We began our weekly Nature Walk just as the drizzle was ending this morning. Once we reached the meadow, we were treated to all sorts of bird activity. At least a dozen Yellow-rumped Warblers were feeding in the fencerow.
Carole Mebus took this photo of a Yellow-rumped feeding on Posion Ivy berries. I understand the raised eyebrows when I tell people I like to see Posion Ivy (aka P.I.) on the trees at Mariton. I have begun to manage it on some trees, but for the most part it is safe from my pruners. I like P.I. because the berries and seeds are important food for birds, especially during the dead of winter. Only humans suffer allergic reactions from oils on the plant, and it does not affect the other wildlife. I have watched a lot of different wildlife take advantage of the fruit over the years. Squirrels in particular are comical as they balance on the thin branches to harvest the berries. I have watched Downy Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Titmouses, Robins, and Bluebirds all feeding exuberantly on P.I.
We also saw several Eastern Phoebes as we walked along the trails. Carole took this photo of one that perched in the fencerow. Also sighted on our walk were Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Dark-eyed Juncos, and White-throated Sparrows.
The colors are really sharp right now. The sassafras saplings in the meadows are nearing peak color. (All photos by Carole Mebus.)