Saturday, May 06, 2017

Saturday Birding in the Rain

Those of you living in the North East do not have to be told about how wet it's been lately. Those horrendous storms from southern Missouri have made their way here and are likely to stay around for a good long while. While we haven't had the flooding the southern folks have experienced, we have had some tornadoes and wind storms that have produced damage. (Last Monday there were six tornadoes recorded in Pennsylvania--three were EF0 and three were EF1 in strength. Tuesday we had gusting gale force winds.) There's been a goodly number of power outages as a result. Here in Tioga County,  both Wellsboro and Mansfield have gone without power for hours on end.Even today (Saturday) Wellsboro lost power for a couple of hours as trees continue to fall and power grids get overwhelmed with recirculating the flow.

That said, the Tiadaghton Audubon Society held its regular Saturday morning bird walk at Hills Creek State Park today. With members absent to go to a birding festival in Erie and to band shore birds in Delaware, only Gary and I showed up to lead the walk--which started at 8 AM with just Gary and me. Two campers staying at the park did join us shortly after we started but we had to end the walk early when the rain returned.

I recorded 15 species in the HQ parking lot between 7 and 8 AM and another dozen or so in our brief walk around the beach area.

Canada Goose
Ruddy Duck
Great Blue Heron
Bald Eagle
Spotted Sandpiper
Hairy Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
European Starling
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Eastern Towhee
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird

There may have been other waterfowl on the lake near the northern end but they were too distant for a good ID. Some looked to be Double-crested Cormorants. And we didn't get into the best warbler zones on our brief walk and none of the little buggers bothered to come to visit us.

On the way home, I spotted 4 or more Wood Duck on a small beaver pond along Shaw road but didn't stop to look for more. Then I saw a Ruffed Grouse cross the road and meander into the woods. Not the brightest of birds, grouse depend upon camouflage and surprise to make good their escape. (Anyone who has unexpectedly had a grouse explode from cover at their feet will tell you how heart-stopping the experience can be!) This particular bird went for the camo.

Ruffed Grouse

1 comment:

JDP said...

Can't speak from experience on the Ruffled Grouse but can say with no reservation that walking in the pitch black darkness to a deer stand and stepping in the middle of an unseen covey of Bobwhite Quail will cause the pulse rate to quicken a bit! Have had this experience quite a few times :)