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

Sue's Bird Blog Archives

Amherst State Park

Published April 19, 2012
Tags: Parks and Preserves, Amherst, New York, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Red-winged Blackbird, American Robin, White-breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadee, Song Sparrow, Mallard, Northern Flicker, Red Admiral

I was surprised with another beautiful day this week, in spite of all the dire predictions.  I must stop "taking advantage" of these wonderful days because I should be working!  Honestly, I DO make up for these little romps in the evenings; I really do!

Today, I was off to Amherst State Park because one of the birders on our bird list reported seeing a couple of warblers there.  I've hadn't been to this park yet and, since it's only a few miles from my parents, I thought I'd surprise them with a visit afterwards (never happened due to a work call, sadly!).

Unfortunately, I didn't see any warblers, but I DID see a very amazing spectacle: a male Ruby-crowned Kinglet was completely unconcerned with my presence and was all about the business of courting his lady friend. I've never seen a kinglet with his ruby crown all puffed out like that! I was completely mesmerized - and at first, I even thought I was seeing a species I had never seen nor heard of before.  But no, his crown was just all "out there"!  I swear he used mousse on it!  What a truly magnificent spectacle that lasted at least a full 5 minutes before they finally flitted beyond sight.  I managed to capture a few photos of the female shortly before the courtship began, but I never did get any photos of the male, unfortunately.  I sure wish I had the whole thing on video!

The park, itself, must have been beautiful at one time but now, there's a lot of trash in it.  It would be a great project for a youth group or boy scout troop (if they even exist any more) to come down and haul out all debris we humans have littered it with. When I arrived, a man I stopped to talk with told me he used to fish here as a boy in some of the deep fishing holes that can be found in the creek that runs through the park. And sure enough, I spotted a huge, decaying fish along the creek bank - huge! The creek must run deep in some places, indeed.

In spite of the black flies that were EVERYWHERE, I really enjoyed the park and the hike. Red Admirals were dancing everywhere among the flowers and it was a beautiful, sunny day to be out. Other than the pair of Ruby-crowned Kinglets, however, I spotted only a few other birds:
  • Mallard - 1
  • Black-capped Chickadee - 1
  • Song Sparrow - 1
  • Red-winged Blackbird - 3
  • American Robin - 4
  • Northern Flicker - 1
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker - 1
  • Hairy Woodpecker - 1
  • White-breasted Nuthatch - 1
  • Northern Cardinal - 1
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 2
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Black-capped Chickadee
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A Mallard floats along the creek, occasionally diving for something...
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Northern Flicker
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An Eastern Chipmunk watches me closely!
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White-breasted Nuthatch
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Red Admiral
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Female Ruby-crowned Kinglet
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Female Ruby-crowned Kinglet
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Female Ruby-crowned Kinglet
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Female Ruby-crowned Kinglet