My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

Chirps and Cheeps Bird Blog

A Birder's Blog About Birding in Western New York

Winter in the Adirondacks

Published January 31, 2016
Tags: General Observations, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Evening Grosbeak, Red Crossbill, Pine Siskin

When I read that NYSOA was hosting an Adirondack trip, I jumped at the opportunity to get up to the mountains again. Fortunately, I was allowed to attend, even though the trip had reached its limit. Alec Humann and Chris Kundl had aleady signed up and allowed me to travel along with them - what great travel companions!

We all saw some wonderful birds over the 3 day weekend, including a large flock of at least 50 Evening Grosbeaks, many encounters with Red Crossbills, seven Gray Jays at a feeding stop, and a pair of elusive Boreal Chickadees.  Pine Siskins were seen and heard everywhere due to a large irruption this year.

Alec gained two state birds, Chris got three life birds, and I was a happy camper just to see these boreal birds once again!

One highlight was seeing a winter-white Snowshoe Hare cross over a road just after a hunter had left the scene. We all got quite a chuckle that his quarry seemed to know just when it was safe to come out of the woods!

Joan Collins, birder extraordinaire, led the trip along with her birding partner, Mary Beth. They were both fantastic guides and organizers and I'd like to extend a big thank you to them both!  Joan's hearing never ceases to amaze me!
bird photo
A Gray Jay looking all cute!
bird photo
Gray Jay
bird photo
Gray Jay
bird photo
Gray Jay
bird photo
A small portion of the large flock of Evening Grosbeaks
bird photo
A pair of Evening Grosbeaks
bird photo
Boreal Chickadee
bird photo
Pine Siskin
bird photo
Red Crossbills
bird photo
Red Crossbills
bird photo
Pine Siskins and Red Crossbills gritting on the side of the road
bird photo
A little closer look at the crossbills gritting
bird photo
Red Crossbill (female)
bird photo
Three crossbills in the tree


A Couple of Uncommon January Sightings

Published January 28, 2016
Tags: General Observations, American Pipit, Field Sparrow

It was fun for Bernie and I to catch up to the American Pipit Chris Kundl found at Goat Island.  It's not too often one sees a pipit in Western New York during January.  We all really enjoyed watching it forage, picking and poking in the mud along the rocks and weeds at the water's edge.

The sun was a most welcome sight that day and we had lots of fun picking through the gulls under Chris' guidance, studying a probable Thayer's Gull and learning more of their nuances.  Passerines were nearby and we ended the fun by feeding them seed from our hands.

A couple of days later, I was amazed to find a Field Sparrow with a flock of American Tree Sparrows and Song Sparrow at a local park.  I have a poor photo attached here just to prove it was there!

It's been a strange winter with some uncommon sightings.
bird photo
American Pipit at Goat Island - a very uncommon bird for WNY in January!
bird photo
American Pipit
bird photo
American Pipit
bird photo
Field Sparrow - another very uncommon bird for WNY in January!


Some Winter Color

Published January 24, 2016
Tags: General Observations, Eastern Bluebird, Red-tailed Hawk

While driving through Wales towards home the other day, I happened to catch a flash of color out my side window. Several Eastern Bluebirds were feasting on some sumac alongside the road and their gorgeous color was a feast for ME - for my eyes!  The dull, grays of winter faded away as I sat and enjoyed their activity.

Shortly afterward, I came upon a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk sitting on a deer carcass.  I grabbed a couple of photos and then slowly drove away, leaving him to enjoy his meal...
bird photo
Eastern Bluebird
bird photo
Eastern Bluebird
bird photo
Eastern Bluebird picking at sumac
bird photo
Eastern Bluebird
bird photo
Young Red-tailed Hawk dining on a deer carcass
bird photo
Red-tailed Hawk