Clover Creek Preserve :: Nature Study - Eva Varga

November 5, 2011

Our Roots & Shoots group gathered recently at Clover Creek Preserve for a nature outing. Prior to arrival, I was a little hesitant upon reading an online review of the area,  “My house is nearby and before this area became a preserve, it was a lush green area filled with wild flowers, plants, and trees. There were a myriad of unpaved, forged trails that ran through this area of wilderness. I moved away for a year and then came back only to find that every tree on the 128-acre space was knocked down, 
every hill was leveled, and a man-made lake was put in.”

Upon first look, it was clearly a recent ‘development’ as there were no mature trees.  The small lake in the center of the preserve, however, does have a number of water-loving plants (Aspens, if I recall) along the perimeter.  A number of birds could be seen floating on the water surface from a distance so we happily proceeded forth, curious as to what species we might observe.

Our leader – a welcome change for me – and another mom in attendance are avid birders so our focus soon became apparent and I began to record the species we were able to identify.  

a white duck (un-identified)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
White crowned sparrow juvenile
Lark Sparrow
Western Meadowlark
Acorn Woodpecker
Red winged blackbird 
Northern Flickr (audible)
House Finch
Lesser Gold Finch
Western Scrub Jay
Western Bluebird
House Wren

As a novice bird watcher, I was quite impressed with what we observed in just a two hour outing.  Upon our return home, I asked each of the kids to select one of the birds from the list and to sketch it in their journals.  

We look forward to going out again soon.  I’m considering a long-term project of the preserve as it would be interesting to see how it changes over time.  Perhaps I can even inspire the munchkins to research a little more about what the area looked like prior to the development of the preserve.

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