Schunemunk Mountain, 07/06/19

I got up early again this morning to try and beat the heat again. Last night I was looking through my trail maps and I came across a map of Schunemunk Mountain State Park. So, I decided to give it a try this morning. I parked at the trailhead on Clove Road. Looking on the map, it was a pretty substantial ascent for the first mile or so (for me, as a birder rather than a hard core hiker); I went up approximately 900 feet in just over one mile of hiking. This may be no big deal for true hikers, but for me it was more than enough.

~Black Ratsnake at Schunemunk Mountain State Park, 07/06/19.~

The birding was just okay – the trail was probably one of the least birdy trails I’ve walked this year. That being said, in addition to the usuals, I had some pretty good birds. I was surprised to hear a Hooded Warbler calling just about a half mile up the trail. I got my best looks of the year at Worm-eating Warblers; I had at least a half dozen and got very good looks at three birds. I got a good look at a very young bird in a bush – at first I wasn’t sure what it was but as I thought about it, it came to me – it was a recently fledged Cedar Waxwing. I also got great looks at three young Black-and-white Warblers; they were so close but I didn’t have any luck getting photos. It was actually a tough day for photos with birds being backlit, obscured, etcetera. I covered 4.5 miles during my hike, and I ended up with a modest 35 species for the morning. You can see my eBird report here.

~A tattered and worn Red-spotted Purple butterfly. Thanks to Maria Loukeris and Denise Farrel for their ID help.~
~You know it was a tough day for photos when I’m posting selfies. Schunemunk Mountain SP, 07/06/19.~
~Here’s my eBird tracking. Just over 4.5 miles when it was all said and done. Schunemunk Mountain, 07/06/19.~

7 thoughts on “Schunemunk Mountain, 07/06/19”

  1. You’re much braver than I, Matt. When I stepped outside at 5am, the air was so still and oppressive that I turned right around and went back inside. I elected to do my birding from my front and back porch. The birds you had were impressive, despite the fact there were no photos. As you said, the lighting is tough and the foliage is thick.

    1. Some days it just doesn’t work out with the photos – it’s actually surprising to me that I don’t come up empty more often. It was really hot and oppressive this morning – staying inside was not a bad decision at all. Matt

    1. Thanks Liza. They were one of the highlights for sure. I haven’t done well with Worm-eating Warblers this year since early in the year at Pochuck Mountain. Matt

  2. At 76 with a bad hip and back that hike is out of the question for me . Did some birding in eastern Ohio this weekend and for the third year in a row got my nesting Kentucky warblers . Stopped of at the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville , Pa on the way out.
    Bruce

    1. I wouldn’t say it’s a great idea for you to take that hike. I have some issues with my hips and it was murder on the way down. Sounds like a nice trip for your Kentucky Warblers; I’ve never been to the Flight 93 Memorial, that must have been a nice stop. Matt

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