Mariton: 2015 Migratory Bird Census

May 9, 2015

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager.  Photos by Carole Mebus.

I had been really looking forward to Mariton’s Migratory Bird Census.  I was scouting the route this week and seeing a lot of warblers, with good species diversity.  I even had two Bald Eagles fly over this week.  This morning was a different story.  Perhaps it was the misty weather, or maybe the warbler migration peaked a little early this year, but it was relatively quiet in the woods this morning for the count.

Blue Jay Nest Along the Main Trail

We did end up with 42 species, and 251 individual birds, which is good.  I just expected to find a few species that didn’t show up this morning.  Wood Thrushes were the most common species this morning, with Ovenbirds right behind.

Some of the highlights were great looks at a Worm-eating Warbler along the River Lookout Trail.  We also had several views of Scarlet Tanagers throughout the trail.  The Veerys were not singing, but we heard some calling and got some good looks at two.  We should hear their beautiful singing in Mariton’s woods in the next day or two.

We had a good view of an Eastern Towhee

We had a good view of an Eastern Towhee

We heard a Common Raven which is probably the most uncommon bird of the morning.  I have heard them occasionally this spring as they travel along the River.

We didn’t count 50+ species as I had expected, but there is still lots of good birding at Mariton.  I am also looking forward to our trip to Illick’s Mill on Tuesday.