Butler Chapter April 23 Birding Hike

by Dave Adams on April 8, 2017

April 23 – Butler Chapter Birding Hike. Meet 8:30am at parking area on Thompson-Swope Rd near Brimstone Rd. Hike around the gamelands 95 and NCT surrounding the Glades Lake. We would then hike the NCT to the Glades Dam parking area just off route 308. We may hike all the way to the Wick camping area.  Hoping to see some water birds. April should be the peak of migratory waterfowl season at the Glades Dam Lake behind Moniteau High School. I’ve also been keeping tab on our local mating pair of Bald Eagles, which nest in State Game Lands 95. I’ve seen both eagles sitting outside the nest and recently a single eagle. The other may be sitting on the nest, which is visible from Thompson/Swope Road. The Glades is a great attraction for birds year round. Until recently, the currently listed Pennsylvania endangered American Bittern, Least Bittern, and Sedge Wren and the Pennsylvania threatened Upland Sandpiper were common here. All four species require wet meadows and marsh conditions at least some time during their breeding regimen and these vegetative conditions, although greatly diminished, are still present. Furthermore, other breeding wetland species are well documented in recent field surveys: Pied-billed Grebe, Virginia Rail, Sora, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Wilson’s Snipe, Marsh Wren, and Swamp Sparrow. Interior area sensitive forest species known to breed here are Acadian and Least flycatchers, Veery, Wood Thrush, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Hooded Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Northern Parula, and Louisiana Waterthrush. SGL 95 is consistently a birding hotspot for recording unusual species for this part of Butler County, such as Sandhill Crane (spring), American Pipit (spring), Northern Shrike (winter), Northern Mockingbird (resident), Rusty Blackbird (spring and autumn) and the rare Brewer’s Blackbird (autumn). There is suspicion that the Golden-crowned Kinglet, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Brown Creeper breed in the many evergreen plantations on the site but confirmation is still lacking. Brian Loutzenhiser

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