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Trail Reports

Insights on trail conditions and the plants and animals you can expect to encounter throughout the seasons.

BarryMeet Barry, the author of our trail reports >>

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was warm and calm with light breezes at 1:00 PM on June 18, 2014.
  • Going back for shorts was a good idea.
  • Common milkweed was just opening.
  • Great spangled fritillary was back.

The Trails

  • It started off cool enough for long pants, but one lap around the first field was enough to change my mind.
  • Common milkweed was beginning to open at the Gifford parking lot. My favorite butterfly magnet.
  • The invasive crown vetch was blooming too.
  • Along the front Old Hayfield, another escapee, privet, had attracted an eastern tiger swallowtail.
  • Down on the Wappinger Creek Trail, tall meadow-rue was beginning to blossom.
  • In the Fern Glen, daisey fleabane was starting up.
  • Large-flowered bellwort seed pods were fattening up.
  • False Solomon's-seal was forming berries. Compare them with those of Canada mayflower and their being in the same genus starts to not seem so odd.
  • Back in the fen, bittersweet nightshade was climbing the poison sumac.
  • The nightshade was blooming and the sumac seemed to be just starting.
  • On the way back through the Old Gravel Pit, an unbroken egg was on the ground. Perhaps an ovenbird's?
Eastern tiger swallowtail

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Barred Owl
  • 1 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 2 Yellow-throated Vireo
  • 1 Warbling Vireo
  • 2 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 2 Blue Jay
  • 1 Tree Swallow
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 House Wren
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 3 Veery
  • 2 Wood Thrush
  • 3 American Robin
  • 2 Gray Catbird
  • 2 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Blue-winged Warbler
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 1 Prairie Warbler
  • 2 Ovenbird
  • 2 Scarlet Tanager
  • 3 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Northern Cardinal
  • 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 1 Brown-headed Cowbird
  • 1 Baltimore Oriole
  • 2 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 1 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 1 Spring Azure
  • 8 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 7 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Red-spotted Purple
  • 4 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 24 Common Ringlet
  • 3 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 13 European Skipper
  • 1 Peck's Skipper
Plants
  • 1 Bittersweet nightshade
  • 1 Common milkweed
  • 1 Crown vetch
  • 1 Daisy fleabane
  • 1 Poison sumac
  • 1 Tall meadow-rue
Moth
  • 1 Snowberry Clearwing

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 61°F and calm with light rain at 1:15 PM on June 11, 2014.
  • Rain would come and go, never too hard.
  • Quiet foot steps, scents in the air, a slightly different look to everything. A little rain makes things interesting.
  • European skipper was the only new butterfly today. That there were any was a little surprising.

The Trails

  • Rainy days present some interesting opportunities on the trails. An iris at Gifford House was fun to photo.
  • Off to the side of the front Old Hayfield was a flowering tree that I had called fringe tree before.
  • I'm now sure it's not, but by the pea-like blossoms I think it may be yellow wood.
  • A hen turkey errupted from the tall grass, hissing like a huge cat. She seemed divided between charging me and rounding up her chicks. I pretended to ignore her and moved slowly away.
  • Another surprise, not quite as breath taking, was the first European skipper of the season.
  • One of the hawkweeds was blooming abundantly.
  • Along the Sedge Meadow Trail, gray dogwood was flowering.
  • Now I realized it was probably the bedstraw I was smelling - it was filling the fields.
  • The invasive multiflora rose was starting to add its beautiful fragrance to the air.
  • Yarrow was quietly coming into its own.
  • In the back Old Hayfield, the first dogbane tiger moth was out.
  • So familiar is the ox-eye daisy, I almost missed its debut. Maybe I did in fact.
  • I couldn't miss a red eft where trail exits the Old Pasture above the Wappinger Creek... as long as I was looking down.
  • Farther along, witch's butter was very similar in color.
  • At the Appendix (about Trail Marker 10) a gaceful grass stood out against the water.
  • All the way out at the Fern Glen pond, on the river birch at the edge was the work of the velvet erineum gall mite. Not your typical gall.
  • At the water's edge was a white sport of blue flag.
  • This year the carrion flower was leaning away from the path.
  • I was never sure if it was its direction of growth or the scent of its flower that led to its demise last year.
  • Always intriguing, pitcher plant was blooming in the poor fen.
  • Near the acid cobble, maple-leaved viburnum was beginning to bloom. Elsewhere on the trails, in more light, it was further along.
  • Deep in the shrub swamp, water speedwell was opening its tiny blossoms.
  • Limber honeysuckle was waisting no time forming berries.
  • Oh, the azalea gall - I had "promised" that last week. The blossoms were just about gone, but the galls were still there.
  • Royal fern was sprawling over the railing along the road by the stone bridge.
  • Spreading dogbane was beginning to bloom in the little Bluestem Meadow.
  • The garden escapee, foxglove was blooming near the Carriage House.
  • I usually find something inside of a blossom...
  • ...but not until I get home.
Iris

Sightings

Birds
  • 5 Wild Turkey
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 3 Chimney Swift
  • 2 Downy Woodpecker
  • 4 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 2 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Great Crested Flycatcher
  • 1 Yellow-throated Vireo
  • 2 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 2 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 House Wren
  • 1 Winter Wren
  • 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • 4 Eastern Bluebird
  • 5 Veery
  • 1 Wood Thrush
  • 10 American Robin
  • 2 Gray Catbird
  • 1 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Blue-winged Warbler
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 2 Prairie Warbler
  • 6 Ovenbird
  • 1 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 1 Scarlet Tanager
  • 2 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 Chipping Sparrow
  • 2 Field Sparrow
  • 2 Song Sparrow
  • 2 Northern Cardinal
  • 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 1 Indigo Bunting
  • 3 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 2 Pearl Crescent
  • 3 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 5 Common Ringlet
  • 1 European Skipper
Plants
  • 1 Bedstraw
  • 1 Carrion flower
  • 1 Foxglove
  • 1 Fringe tree... not
  • 1 Hawkweed
  • 1 Maple-leaved viburnum
  • 1 Multiflora rose
  • 1 Ox-eye daisy
  • 1 Pitcher plant
  • 1 Spreading dogbane
  • 1 Water speedwell
  • 1 Yarrow
Moth
  • 1 Dogbane Tiger Moth

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