A Bountiful Bird Walk

Nov 5, 2012 by

What a productive bird walk in Glen Providence Park yesterday!  Thanks to the expert assistance of cousins Nick Pulcinella and Nick Crocetto, we were able to add 2 new birds for our 2012 Birding Big Year– the Golden-crowned Kinglet and Swamp Sparrow, bringing us up to 81 species.  Equally exciting, the Swamp Sparrow was new for any year, bringing our total Park Bird List to a tantalizing 98!

It was a brisk morning, but the late fall colors in the park were beautiful, and the 11 adults and 2 children on our walk were rewarded by spotting 30 bird species!  We were treated to a White-breasted Nuthatch that seemed to follow us around, and to Nick and Nick sharing their knowledge about birds.   As we watched an imposing Turkey Vulture sitting on a bare tree and spreading its wings, we learned that its new feathers are black, and its old feathers become worn and brown.  We saw examples of 2 different races of White-throated Sparrow– one has white stripes on its crown, the other brown- and they are selective about how they inter-breed. And without Nicks’ help, we would never have identified that Swamp Sparrow!  Of course we are always impressed by those who can identify birds so readily by sound.    

We were also excited to find a Winter Wren along Broomall’s Run, especially when I thought it was a new bird for the park.  But it turns out it was already on our list from March- probably spotted by our birding guru Al Guarente, who happens to also be a cousin to both Nicks!  The Winter Wren was exciting to see nonetheless, and we hope to see it more as it winters in the park.

A tremendous thank you to Nick and Nick for guiding our Bird Walk, and to those who attended and made the walk so enjoyable!

Here is our list of sightings, along with a couple I spotted in the park on my way to and from our bird walk.  Below that you can scroll through photos of our walk taken by George & Marcia Tate!


30 species total, as entered on eBird:

10 Canada Goose
8 Mallard
2 Black Vulture
10 Turkey Vulture
1 Red-shouldered Hawk
5 Mourning Dove
1 Belted Kingfisher
4 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Hairy Woodpecker
3 Northern Flicker
10 Blue Jay
5 American Crow
5 Tufted Titmouse
4 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Winter Wren
3 Carolina Wren
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
10 American Robin
1 Northern Mockingbird
5 Yellow-rumped Warbler
2 Song Sparrow
1 Swamp Sparrow
20 White-throated Sparrow
20 Dark-eyed Junco
6 Northern Cardinal
5 Common Grackle
3 House Finch
1 American Goldfinch


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