Seen This Week

Prothontary warbler in Frick Park, 25 May 2023 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

27 May 2023

This week’s big news was the unexpected prothonotary warbler that Charity Kheshgi and I found in Frick Park on 25 May. He was still present yesterday but BirdCast showed birds migrating out of our area last night so we’ll see if he’s still there this morning.

Migration is nearly over and the dominant landscape color in Pittsburgh now is green. It’s hard to remember that only five weeks ago (23 April) most of the trees were brown.

Daisies are blooming along meadows and roadsides, invasive wineberry is in bud, and bladdernuts have already formed green seed pods in the city parks.

Daisy blooming at Schenley Park, 22 May 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)
Wineberry leaves and buds, Schenley Park, 22 May 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)
Bladdernut seed pods, Frick Park, 23 May 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

On our walk in Frick Park on 23 May, Charity and I saw many deer including an obviously pregnant doe who looked ready to drop twin fawns. We wondered where she would hide them now that the browseline makes it possible to see right through the woods.

This deer-browsed Japanese knotweed shows how little food remains for deer in Frick. Normally they don’t eat Japanese knotweed but with few native plants left they are hungry enough to try it now.

Deer damage on Japanese knotweed, Frick Park, 23 May 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

In Schenley Park the color green extends to the rampant algae in Panther Hollow Lake. See last November’s article on why the lake has algae so often.

Algae in Panther Hollow Lake, Schenley Park, 26 May 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

What birds will we see this weekend? Come to my Schenley Park outing tomorrow, 28 May, to find out.

(photos by Kate St. John)

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