Birds, Butterflies and Flowers


Saturday, June 7, 2014 - 10:00am to Sunday, June 8, 2014 - 9:45am




Finger Lakes National Forest


Charlie Smith and Robert Wesley


Charlie has spent many an hour logging bird and butterfly sightings in various locations in the FLNF and he’ll lead the group to some of the best spots for doing so. Oh, and we’ll see some plants, too! This will be a moderate walk on forest trails.Meet at the Ballard Pond parking area on Searsburg Road, West of T-burg at 10, or at CCE at 9 am to carpool. 


If you ever get a chance to walk in the Finger Lakes National Forest with Charlie Smith, jump to be there! He has studied the FLNF for decades and can recite the history, and natural history of the land and "read" the history in the landscape.


We visited Ballard Pond, and then moved on to Teeter Pond. We went to see an isolated woodlot that is almost entirely hickories, rather unusual. It's within a pasture just West of Teeter Pond, so it's a grazed woodlot. There were shagbark and red hickories, and little else, and seemed to be the same age. Charlie and Robert Wesley suggested that it might be the result of selective logging to remove the more valuable oaks. The views were spectacular across the meadows into the Seneca valley, and the day was just perfect. A list of the birds and amphibians we saw is below, and the full plant list can be seen by clicking this link (plant list).


One spectacular plant was an 'old rose", "Harison's Yellow", blooming prolifically in an old house foundation. According to Robert, Harison's Yellow was bred in the 1800's (1830) by (George) Harison, a New York City rose fancier. It is thought to be the offspring of Rosa spinosissima x R. foetida. It is prized for its cold tolerance, and received the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit in 1993. Also called the "Pioneer Rose", it traveled with settlers throughout the country. It is said to be the famous "Yellow Rose of Texas". (more on Harison's Yellow) Charlie says that several heritage roses are found at old homesteads in the National Forest.


Birds seen or heard on the walk:
Canada Geese & goslings
Red-winged Blackbird
Baltimore Oriole
Eastern Meadowlark
Savannah sparrow
American goldfinch
Great Blue Heron
Yellow Warbler
Red-eyed Vireo
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Wood Pewee
Eastern Towhee
Common Yellowthroat
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Common Yellowthroat
Song Sparrow
Field Sparrow.


Reptiles & Amphibians seen or heard:
Bullfrog (heard)
Green frog (heard)
Leopard frog
Pickerel frog
American toad (scrunched into the 'cave' of a deep horse footprint)
Common gartersnake


Butterflies and Odonates seen:
Common Ringlet
Pearl Crescent
Juvenal's Duskywing
Black Swallowtail
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Bluets (Enallagma spp.)
Eastern Forktail
Green Darner
Common Whitetail
Twelve-spotted Skimmer
White-fronted Corporal


Plants seen:

Acer saccharum var. sacharum

sugar maple


Achillea millefolium var. millefolium



Agrimonia parviflora

small-flowered agrimony


Antennaria parlinii ssp. fallax

Parlin's pussytoes


Anthoxanthum odoratum

sweet vernal grass

non-native, smells sweet when dried

Arisaema triphyllum ssp. triphyllum

common Jack-in-the-pulpit


Bidens sp.



Carex gracillima

graceful sedge


Carex laxiflora

broad loose-flower sedge


Carex vulpinoidea

foxtail sedge


Carex woodii

pretty sedge


Carya ovalis

red hickory


Carya ovata

shagbark hickory


Cerastium fontanum

mouse-ear chickweed

not native (from Eurasia)

Cicuta bulbifera

bulb-bearing water hemlock


Cicuta maculata var. maculata

spotted water hemlock, poison hemlock

Extremely poisonous; N America's most toxic plant

Circaea lutetiana ssp. canadensis

common enchanter's nightshade


Climacium americanum

tree moss


Cornus racemosa

gray dogwood


Crategus sp.



Dactylis glomerata

orchard grass

not native, introduced for hay

Diervilla lonicera

northern bush honeysuckle


Elaeagnus umbellata

autumn olive

not native, invasive

Eleocharis sp.



Epipactus helleborine

eastern helleborine

not native, orchid

Erigeron annuus

daisy fleabane


Fragaria virginiana

wild strawberry, Virginia strawberry


Fraxinus americana

white ash


Galium mollugo

hedge bedstraw, false baby's breath


Galium tinctorium

stiff marsh bedstraw

flowers white, 4 leaves per whorl

Geranium maculatum

wild geranium


Geranium robertianum

herb Robert


Geum aleppicum

yellow avens


Geum canadense

white avens


Hesperis matronalis

dame’s rocket

not native

Hieracium caespitosum

field or meadow hawkweed

yellow ligules

Holcus lanatus

common velvet grass

not native

Hylotelephium telephium ssp. telephium (Sedum purpureum)

witch’s moneybags, garden stonecrop, frog's stomach

not native

Impatiens capensis

orange jewelweed, spotted jewelweed

up to 9 teeth on one side of leaf

Lonicera sp.

shrub honeysuckle

not native, invasive

Malus pumila

apple tree


Ostrya virginiana

hop hornbeam


Oxalis stricta

common yellow wood sorrel, sour clover


Penstemon digitalis

foxglove beardtongue


Pinus strobus

white pine

stumps used for fencing

Platanus occidentalis



Poa compressa

Canada bluegrass

perennial grass, introduced from Europe

Podophyllum peltatum



Potentilla simplex or canadensis ?

old-field cinquefoil, common cinquefoil


Prunella vulgaris var. vulgaris


not native

Prunus serotina

black cherry


Prunus virginiana

choke cherry


Pyrus communis

European pear


Quercus alba

white oak


Quercus rubra

northern red oak


Ranunculus abortivus

kidney-leaved buttercup


Ranunculus acris

tall buttercup

not native

Ranunculus sceleratus var. sceleratus

cursed crowfoot, blisterwort

annual, native to N America & Europe

Rhamnus cathartica

European or common buckthorn

not native, invasive

Ribes cynosbati

eastern prickly gooseberry


Robinia pseudoacacia

black locust

not native

Rosa 'Harison's Yellow'

Yellow Rose of Texas, Oregon Trail Rose

a hybrid rose cultivar

Floribunda (rose)

floribunda rose

polyantha/hybrid tea cross

Rosa multiflora

multiflora rose

not native, invasive

Rubus allegheniensis



Salix spp.



Scirpus atrovirens

dark green bulrush

not a rush, in sedge family

Sisyrinchium sp.

blue-eyed grass


Solidago juncea

early goldenrod

smooth stem, bracts in leaf axils

Solidago rugosa

rough-stemmed or wrinkle-leaved goldenrod


Sphagnum sp.

a species of sphagnum moss

probably S. girgensohnii

Stellaria graminea

little starwort, common stitchwort

not native, native to Eurasia

Symphyotrichum lanceolatum (Aster lanceolatus)

panicle aster, lance-leaved aster


Taraxicum officinale



Toxicodendron radicans

poison ivy


Tragopogon pratensis

showy goat's-beard, meadow salsify

yellow ligules

Trifolium pratense

red clover


Vaccinium sp.



Valeriana officianalis

garden heliotrope or common valerian

escaped garden plant, native to Europe and Asia

Veronica chamaedrys

bird's-eye speedwell

native to Europe and Northern Asia

Veronica officinalis

common speedwell, gypsy-weed

not native

Viburnum dentatum



Viburnum lentago



Viola sororia

common blue violet


Vicia tetrasperma

lentil vetch, sparrow vetch

introduced as a forage crop, native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa