Photo by Corey Husic

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Phenology notes from April 8 - 10th

Ian (from the Delaware Canal State Park) sent in a picture of the status of serviceberry buds from the Giving Pond Recreation Area (Upper Black Eddy, PA):

Amelanchier sp. (Photo by Ian Kindle)
From the Center Valley area Carolyn (a Master Gardener) writes that, as of Friday, the twinleaf is up an inch or two:
I wasn’t familiar with this spring ephemeral but it is lovely and has an interesting story:  This is a plant that needs ants to open the flowers. 

Paps (from Tuscarora State Park) tells us that:
While clearing leaves off the trail (the Spirit of Tuscarora Trail at the park) the following was seen. Fiddle heads of Hay- Scented ferns, leaves of Canada Mayflower, one inch sprouts of Fly Poison, and many cotyledons of Jewel Weed. Usually see Osprey migrating through at this time of year and today I saw it. This one appeared to have a band on its’ leg. Encountered the seasons first Wood Toad and Garter Snake. I’ll be checking the vernal ponds to see if the Wood Frogs have laid their eggs on Sunday.”

In Kunkletown on Saturday (4/9) we had the first Wood Ducks, Brown Thrashers, Pine Warblers, and Chipping Sparrow, as well as the first Eastern Comma (butterfly) of the year.  We also had a visiting Eastern Meadowlark, although it wasn’t the first of the year.

Last weekend the coltsfoot on Chestnut Ridge were opening; on 4/9, there were a lot of plants in bloom.  These are much later than the first ones we saw on the south face of Kittatinny Ridge (Smith Gap) back in February (2/28).

Did you know that when migrations of birds are at their peak, the flocks can be picked up by radar?  At night, you can check out (for our region the Fort Dix link works well).  Last night there was evidence of a lot of migrating birds heading into south Jersey.  As you can see from the Cape May Bird Observatory blog, they are starting to see the migrants:

We have been monitoring the movement north of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at the two sites below.  Based on the information provided, we set out a feeder today.


  1. The Delaware Nature Society has a nice phenology project of sorts: Signs of spring contest (
    You probably are aware of it, but I thought I would mention it.

  2. I didn't know about this. Thanks for sharing. A little competition can go a long way so this is an interesting idea!

  3. I was unaware of the existance of this plant that needs ants to open its flowers. That is interesting to know. I love these things. There is a great place in Argentina for people like us: it is the botanical garden. You can go every day of the week and see the different sorts of plants, flowers and trees that there are over there. I know this because whe i travelled to Argentina I rented one of those furnished apartments in buenos aires that was really near this place. I learnt a lot there!