Bucktoe Creek Preserve – Monday Bird Walk

The Bucktoe Creek Preserve lies just a few miles north of Hockessin, Delaware near the town of Kennett Square, PA.  It is a 300-acre private property where the Delaware Nature Society runs free weekly bird walks every Monday at 8am.

This morning, 8 participants showed up on a morning that was slightly cooler than normal.  After introductions and some gourmet coffee and tea, we set off to find birds. 

The morning started off quite well, with good views of Savannah Sparrow and Fox Sparrow had by all.  An Eastern Towhee was a life bird for someone in the group.  Eastern Towhee is such an impressive bird, that I really wanted it to come out of the brush so our one eager participant who had never seen one could get the experience.  She wasn’t disappointed.

Eastern Towhee
Eastern Towhee

The walk turned out to be especially good for raptors.  It seemed like a good migration day, but these birds were low and probably hunting.  We had good looks at the neighborhood male American Kestrel.  The bird is probably the one that was here all summer and raised 3 young. 

Next, someone saw a raptor above the field we were in.  I saw a bird cruise right, which turned out to be a Merlin.  The group focused on a bird that went left, which was a Harrier.  They must have had a brief encounter in mid-air.  The Merlin flew past the perched Kestrel and I thought sparks would fly, but the Kestrel didn’t utter a peep.  Was is threatened?  I usually see Kestrels go crazy if a Cooper’s Hawk comes anywhere near them.   Other raptors seen this morning included multiple Red-tailed Hawks, two Sharp-shinned Hawks, a Cooper’s Hawk, and a close up adult Red-shouldered Hawk that glided past quickly. 

Not all program participants were human today.  Early in the walk, a cat found us and followed us for most of the remainder of the walk.  Unfortunately, it didn’t draw in any birds for close viewing.  This is probably a good thing, however, as I didn’t want us to witness a murder. 

Non-human program participant.
Non-human program participant.

In all, it was another great walk on a beautiful brisk November day.  Come join us on a Monday in the near future if you are in the area.  The full species list is below. 

Joe Sebastiani, Members Program Team Leader, Delaware Nature Society

Canada Goose     100
Great Blue Heron     1
Black Vulture     10
Turkey Vulture     15
Northern Harrier     1
Sharp-shinned Hawk     2
Cooper’s Hawk     1
Red-shouldered Hawk     1
Red-tailed Hawk     3
American Kestrel     1
Merlin     1
Ring-billed Gull     10
Belted Kingfisher     1
Red-bellied Woodpecker     5
Downy Woodpecker     3
Hairy Woodpecker     2
Northern Flicker     5
Blue Jay     20
American Crow     15
Carolina Chickadee     6
Tufted Titmouse     6
White-breasted Nuthatch     5
Carolina Wren     6
Eastern Bluebird     20
American Robin     15
Northern Mockingbird     3
European Starling     20
Cedar Waxwing     30
Eastern Towhee     1
Savannah Sparrow     1
Fox Sparrow     1
Song Sparrow     12
White-throated Sparrow     30
Dark-eyed Junco     15
Northern Cardinal     12
Red-winged Blackbird     30
Common Grackle     100
House Finch     10
American Goldfinch     10

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