Wilkinson Spring Flower Walk – May 14, 2016

Members assess the beaver dam along Pogue Rd. (credit: Dalila Seckar)

On a drizzly Saturday morning, eleven members met at the end of Pogue Road to walk around the Wilkinson property. We first walked north along the road allowance to visit the marsh and enjoy the beavers’ handiwork before walking the loop by the sugar shack.

Jack-in-the-pulpit growing with a clump of grass. (credit: Dalila Seckar)
Jack-in-the-pulpit growing with a clump of grass. (credit: Dalila Seckar)

We saw flowering plants including trilliums (red and white), marsh marigolds (Caltha palustris), blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), toothwort (Cardamine diphylla), serviceberry (Ameliancher sp.), heartleaved foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia), and jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum). We also saw the leaves of partridgeberry (Mitchella repens), Canada mayflower (Maianthemum canadensis), trout lily (Erythronium americanum), meadow rue (Thalictrum pubescens), and mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum).

Bear tracks in the mud at Wilkinson tract, May 14, 2016. (credit: Dalila Seckar)

In the mud of the forest, there were bear tracks.
We heard spring peepers and leopard frogs. We also saw or heard the following birds: redwing blackbird, rose-breasted grosbeak, common yellowthroat, black-and-white warbler, northern waterthrush, wood thrush, veery, tree swallow, and barn swallow.

This walk took place in conjunction with For the Love of Wood, an annual event held at the Hilton Heritage Hall (old Brighton Township office at 50 Chatten Rd.).

Summer Bird Count – Jun 6, 2015

Margaret Bain reports:
Morning was cold and very windy at Lone Pine this year, though it did warm up by late afternoon, which is when we found a Pied-billed Grebe and heard the Least Bittern calling for several minutes, though we only caught a quick glimpse of it at the edge of the cattails. Apart from the usual hordes of Red-winged Blackbirds and grackles, the marsh was very quiet – we could not find a single rail, nor any coots or gallinules, and only a few Marsh Wrens were singing. A beautiful Great Egret flew in just as we had decided we wouldn’t see one that day. Swallows were active around the nest boxes so there must have been plenty of insects in spite of the chilly weather. But we were very disappointed not to see any Bobolinks or meadowlarks even though the grassland looked lush and healthy. No bluebirds this year, and we missed the Hooded Warbler in the woods just north of Lone Pine, where there was very little birdsong in the windswept trees. The best bird of our visit was probably the unexpected American Woodcock which startled us, suddenly flushing from under our feet as we first approached the marsh.
The cold north winds undoubtedly kept many birds under cover this year so we’ll hope for sunnier, warmer weather for the next Summer Count!

List of birds:

Canada Goose 2 adults with 4 half-grown young
Wood Duck 5 adults, 4 young
Mallard only 3 in the marsh
Pied-billed Grebe calling loudly from marsh
Least Bittern very vocal at edge of cattails – seen only briefly
Great Blue Heron one flying over the marsh
Great Egret one flying in from the south
Green Heron one flyover
Turkey Vulture 3 in flight
Red-tailed Hawk soaring overhead
American Woodcock flushed from edge of marsh
Ring-billed Gull flock foraging in ploughed field and small numbers flying over
Mourning Dove several on hydro wires
Northern Flicker 1
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1 singing in woods at north edge of marsh
Alder Flycatcher 2 singing from edge of marsh
Great Crested Flycatcher 1 calling loudly at north end of marsh
Eastern Kingbird 3 in open areas
Warbling Vireo one singing in trees along road
Red-eyed Vireo several singing in trees along road and around marsh
Blue Jay 2 or 3
American Crow several in fields and flying over
Tree Swallow 8-10 near and entering nestboxes
Barn Swallow one pair
Black-capped Chickadee several in treed areas
House Wren 2 singing along road
Marsh Wren a few singing out in the marsh
Veery 1 calling from woods at the north end
American Robin fairly numerous
Gray Catbird 2 mewing in roadside vegetation
Brown Thrasher one singing from treetop
European Starling small flocks here and there
Ovenbird one singing in the distance
Mourning Warbler one singing in hedgerow
Common Yellowthroat at least 3 singing at marsh edge
American Redstart one heard
Yellow Warbler 2 or 3 in meadow and marsh edges
Chestnut-sided Warbler one male seen
Chipping Sparrow several on roadside verges
Savannah Sparrow 2 at edge of field
Song Sparrow several in small trees and bushes
Swamp Sparrow numerous on south side of marsh
Northern Cardinal one male at roadside
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2 or 3 singing from taller trees
Indigo Bunting fewer than usual
Red-winged Blackbird numerous in cattails
Common Grackle lots everywhere
Brown-headed Cowbird only a few this year
Baltimore Oriole 2 singing in roadside gardens
American Goldfinch several flying over

