Birds and Blooms along Shenantaha

Yesterday was a glorious day to be outside.  I chose to wander some woodland trails along Shenantaha, or what we now refer to as Ballston Creek.

I began my outing at Ballston Creek Preserve and continued my wildflower inventory.  Where a month ago was a carpet of blooming Carolina Spring Beauty, there was now no evidence to suggest that the plant was even present on this property.  Those spring ephemeral wildflowers are like that.  Same with Trout Lily – no evidence to indicate that they, too, are a common resident here.  The lone species that I spied as a new entry on my inventory was this beautiful, albeit invasive, plant –

Yellow Iris

Yellow Iris

While standing at the edge of the marsh at the end of Pat’s Trail, I surveyed this expanse to see what other “new arrivals” were occupying the many nests in the dead trees.

Heron rookery in meadow along Ballston Creek

Heron rookery in meadow along Ballston Creek

Every heron nest appeared to have at least one occupant awaiting its feeding.

Great Blue Heron adult with 3 nestlings

Great Blue Heron adult with 3 nestlings

I was unable to view any such occupants of the lone Osprey nest, but both parents obliged with this photo op –

Osprey pair in nest in marsh along Ballston Creek

Osprey pair in nest in marsh along Ballston Creek

I then backtracked to the small parking lot at the entrance to Shenantaha Creek Park.  From there, I continued my outing on the woodland trails at this park.

I found several species in bloom –

Maple-leaved Viburnum

Maple-leaved Viburnum

Bush Honeysuckle

Bush Honeysuckle

Large Blue Flag

Large Blue Flag

Purple-flowering Raspberry on shale bedrock cliff face along Shenantaha

Purple-flowering Raspberry on shale bedrock cliff face along Shenantaha

Branching Bur Reed

Branching Bur Reed

Yellow Iris

Yellow Iris

I also found a few new entries for my inventory at this property.  All in all, a productive as well as therapeutic outing.

Happy trails!

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