This morning was chilly as seven of us met for a bird walk at Duck Hollow and Lower Nine Mile Run. At first the birds were few and far between but the sun warmed the hillsides and the birds came out.
We saw and heard 17 species plus an unidentified accipiter (sharp-shinned or Coopers hawk). “Best Bird” was a ruby-crowned kinglet who happened to be singing. See our checklist here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S61022547
Our walk included some surprising plants and insects as well.
The Pittsburgh region is not strong on lichens (our air is too bad) but we found a clump of branches with a very thick covering of moss and/or lichen. We were impressed.
A grasshopper made an appearance, probably too cold to move.
And we opened the dried bladder from a bladdernut tree.
Some furry pea-pods gave me pause. I remembered the yellow flowers that grew there in August, pictured below, but not the plant’s name.
By the end of our walk the day had warmed to the mid 60s F.
Smiles all around.
(photos by Kate St. John & Claire Staples as indicated in the captions)