By Joe Francis
Northern Waterthrush by Sarah Zaritsky
Seven intrepid, Gortex-clad birders braved the elements on Saturday, May 13, to census the entirety of Alapocas Run State Park, starting at the Blue Ball Barn and going all the way to the Brandywine Falls Dam near the Dupont Experimental Station (over 7 miles round trip). The fully leafed canopy made this primarily a challenge of birding-by-ear, yet satisfying looks were obtained for Wood Duck, Spotted Sandpiper, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Orchard Oriole, Eastern Kingbird, Acadian Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, Swainson’s Thrush, Ovenbird, Yellow Warbler, and an exceptionally cooperative Northern Waterthrush.
The total species count of 62 reminded us just how important this urban oasis is for local birdlife. The rain also made this a banner day for amphibians, with close auditory and visual encounters of Gray Treefrog, Pickerel Frog, and both American and Fowler’s Toad.
Wood Ducks by Sarah Zaritsky