Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mothers Day Bird Fest

Mothers Day weekend always lines up with the Pennsylvania Annual Migration Count (PAMC).  This is nice, because I'm usually back in Fulton County, which is a place that isn't birded much in projects like these, and my Mom's into birds, too, so this makes something nice we can do together.  Here's some photos from two Saturdays ago:

Mom got up super early with me to head out before sunrise.  I have to say, late spring mornings like these, tucked up against a mountain with hundreds of birds singing their hearts out, well, there's just not a lot that can beat it.

The warm early sun streams through trees, making the fording of Licking Creek almost fairytale-like.  My plan was to bring my flip flops and wade through, but I managed to catch a four-wheeled ride a little later :)

I have a lot of pictures from this weekend of birding, but not-so-strangely, most of them are not of birds.  They just don't sit still long enough ;)  But, I did catch a few loafing around.  Above is a Baltimore Oriole.  Sometimes, it seemed like there were a pair of these in every tree.

At the family's farm, this Song Sparrow was up and singing loudly. Not one bit of shyness to this guy.  Walking from the Farm to my parent's house is always a good bird walk.  Part of the way, it gets steep enough that you can easily see into the tops of the trees just down the bank.  Great for warbler-watching, although I didn't see any!  (Did hear a Prairie Warbler.)  But, plenty of the normal denizens were out.

Here's a good example of a common bird that looks a little unusual from a particular angle.  This guy was clearly singing the "drink your tea" of an Eastern Towhee, but from the front and high up in a tree, I had to double check his identity.  Usually you see these guys scratching around in low brush.

As I walked down the hill to my parents', I had to do a double take.  There was a Turkey Vulture perched in a dead tree behind their house, sunning its wings.  Some trick of perspective made the vulture look HUGE.

Later that day, we went to the Rosebud Area of Buchanan State Forest, also known as the Kerper Tract.  It's funny how some patches of woods have their own distinctive mix of birds - here you are guaranteed to be awash in American Redstarts, find Wood Thrushes under every bush, and see or hear Acadian Flycatchers, Ovenbirds, Eastern Phoebes, and a bunch of woodpeckers.  Here's a Wood Thrush, singing.  One of my all-time fave singers :)

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