USC Citizens for Land Stewardship
Conservation and stewardship of land and natural resources in Upper St. Clair

Boyce-Mayview Park

A Sample Nature Journal

On October 2, 1999, the CLS conducted an outing in Boyce-Mayview.  The outing was led by Chuck Tague.  What follows is the journal compiled by Chuck based on that outing.  This journal is presented here for two reasons.  First, it provides an example of the kind of information that you may want to include in your own nature journal.  Secondly, it helps demonstrate the range of biodiversity on the Boyce-Mayview property.

The journal:

USC Citizens for Land Stewardship Outing
October 2, 1999

10 participants, weather clear, wind calm, temperature from 44°F to 70°F.,
2 hours 45 minutes, 1.5 miles on foot.
Leaf color change 20%, Leaf drop 5%


Deciduous Trees:

Pawpaw; Asimina triloba
Sassafras; Sassafras albidum (2)
Sycamore; Platanus occidentalis (1)
Hackberry; Celtis occidentalis (1,2)
American Elm,; Ulmus americana
Slippery Elm; Red Elm; Ulmus rubra
Bitternut Hickory; Carya cordiformis (1,2)
Pignut Hickory; Carya glabra (1)
Shagbark Hickory; Carya ovata
Black Walnut; Juglans nigra (1)
American Beech; Fagus grandifolia (2)
White Oak; Quercus alba
Swamp White Oak, Quercus bicolor
Scarlet Oak; Quercus coccinea
Bur Oak, Quercus macrocarpa (1)
Yellow Oak; Quercus muhlenbergii (1,2)
Northern Red Oak; Quercus rubra (Acorns abundant) (1)
Hawthorn; Crataegus sp. (at least two species) (1)
Basswood, Linden; Tilia americana (1)
Black Willow; Salix nigra
Yellow Buckeye; Aesculus flava
American Crabapple; Malus coronaria (1)
Domestic Apple; Malus pumila (1,3)
Hop Hornbeam; Ostrya virginiana
Sweet Cherry; Prunus avium (3)
Wild Black Cherry; Prunus serotina (2)
Black Locust, Robinia pseudoacacia (2)
Honey Locust, Gleditsia triacanthos  (Naturally occuring) (2)
Box Elder; Acer negundo
Norway Maple; Acer platanoides (2,3)
Red Maple; Acer rubrum
Sugar Maple; Acer saccharum
Tree-of-Heaven; Ailanthus altissima (1,3)
White Ash; Fraxinus americana (1,2)

(1)  fruit evident
(2)  sign of color change
(3)  introduced species

Deciduous Shrubs (sampling):

Spice bush, Lindera benzoin (one stunted, browsed specimen)
Japanese Barberry, Berberis thunbergii (1,3)
Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana
Red-fruited Hawthorn, C. coccinea (1)
Multiflora Rose, Rosa. multiflora (1,3)
Black Raspberry, Rubus occidentalis (2)
Bladdernut, Staphylea trifolia (1)
Staghorn Sumac, Rhus typhina (2)
Privet, Ligustrum vulgare (3)
Honeysuckle, Lonerica sp.(1)

(1)  fruit evident
(2)  sign of color change
(3)  introduced species

Woody Vines:

Virginia Creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia (1,2)
Wild Grape, Vitis sp.(1,2)
Poison Ivy, Toxicodendron radicans (1,2)

(1)  fruit evident
(2)  sign of color change
(3)  introduced species

Herbaceous Plant Sampling:

In flower:

Calico aster
Shortt's Aster
Many-flowered Aster
Blue-stemmed Goldenrod
Canada Goldenrod
Bur Marigold
Pennsylvania Smartweed

In fruit:

Horse Nettle
Common Milkweed
Dogbane sp.
Japanese Knotweed
Wild Garlic Mustard
Broom Sedge


American Toad
Northern Dusky Salamander


Eastern Chipmunk
Gray Squirrel
Fox Squirrel
Short-tailed Shrew

Mammal sign:

White-tailed Deer; browse, browse-line, trails, tracks, scat.
Raccoon; tracks, scat


1 Sharp-shinned Hawk Harassing Red-tailed Hawk
1 Red-tailed Hawk Calling
1 Rock Dove
2 Mourning Dove
4 Chimney Swift
1 Belted Kingfisher calling
2 Red-bellied Woodpecker noisy, active
2 Downy Woodpecker
1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Northern Flicker
2 Eastern Phoebe
8 Blue Jay
30 American Crow
8 Carolina Chickadee
5 Tufted Titmouse
1 Red-breasted Nuthatch
4 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Brown Creeper
4 Carolina Wren singing, good show
50 American Robin
1 Cedar Waxwing
European Starling
1 Red-eyed Vireo
4 Magnolia Warbler
1 Black-throated Blue Warbler
6 Black-throated Green Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 American Redstart
8 Northern Cardinal
2 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
2 Eastern Towhee
1 Song Sparrow
5 American Goldfinch bathing/drinking in puddle

Bird signs:

Wild Turkey; Feathers, scat
Pileated Woodpecker; oblong excavations

Recent sightings:

1-Oct  Great Blue Heron flying along Chartiers Creek
1-Oct  Canada Goose
30-Sep Great Horned Owl


Chuck Tague
Nature Observer News