4 April 2022
Spring was on hold during last week’s long hard frost but it’s coming back this week. Here’s what to expect outdoors in the Pittsburgh area.
The earliest warblers arrive in April before the leaves open. Last weekend a Louisiana waterthrush returned to Tom’s Run Nature Reserve in Sewickley PA. Look for them walking along clean streams, bobbing their tails, and singing their very loud song.
Purple martin scouts are back at Harrison Hills County Park and Murrysville Wetland Community Park and tree swallows have returned to Moraine State Park. Watch for northern rough-winged swallows, barn swallows, and the rest of the purple martins in the weeks ahead.
Yellow-throated warblers will return to Pittsburgh area creeks and streams on or before 20 April. You’ll hear them before you see them, walking the high trunks and larger branches of sycamores.
Watch for gray catbirds, blue-gray gnatcatchers, and ruby-crowned kinglets returning soon.
Meanwhile, don’t miss April’s ephemeral wildflowers.
Snow trillium (Trillium nivale) was out in full force yesterday at the Botanical Society of Western PA walk at Little Sewickley Creek in Westmoreland County.
Soon we’ll see spring beauty, spicebush, hepatica, harbinger-of-spring, bloodroot, spring cress, twinleaf, violets and more.
For more details check out my Pennsylvania Phenology page.
It’s a good month to be outdoors.
(photo credits: bird photos by Steve Gosser, Anthony Bruno and Jessica Botzan. Plant photos by Kate St. John)
3 thoughts on “Early Warblers and Spring Ephemerals: What to Expect in April”
Thank you so much, Kate, for pointing me to your Pittsburgh Phenology Page!
Still learning after all these years. . . .
Do you know if the road to the overlook at Harrison Hills park is open yet after being closed late last Fall? Thanks for such a great comprehensive early Spring Briefing!
I don’t know if it’s open. The purple martins at Harrison Hills are at the purple martin “apartments” at the Environmental Learning Center.