks breed at Kirkwood, but we arrived too late in the day to hear or see them.

Participants (6):

Jan Gordon
Chris Walters
Mike Blunk
Julie Kauffman
Chelsea Singley
Art McMorris (trip leader)

Birds seen only at Kirkwood are marked with a “K”.

Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Canada Goose
Mallard
Ret-tailed Hawk
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
White-eyed Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow K
Barn Swallow K
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Veery
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling K
Blue-winged Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
American Redstart
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch