Yesterday I visited Mill Grove, where John James Audubon began his journey of discovering American birds, and where as a young adult he met and married his longsuffering wife Lucy. A lot has changed in the past 200 years. The landscape is now one of mature trees and highways, rather than agricultural fields. The Perkiomen Creek still flows past down below the house, and many birds enjoy the environs of this county park and Audubon Center.
During a walk through the woods, we saw Scarlet Tanager singing high in a tree, and heard baby Downy Woodpeckers calling from within a nest cavity. Eastern Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, and House Wrens are nesting in boxes on the property, and a colony of Barn Swallows inhabits the bottom floor of the old barn. A Baltimore Oriole was hanging out near the house, and a pair of Chimney Swifts were nesting in Audubon's old home. Indigo Buntings, Common Yellowthroats, and Great Crested Flycatchers were among the more than three dozen birds we saw in a couple hours, walking where JJ Audubon walked, along a wooded Perkiomen Creek that he might barely recognize now for all the trees.