Sandy’s Effect on the Shaver’s Creek Landscape

Hurricane Sandy made a tremendous splash when it made landfall in New Jersey this week, and it is no secret that this superstorm has had far-reaching effects. Here in central Pennsylvania, Sandy has brought on moderate winds, cold temperatures, and plenty of water.

New streams in the Lake Perez lakebed as seen from the Sunset Pavilion

The immediate effects of Sandy here at Shaver’s Creek have been quite noticeable. Visitors to the Creek last week observed a dramatic rise in the water level of our streams and creeks, as well as the return of running water to the Lake Perez lakebed. Birders who were willing to get a little wet were rewarded with the sights of migrating waterfowl taking advantage of new wetland and riparian habitats around Lake Perez (check out our list of sightings at Lake Perez below!). Herp enthusiasts, however, may be out of luck: even though the hurricane has brought with it plenty of life-giving water for turtles and amphibians, the cold temperatures which have followed in the storm’s wake may discourage many of these critters from venturing out.

A large puddle along the boardwalk trail

With so many new and exciting changes to the Shaver’s Creek landscape, hikers are advised to exercise both wonder and caution while exploring the trails in the wake of the Hurricane Sandy. We can’t wait to see how these new changes could impact our local plant and animal communities in the coming seasons, but only time will tell what long-term effects this storm may have. In the meantime, our thoughts are with those whose homes and lives have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

~ Ashley “Little Blue Stem” Dang, Fall 2012 Intern

Tuesday October 30, 2012 12:30 p.m.
17 species total:

9 Mallard
42 Green-winged Teal
1 Ring-necked Duck
1 Downy Woodpecker
3 Blue Jay
1 American Crow
3 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Red-breasted Nuthatch
1 Brown Creeper
1 Carolina Wren
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
2 Eastern Bluebird
36 American Robin
6 Dark-eyed Junco
1 Northern Cardinal
1 American Goldfinch
Tuesday October 30, 2012 5:00 p.m.
10 species total:
85 Canada Goose
1 Wood Duck
8 American Wigeon
4 American Black Duck
2 Mallard
6 Northern Shoveler
42 Green-winged Teal
1 Ring-necked Duck
1 American Coot
1 Black-capped Chickadee
Wednesday October 31, 2012 10:00 a.m.
26 species total:

2 Wood Duck
8 American Wigeon
6 Mallard
3 Ring-necked Duck
3 Bufflehead
2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
2 Downy Woodpecker
1 Eastern Phoebe
1 Blue-headed Vireo
8 Blue Jay
2 American Crow
7 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Tufted Titmouse
2 Red-breasted Nuthatch
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Carolina Wren
6 Golden-crowned Kinglet
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
6 Eastern Bluebird
30 American Robin
3 Song Sparrow
6 White-throated Sparrow
~75 Dark-eyed Junco
3 Northern Cardinal
5 Purple Finch
6 American Goldfinch

Check out Nemesis Bird’s latest blog entry for details on sightings at Bald Eagle State Park, including Pomerine Jaeger, 70+ Greater Yellowlegs, and 2,000+ Dunlin!

And don’t miss out: Shaver’s Creek is hosting an Owl Prowl this Saturday, November 3, from 6:00–8:00 p.m.! We will spend the twilight hours at the center learning about our resident owls. As night falls, we will venture into the woods around the nature center to search for and call to owls—and we’ll see if we can get them to answer back! November is a prime owling time as they set up nesting territories for the winter. To register, please call Shaver’s Creek at 814-863-2000. This program is FREE thanks to the support of our members!

A small stream running along a seasonal channel off the boardwalk trail
Shaver’s Creek, swollen from recent rains, running through the Twin Bridges
Another view from the Twin Bridges