It was a wonderful early summer morning, not hot, but with a slight cool breeze blowing. The walk was a “warbler walk”. A walk through favorite habitats of the migrating and resident nesting warblers of Philadelphia.
The walk was led by Schuylkill Center Executive Director, Mike Weilbacher. Mike has only been at the Center for a year, but it has spent the time to walk the trials and get to know the land of the Schuylkill Center.
Our group of about ten, walked the trials through the forest passed, pine tree groves and sunny open meadows.
We passed Painted Turtles basking in the sun.
Columbine in bloom as ready to attract hummingbirds.
Ditto for the Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens L.)
The dreaded/dreadful Multiflora Rose bloomed innocently beneath the shade of forest trees. The fragrance was sweet and pleasing. It is really too bad these rose has become invasive and threatens the viability of native habitats.
I think this is a Southern Cloudywing Skipper. Skippers are those butterflies that look like a cross between a butterfly and a moth.
This American Toad (Bufo americanus) was so well hidden among the dried leaves of the forest floor, it was hard to spot it.
Tiny black American Toad tadpoles swim in the sun.
A Green frog relaxes in one of the Schuylkill Center’s ponds. These pond dries up over the winter and refills during the spring rains. Because of this, I would say this is a vernal pool. A vernal pool is a temporary pool that usually lacks fish. Since there are no fish to eat frog and toad eggs and tadpoles, these animals are free to develop.
A pond half-hidden behind the trees.
But, along trail we scanned the treetops for warbler. Fast-moving insect eaters that move too fast for photographs. I quickly learned that to photograph warblers I would have to have super-human reflexes and the fastest camera in the world. I have neither. I once asked a ornithologist how people take photos of warblers? He stated that photographs of warblers are not simply examples of a lucky shot. A photographer usually puts out food to lure a warbler in for a quick portrait or maybe use a webcam. Or catch them when they are on a nest or taking a break. I saw neither.
But we did see several warblers.
- Black-and-White Warbler, Mniotilta varia
- American Redstart, Setophaga ruticilla
- Blackpoll Warbler, Setophaga striata
- Common Yellowthroat, Geothlypis trichas (nests in Philadelphia)
- Ovenbird, Seiurus aurocapillus