Comparative Phenology – Bush Hill Nature Reserve, North Kingstown, Rhode Island

I immersed myself in Bush Hill Nature Reserve a few minutes from my house. Compared to my phenological site in Burlington, which is located in a Northern Hardwood Forest, the site I chose is a riparian forest that borders marshland.

“The trail at Bush Hill Nature Reserve is a very easy stroll accessible from Wickford Village. The reserve is a good place for bird watching and there are great views of the salt marsh. The land was once part of the extensive Spink family farm. It was donated to the Land Conservancy of North Kingstown by the de Guzman family in memory of Adelaide Dawson Lynch (1917-1992) who loved Wickford, this land, and its wildlife. There is an esker (geological feature) that you hike along, looking into Bush Hill Pond. This pond was used as a source of ice and skating in historic times” (Explore Rhode Island 2019).

A Historic Wickford Sign at the Bush Hill Nature Reserve

My observations of bird species include Blue Jay and Starlings. As I was entering the site they flocked in the tree cover above. Aside from humans and dogs, there were no other apparent tracks on the substrate.

Dog tracks on muddy soil

As far as woody plant species and tree species go, I was able to identify Red Oak (Quercus rubra), White Oak (Quercus alba), Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus), Northern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis), and the invasive Common catbrier & Barberry (Berberis).

An Oak with Catbrier in the background

A Northern White Cedar
A Barberry wood plant

The banks of the salt marsh had sandy soils with clusters of muscles on the shores.

Clusters of muscles

Geese were spotted resting on the marshland.

Common Reed was also on the marshland.

Common Reed
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