April 10, 2013

Notes and changes since last report

  • It was overcast, 60°F and calm at 3:00 PM on April 10, 2013.
  • Palm and pine warblers have returned as has the field sparrow.
  • In the Fern Glen hepatica, spring beauty, and colt's-foot were blooming with others moments away.
  • As for butterflies, the eastern comma was out.

The Trails

  • Along the Sedge Meadow Trail, honeysuckle bushes were just putting out their leaves.
  • As seen from the boardwalk over the swamp, skunk cabbage leaves were getting big.
  • The tunnel behind the Sedge Meadow was a good place to observe palm warblers and both kinglets.
  • The sun made a surprise appearance as I passed along the bluff above the Wappinger Creek.
  • At the bottom of the hill, patches of dogtooth violet - or trout-lily - leaves were up.
  • In the sandy flood plane farther along, the alien lesser celandine had started blooming.
  • At eye level, spicebush buds were swelling.
  • As if in a CSI episode, it was only in the digital darkroom that I noticed the spider lurking amongst said buds.
  • Japanese barberry too was leafing out.
  • From a sunny patch on the Cary Pines Trail, my first of the season eastern comma rose as I approached. This happens right here every year.
  • In the Fern Glen's limestone cobble, the race had begun. Hepatica was in the lead...
  • ... with spring beauty right on its heels.
  • Dutchman's breeches was following close behind...
  • ... with early meadow rue trailing behind.
  • How about one or two more of the hepatica? I love the fuzzy stems and sepals.
  • Deeper in the 'Glen, trillium and wild leek (or ramps) were thrusting up leaves.
  • At the edge of the pond lurked a bull frog, water striders and elusive newts.
  • Behind me at the kiosk was fresh litter. I hesitated to mention it, but litter is a problem in natural as well as urban areas. Keep America Beautiful's website, LitteringIsWrongToo.org describes what it is, why it's bad, and what can be done about it. With the Wappinger Creek a stone's throw away, "ocean gyres" and "ocean garbage patches" came to mind. A NY Times article provides a good intro.
  • Back by the bridge, colt's-foot had finally opened.
  • Heading out through the Old Gravel pit, I heard the trill of the pine warbler; I'd been told it was back.
  • Behind the Carriage House, the Japanese cornelian cherry was filling out now.
  • Here too the magnolia buds were just starting to open.
  • All this in a week's time.
Honeysuckle leaves
Skunk cabbage leaves
View from the bluff over the Wappinger Creek
Dogtooth violet / trout-lily leaves
Wappinger Creek view
Lesser celandine
Spicebush buds
Spider in the spicebush buds
Japanese barberry
Eastern comma
Dutchman's breeches
Spring beauty
Hepatica
Early meadow rue
Hepatica
Hepatica
Trillium leaves
Ramps / wild leek
Bull frog
Water strider
Colt's-foot
Japanese cornelian cherry
Magnolia buds
Litter

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Northern Flicker
  • 1 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 2 Eastern Phoebe
  • 5 Blue Jay
  • 9 American Crow
  • 12 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 2 Brown Creeper
  • 1 Winter Wren
  • 6 Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • 1 Hermit Thrush
  • 5 American Robin
  • 1 European Starling
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 1 Palm Warbler
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Northern Cardinal
  • 3 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 2 Brown-headed Cowbird
Butterflies
  • 1 Eastern Comma
Herp
  • 1 Bull frog
Plants
  • 1 Colt's foot
  • 1 Hepatica
  • 1 Lesser celandine
  • 1 Spring-beauty
  • 1 Wild leek

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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