Summer Bird Count – Jun 7&8, 2014

Margaret Bain reports:
The marsh was very quiet this year, with a total count of only 45 species. Although we went back several times we could not find a single rail or bittern; no Pied-billed Grebe or Great Blue Heron, and no Great Egret, although I had seen one there as early as April 20. It was sunny and warm which may have reduced bird song, but the main factors affecting the low count were probably the late spring after such a severe winter, and also the disturbing pipeline construction just north of the marsh – the noise and vehicle traffic undoubtedly discouraged many of the nesting birds. We missed the Hooded Warbler in the woods just north of Lone Pine, but the woods were altogether very quiet. A lone young turkey was casually feeding in the roadside field – to be expected now that turkeys seem to be everywhere.
But most exciting was a flyover of 11 Black-bellied Plovers in one flock, speeding north to the Arctic – only passersby perhaps, but a great addition to the Lone Pine Marsh checklist.

List of bird species:

Canada Goose only a few this year
Wood Duck 3 flying in and out of marsh but no young seen this year
Mallard a few pairs in the marsh
Wild Turkey 1 young male standing in field west of the marsh
Black-bellied Plover 11 late flight of migrants heading straight north to nest in the Arctic tundra! A new bird species for the Lone Pine checklist.
Killdeer one or two calling and in flight
Ring-billed Gull several flying over
Mourning Dove several on hydro wires
Northern Flicker one or two
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1 singing in woods at north edge of marsh
Alder Flycatcher several singing from edge of marsh
Willow Flycatcher 1 singing from meadow area
Eastern Phoebe 2 or 3 near houses
Great Crested Flycatcher 1 calling loudly at north end of marsh
Eastern Kingbird 2 or 3 in open areas
Warbling Vireo 2 singing in trees along road
Red-eyed Vireo several singing in trees along road and around marsh
Blue Jay 2 or 3
American Crow several in fields and flying over
Tree Swallow 8-10 near nestboxes – the only swallows seen this year
Black-capped Chickadee several in treed areas
House Wren 3+ singing along road
Marsh Wren a few singing out in the marsh
Veery 1 calling from woods at the north end
American Robin numerous, as usual!
Gray Catbird 2+ in roadside vegetation
Brown Thrasher 2 singing from treetops
European Starling small flocks here and there
Cedar Waxwing a few flying over
Mourning Warbler only 1 or 2 this year because of pipeline disturbance
Common Yellowthroat 2 or 3 singing at marsh edges
Yellow Warbler 2 or 3 in meadow and marsh edges
Chipping Sparrow several in roadside trees
Song Sparrow several, in trees, bushes, and grassy areas
Swamp Sparrow numerous on south side of marsh
Northern Cardinal 2+ singing in gardens beside road
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2 or 3 singing from taller trees
Indigo Bunting fewer than usual
Bobolink several in tall grass areas
Red-winged Blackbird numerous in cattails
Eastern Meadowlark 3+ in grassland area
Common Grackle lots everywhere
Brown-headed Cowbird only a few this year
Baltimore Oriole 4+ in treed areas
American Goldfinch several flying over

Summer Bird Count – Jun 8, 2013

(submitted by Margaret Bain)
A total of 61 species this year, with some new ones found and some old ones missed.
It was overcast and wet most of the day on Saturday, June 8, with very little birdsong. Sunday, June 9th, was a nicer day and the sunshine brought out several birds we had expected to see and hear in the rain.

A male mallard at the marsh (Apr 2013). (credit: Doug McRae, Shrew Solutions Inc.)

