Saturday, April 14, 2018

Active Morning in Tioga County, PA

I had an interesting morning. It started with an early wake-up at 5 AM because today is Saturday and there was birding to be done at Hills Creek SP.

As I was feeding the cats, I heard a suspicious "thump!" out on the deck. Flicking on the outside lights my thoughts were confirmed. There were two bears out there raiding the feeders. The smaller was about my size (a shade over 200 pounds) while the larger was half again as big. I rapped on the windows and the large bear high-tailed it over the gate and into the woods. The smaller was too busy eating sunflower seeds and even ignored my second attempt to scare it away. It wasn't until I opened the front door and shouted at it that it reluctantly gave up its post and headed off after its partner in crime.

I decided NOT to feed the outdoor cats at that time...just in case.

After a brief stop at the McDonald's in Mansfield for a couple of sausage egg McMuffins a cup of coffee, I headed to HCSP to eat breakfast and listen to the birds wake up. I didn't start counting species until 7 AM. (The bird walks start at 8 AM, but by then I had already listed 15 species just around the park headquarters. We were to see/hear all of them during the walk.)

We started our walk shortly after 8 AM with 15 participants, several of whom are expert birders and photographers. We had a young girl with us--with her grandmother, a science teacher from Wellsboro, several members of the Methodist Church of Wellsboro (Rich Hanlon is the pastor there and was a leader of the walk this week), seven were members of the Tiadaghton Audubon Society, and a few other folks dropped by for the birding. Being as such a large group tends to move more slowly, not everyone could stay for the entire hike, but I believe everyone had a good time.

Three of us were keeping the (more or less) official count and, while we didn't quite agree at the end, we were all pretty close to the 48 species I recorded.
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Ring-necked Duck
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Bald Eagle
Spotted Sandpiper
Bonaparte's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue-headed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Eastern Towhee
Northern Cardinal
Eastern Meadowlark
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Common Grackle
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch

All in all, not a bad day. This may have been the best morning I've had at HCSP in a long time.

PS: The outdoor cats did get fed when I got home at noon. The three of them were present.

1 comment:

threecollie said...

Awesome list! 48 species is pretty amazing!