One of the features I like most on eBird is the ability to view recently visited areas in your region.This is helpful in viewing lists of birds in areas near you. Often you will see familiar hotspots listed which is helpful if you are interested in seeing particular species of birds. What interests me the most is when I see a place listed that is not one of those popular hotspots. I am curious to see what sorts of birds have been seen in some little-known nature preserve or land trust.
I was recently driving around the Maromas area of Middletown when I came upon a sign which read: Katchen Coley Mountain Laurel Preserve. When I read that sign I immediately felt the need to stop and explore the trail. I was pleasantly surprised that it was not only loaded with Mountain Laurel but also had a nice stand of pitch pine complete with Pine Warblers.
The first bird I encountered was A Great-crested Flycatcher which was making its croaking call and its loud WEEEEP! cry.
As with many of the nature preserves I've explored there was not a huge diversity of species but the habitat which included powerline cuts,vernal pools and a small trickling stream running through the woods seemed to attract a large number of particular species.
I saw and/or heard several Prairie Warblers(above), 8 Eastern Towhees, and at last 6 Worm-eating Warblers. Not to mention my first Barred Owl of the year...........
..............and 3 Indigo Buntings!.................
There is usually something unique about a nature preserve that made it worth saving in the first place. Submitting data into eBird can help bring attention to these special places that might otherwise be overlooked.