List of bird species:

Canada Goose HUNDREDS feeding in nearby fields and flying over
Wood Duck 2 females – one with a brood of at least 4 ducklings
Northern Pintail 1 male feeding in nearby field – first ever for the count
Mallard a few pairs in the marsh, many feeding in nearby fields
American Bittern 1 male calling deep in the marsh – not seen
Least Bittern 1 seen briefly as it flew a short distance over the marsh
Great Blue Heron 1 flying over
Great Egret 2 both days, feeding at south edge of marsh
Green Heron 2 flying over
Broad-winged Hawk 1 very vocal and territorial in woods at north edge of marsh
Common Gallinule one, heard only
Killdeer several calling and in flight
Ring-billed Gull many flying over
Mourning Dove several on hydro wires
Red-bellied Woodpecker one male flying over
Hairy Woodpecker 2 in dead trees
Northern Flicker 3 or 4 heard and seen
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1 singing in woods at north edge of marsh
Alder Flycatcher several singing from edge of marsh
Willow Flycatcher 1 singing from meadow area
Eastern Phoebe 2 or 3 around the houses on Maple Grove Road
Great Crested Flycatcher 2 at north end of marsh
Eastern Kingbird 2 or 3 in open areas
Warbling Vireo several singing in trees near marsh and along road
Red-eyed Vireo several singing in trees along road
Blue Jay 3 or more noisy birds
American Crow several in fields and flying over
Tree Swallow 4+ over the marsh, at least 1 entering nestbox
Bank Swallow 4 over the marsh – unexpected – not seen here previous years
Barn Swallow 4+ over marsh and meadow
Black-capped Chickadee several in treed areas
House Wren 3+ singing along road
Winter Wren 1 singing in woods north of marsh
Marsh Wren a few singing reluctantly in the rain
Eastern Bluebird probably 2 different pairs attending nest boxes
Veery 3+ singing in wooded areas
American Robin numerous, as usual!
Gray Catbird 3+ in roadside bushes, 1 at edge of marsh
Brown Thrasher 2 singing from treetops
European Starling small flocks here and there
Cedar Waxwing 6+ flying over
Black-and-white Warbler 1 in trees south of marsh
Chestnut-sided Warbler 2 or 3 in trees along edge of marsh
Mourning Warbler 3+ singing in brushy areas
Common Yellowthroat 4+ singing at marsh edges
Yellow Warbler several in meadow and marsh edges
Canada Warbler 1 singing in woods north of marsh
Scarlet Tanager 1 singing from tall trees at north end of marsh
Chipping Sparrow several in roadside trees
Song Sparrow several, in trees, bushes, and grassy areas
Swamp Sparrow numerous on south side of marsh
Northern Cardinal 2+ singing in gardens beside road
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2 or 3 singing from taller trees
Indigo Bunting very vocal on fences and roadside trees
Bobolink several in tall grass areas – more this year it would seem
Red-winged Blackbird very numerous in cattails
Eastern Meadowlark 3+ in grassland
Common Grackle lots everywhere
Brown-headed Cowbird only a few this year
Baltimore Oriole 4+ in treed areas
American Goldfinch several flying over

Summer Bird Count, Jun 2012

Margaret Bain once again conducted the summer bird count. She writes:
The summer’s biggest find was a Hooded Warbler in the woods just north of the Lone Pine Marsh, on the east side of the road.

A tree swallow perches on a box (Apr 2013). (credit: Doug McRae, Shrew Solutions Inc.)

The summer count also included:
Marsh Wrens (2 groups, numbers have increased)
Veery (3+)
Wood Thrush
Brown Thrasher
Cedar Waxwing (good numbers)
Yellow Warblers (several)
Chestnut sided Warbler
Black and white Warbler
Mourning Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Indigo Bunting (several)
Bobolink (several)
Easter Meadowlark
Baltimore Oriole
Wood duck (12 – one with brood, 4 ducklings)
Hooded Merganser
American Bittern (Least Bittern heard by Roger Frost in May)
Pied Billed Grebe
Virginia Rail
Spotted Sandpiper
Eastern Pee Wee
Alder Flycatcher (several)
Willow Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Warbling Vireo
Red Eyed Vireo (several)
Tree Swallow (entering nest box)
Barn Swallow
Chipping Sparrow (several)
Vesper Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow (numerous)

3 Blanding’s Turtles were also spotted at the Lone Pine Marsh last summer. Blanding’s are a threatened species, so it is both encouraging and rewarding to have them in our very own Marsh!