Red-bellied Woodpecker and Early Spring Botany at Wilket Creek Park / April 27, 2019

It felt like a winter morning with 2 degree temperature, overcast skies and strong icy winds.

From my experience windy days always result in fewer bird species. My theory is that the birds feel that they cannot compete with the wind sounds so, for the most part, they don’t sing. The exception was the Cardinal and we heard many.

Northern Cardinal (male)

A solitary male Mallard who appears to be sleeping although one eye is looking at the camera:

Mallard

I came early to put feed in the bird feeders located in the parking lot here and we were rewarded with close-ups of several species:

Brown-headed Cowbird (male)
Brown-headed Cowbirds
Downy Woodpecker (male)
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Red-bellied Woodpecker (male)

Though Robins don’t frequent feeders there was one in the grass below:

American Robin

Our complete species list: double-crested cormorant, mallard, turkey vulture, red-tailed hawk, ring-billed gull, mourning dove, red-bellied woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, blue jay, black-capped chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, red-breasted nuthatch, brown creeper, American robin, ruby-crowned kinglet, brown-headed cowbird, northern cardinal..  (18 species)

Some park scenes:

This morning’s group:

Botany:

Blue-beech (Carpinus caroliniana)
Pennsylvania Sedge
Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
Early Meadow-rue (Thalictrum dioicum)
Trout-lily (Erythronium americanum)
May-apple (Podophyllum peltatum)
Wild Leek (Allium tricoccum)
Bitter Dock (Rumex obtusifolia)
Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)
Goutweed (Aegopodium podograria)
Skunk-cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)
Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna)

NATURE POETRY

While the bright radiant sun in centre glows,
The earth in annual motion round it goes;
At the same time on its own axis reels,
And gives us change of seasons as it wheels.    – The 1793 Old Farmer’s Almanac

Miles Hearn

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