Photo by Corey Husic

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Phenology Notes April 22-May 8

I have been keeping track of sightings, but have not had time to post them lately, so here is a summary of what has been going on both at Lehigh Gap Nature Center (LGNC) and at my home on Sheep Mountain near Lehighton in Carbon County, PA.

April 21 -- The first Serviceberry blossoms were visible on the mountainsides today. Yellow-rumped Warblers appeared today at both LGNC and Lehighton, as well as a Ruby-crowned Kinglet at Lehighton.

April 22 -- Serviceberries galore on the mountainsides. The juncos are gone from Sheep Mountain but I am still seeing a few at Lehigh Gap.

April 24 -- I spotted a Red Eft, the land phase of the Red-spotted Newt, at Sheep Mountain.

April 25 -- At Sheep Mountain the following first of the year were seen and heard: House Wren, Ovenbird, Wood Thrush, and Black-and-white Warbler.

April 27 – Rose-breasted Grosbeak at Sheep Mountain.

April 28 – First Great-crested Flycatcher at Sheep Mountain.

April 29Pin Cherries and Flowering Dogwoods are blooming on Sheep Mountain.

May 1Baltimore Oriole and apple blossoms at Sheep Mountain. A Wild Indigo Duskywings was found along the Prairie Warbler Trail at LGNC.

May 2 – First Scarlet Tanager at Sheep Mountain and first Yellow Warbler at Lehigh Gap.

May 5Wild Strawberries are in full bloom at LGNC and Sheep Mountain. Also Golden Groundsel and Golden Alexanders are blooming at LGNC. Chokeberry in full bloom.

May 6 -- First Indigo Bunting and a Painted Lady butterfly at LGNC. First Red-eyed Vireo and Black-throated Green Warbler at Sheep Mountain.

May 7: We had a great hike yesterday at LGNC. There were 13 of us looking for signs of spring on a phenology hike. We hiked up the Woodpecker Trail to the AT and took the North (Blue) Trail to the top of the ridge, then returned via the Charcoal Trail.

In the forest we found a mixed flock of songbirds including a spectacular Scarlet Tanager, Worm-eating, Chestnut-sided, Black-and-white, Black-throated Green and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Ovenbirds, and Eastern Towhees. Must have heard 8-10 Worm-eating Warblers on territories. Also saw our resident Prairie Warblers and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird at the Osprey House feeder.

Flowering trees included Flowering Dogwood in the forest and Pin Cherry on the ridgetop and blueberries are in full bloom. On the return along the D&L Trail we saw Lucia Azure, Tiger and Spicebush Swallowtails, and a Common Buckeye, the last two being firsts for the year. It was a beautiful day for a hike.

May 8 -- Today I had Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Swainson's Thrush, Indigo Bunting and Brown Thrasher at Sheep Mountain.

Dan Kunkle

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