Monday, October 5, 2009

Griggstown Preserve, October 5th

There's been a bit of a mowing frenzy at Griggstown, which has mowed the best fall sparrow habitat down to the stubble, and also mowed the existing Grasshopper Sparrow sites. Although they're probably trying to reverse the succession from grassland to scrubland the aggressive mowing does make me wonder about next spring.

In the meanwhile, the place somewhat sucks for sparrows in fall, with substantially lower numbers and diversity compared to last fall. Highlights were two fly-over Broad-winged Hawks and a small flock of American Pipits that dropped in as I left, but generally a fairly disappointing visit.

Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Broad-winged Hawk
American Kestrel
Northern Flicker
Carolina Wren
Gray Catbird
American Pipit
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Palm Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Indigo Bunting
American Goldfinch

1 comment:

John said...

Some of the mowing was in progress the last time I visited. The preserve really does need mowing in order to maintain the grassland habitat. However, my understanding is that this mowing should be done in the late winter or early spring – late enough to provide habitat for sparrows through the winter and early enough so as not to disturb nests. Franklin Twp. has not been doing well on either front. The last two years, Negri-Nepote was mowed after Grasshopper Sparrows had already arrived (and possibly started breeding). This spring very few grassland birds settled at Griggstown since their habitat had been taken over by shrubs.