Species Observation Reports
Pleasant Valley Park - 2011
Have you observed any interesting wildlife out in Pleasant Valley Park? Tell / email us about it and we can add it to this page. Pictures to go with the story are always appreciated.
10/08/2011 4-H Conservation Club Observation Report
While picking up trash at the park (as part of our adoption of the park through PA CleanWays) members of the 4-H Conservation Club had an interesting encounter with a few species. The weather was relatively nice. No rain for once, and fairly warm for a fall day.
We were getting ready to pick trash from the weeds around the parking lot, when a large black snake crossed in front of one of the 4-H kids. It came from from the grass behind the kiosk and garbage can and went across the road and up the bank into the grass on the upper side of the parking lot. To be honest, we probably scared him a little too, because he stopped long enough for us to grab a picture of him just starting to emerge from the grass. As we stood still and took pictures, he decided we were not a threat and he continued on his way across the gravel roadway and up into the grass.
However, after that encounter, we decided not to walk into the high weeds around the parking lot. And we picked up the trash from that area while standing in the parking lot and using our trash picking tools to reach in and pull out the trash.
We continued on picking up trash from the area where the metal pole building used to be, until we came across another black snake sleeping under some sheets of siding that one of the kids lifted up with her trash picking stick. Needless to say, after taking a few pictures of it curled up, we decided that we had picked up enough trash for the day.
Pleasant Valley Park - 2007
5/08/2007 Dale M's Observation Report
I spent 2.5-hours in the Block 6 section of PV Park today. This is the first time I've gone beyond the Block 5/6 boundary. What an outstanding community resource. I was completely alone for the entire 2.5-hours and thoroughly enjoyed the symphony of nature's sounds.
My bird species list follows:
Red-tailed Hawk - Agitated Behavior, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Flicker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Mourning Dove - carrying fecal sac, White-eyed Vireo - carrying nesting material, Red-eyed Vireo - pair, Willow Flycatcher, Blue Jay, Crow, Barn Swallow, Carolina Chickadee, Bluebird - pair, Wood Thrush, Robin, Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Starling, Blue-winged Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Ovenbird, Kentucky Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler - pair/territorial, Scarlet Tanager, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow - territorial, Song Sparrow, Cardinal, White-crowned Sparrow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak - pair, Indigo Bunting - pair/territorial, Grackle, Baltimore Oriole, Goldfinch, Brewster's Warbler - this bird was approximately 20-feet away and allowed enough time to check off every field mark evident in the Peterson guide.
As you can see many/most of the birds fall into the X or O category, but some seem to be fully embracing the breeding season. And, some are just passing through. Tom, Janet, I'm guessing you have already recorded many of the above species, for any that would be new to the block I can provide coordinates.
3/28/2007 Debbie Bryant's Observation of Spotted Salamanders
Hi, Dick, (Email to Dick Byers)
This morning has slipped away from me & I have to go get ready for work, but...
If you get to PV park today, here is where to look:
For the egg masses: Walk down the farm road to the lower pond. Standing by the side of the pond looking in, look into the far right "corner" of the pond, closest to the road. Tucked under the overhanging canes of thorny shrubs are MANY egg masses. They are ~ grapefruit sized & attached to branches underwater. We picked up a mass & the critters inside were crescent-shaped, but no delineating features were apparent. Wear rubber boots or waders would be better. I filled up one boot when I walked in too far, but just had to have a better look. I'll go back & watch them develop & hopefully figure out if they are wood frogs or salamanders.
I saw what looked like the head of a green frog pop up from below and sit among the egg masses. Is that possible?
Spotted salamanders: The upper pond has a little stream feeding it. We saw the 2 spotted salamanders right where the stream enters the upper pond in about 8 inches of water, just walking across the bottom. When I tried to catch one, they scooted under the leaf litter at the bottom of the stream.
The toads were trilling along the farm road & when we reached the puddles they were in, they were EVERYWHERE! I picked up a number of males & they vibrated & called while I held them. Tom said it was their release call & they were thinking I was another male accidentally trying to mate with them.
The peepers were deafening & all around us. We finally saw one on a log in the pond, but other than that we couldn't pick out a single one! They sounded like they were in the trees around us, but we just couldn't find them. Is there a trick we don't know?
It was pouring rain for about 1/2 of the hour that we were in the park, but it was a warm rain & it was enjoyable to be stomping about in the dark & the rain with only a flashlight. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Anyway, I went home soaked and muddy, but what a blast! I've decided I need a pair of waders now!
3/20/2007 Report by Debbie Bryant on wood frogs at PV Park.
I stopped by PV Park at about 3:45 PM today. I didn’t hear anything from the parking lot, but decided to take a walk down to the pond anyway. As I headed down the little hill towards the pond, I heard a loud chorus of “quacking”! I quietly approached the pond. I counted about 30 floating wood frogs before they began to submerge. A handful of frogs didn’t submerge as I stood at the edge, but they all stopped calling. I could see them clearly through my binoculars. Their coloration was darker than when I caught that beautiful fellow at Powdermill in October, but they still had the distinctive black mask. I was so excited to see and hear them! What a great way to celebrate the first day of spring!!!