Yesterday at Duck Hollow: A Powdered Dancer

Powdered dancer damselfly, Duck Hollow, 7 July 2024 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

8 July 2024

Eight of us gathered yesterday morning, 7 July, to look for birds at Duck Hollow. Alas, I forgot to take a group photo.

It was hot.

We stuck to the shade and saw two fly-by ospreys and a host of juvenile songbirds. We also saw a Best Insect — the powdered dancer (Argia moesta) damselfly pictured above — and a Best Mammal sighting of two juvenile muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) swimming in Nine Mile Run creek.

We learned about the immature plumage of northern rough-winged swallows (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) when several perched on a wire and one turned its back. Through binoculars you can identify immature birds by their reddish-brown wing bars. Click here to see.

Juvenile northern rough-winged swallow, Duck Hollow, 7 July 2024 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

We also saw two juvenile northern mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos) — a first for me.

Juvenile northern mockingbird, Duck Hollow, 7 July 2024 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

In 90 minutes we tallied 23 species. It was hot and getting hotter so we went home.

Duck Hollow, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, US
Jul 7, 2024 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
23 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 30 — Youngsters w adults. Adults flightless.
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 6
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 1
Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) 15
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) 1
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) 1
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) 1
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 1
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) 1
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) 2
Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) 1
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) 1
Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) 3
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) 6
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) 14 — At least 3 immatures
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) 3
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) 4 — Two juvenile birds
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 12
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) 6
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) 3
Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius) 1
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) 5
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) 4

View this checklist online at

Thanks to Charity Kheshgi for the photos.

One thought on “Yesterday at Duck Hollow: A Powdered Dancer

  1. Wish I could have joined, but was driving back from the National Forest area. Thank you so much for the report!

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