trail map

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 clear, 50°F and windy at 9:30 AM on April 17, 2013.
  • Yellow-rumped warblers and Louisiana waterthrush had returned.
  • Yellow-bellied sapsucker was an unusual find on the Wappinger Creek Trail.
  • In the Fern Glen Dutchman's breeches, bloodroot and trout-lily were now blooming.

The Trails

  • 9:30 was an early start for me, but in the front Old Hayfield two bluebirds were already busy defending their claim against 3 or 4 tree swallows. It looked like they would have a long day ahead of them.
  • By the Carriage House, magnolia were beginning to open.
  • Out in the Old Gravel Pit, maple were blossoming.
  • New arrivals in the Fern Glen included bloodroot, which seemed rather small this year.
  • Dutchman's breeches were prolific.
  • The single large-flowered trillium near the pond was about to bloom; I must remember the deer spray!
  • At the back of the pond, marsh marigold was blooming.
  • The lone American fly honesuckle that appeared a few years ago was budding up.
  • Along the other side of the road, American hazelnut catkins were dangling, but I forgot to look for the female flowers... next time.
  • It was nice that the hermit thrush was still on the Cary Pines Trail. Also nice was to hear two red-shouldered hawks overhead.
  • While tracking yellow-rumped warblers along the Wappinger Creek Trail, I noticed last year's seed balls still hanging in a sycamore.
  • It was also up there that I spotted the yellow-bellied sapsucker - only the 5th one I've seen in the 10 odd years on the trails.
  • Finally some of the trout-lily were blooming.
  • While searching sunny patches for butterflies, I found instead a garter snake.
  • In the Old Pasture, a palm warbler offered several close views.
  • Spicebush was beginning to blossom everywhere, but the most advanced was in the back Old Hayfield.
  • Along the Sedge Meadow Trail, the common lawn weed ground ivy or more picturesquely, creeping Charlie, was blooming.
  • The early arrival today allowed an early departure to pick up a late arrival at the airport.
Eastern bluebirds
Maple blossoms
Large-flowered trillium
Marsh marigold
American fly honeysuckle budding
American hazelnut catkins
Sycamore seed balls
Garter snake
Palm warbler
Spicebush blossoms
Ground ivy


  • 2 Mallard
  • 1 Wild Turkey
  • 1 Great Blue Heron
  • 2 Red-shouldered Hawk
  • 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 2 Northern Flicker
  • 2 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 5 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 American Crow
  • 4 Tree Swallow
  • 5 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 3 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • 2 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Brown Creeper
  • 2 Carolina Wren
  • 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • 14 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • 2 Eastern Bluebird
  • 1 Hermit Thrush
  • 4 American Robin
  • 5 Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • 4 Pine Warbler
  • 1 Palm Warbler
  • 2 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 1 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 Chipping Sparrow
  • 4 Field Sparrow
  • 17 Song Sparrow
  • 3 White-throated Sparrow
  • 32 Dark-eyed Junco
  • 2 Northern Cardinal
  • 1 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 2 Brown-headed Cowbird
  • 2 American Goldfinch
  • 1 Eastern Comma
  • 1 Garter snake
  • 1 American hazelnut
  • 1 Bloodroot
  • 1 Dutchman's-breeches
  • 1 Ground ivy
  • 1 Magnolia
  • 1 Marsh marigold
  • 1 Spicebush
  • 1 Trout-lily

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, 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
Early meadow rue
Trillium leaves
Ramps / wild leek
Bull frog
Water strider
Japanese cornelian cherry
Magnolia buds


  • 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
  • 1 Eastern Comma
  • 1 Bull frog
  • 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

Privacy Policy Copyright © 2018