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Double-header at Sinking Ponds and Beaver Meadows

Published October 06, 2012
Tags: Parks and Preserves, Sinking Ponds, East Aurora, Beaver Meadows, Java, Belted Kingfisher, Winter Wren, White-throated Sparrow

Another beautiful autumn day arrived this past Thursday morning - and I felt I should get out at least one more time.  Well... make that two - two times in one day!

Early in the morning, I set out to try and capture another photo or two of my beloved Belted Kingfisher. I got some decent shots, but STILL not what I'm striving for.  I fear I may have to wait until next year as his migration time is nearing.

Later in the day, after putting in a few work hours, I headed out to Beaver Meadows. I've been wanting to get back there since my first trip in the beginning of August. I was going with high expectations as my son, Tom, was reporting some GREAT sightings from Zoar Valley.

I DID see a Winter Wren (poor photo), quite a few White-throated Sparrows, a Belted Kingfisher, Canada Geese, a  Pied-billed Grebe (that was a tough one for me to figure out!), several Robins, Gray Catbirds, Black-capped Chickadees, American Goldfinches, Tufted Titmice, Northern Cardinals, and Blue Jays, but not much else. Maybe it was too late in the day. It was great to get out, though, get some exercise, and enjoy the sunny day one last time before the weather was predicted to take a turn for the worse.

By the way, did you know the Pied-billed Grebe is nicknamed "Hell-diver" because it dives with such great speed? It also will sink slowly out of sight if alarmed, resurfacing among the reeds. And his stout and strong bill is perfect for crushing crayfish, its favorite food.

image of me in my new hatOh, and I MUST say, I LOVE my new birding hat!  I've never been a hat person; I actually have always hated hats, but I bought one recently thinking I could use one if only to shade my eyes from the sun.  As I was hiking on Thursday, more and more uses for hats came to mind:
  • they shield your eyes from the glare of the sun
  • they keep your scalp from burning
  • they keep your hair dry when it rains
  • you can use your hat to swat away a persistent bee
  • you can use your hat to scoop up water from a creek
  • they protect your head from falling leaves and branches (like Thursday!)
  • I'm not sure, but I think they mask your appearance to birds
  • you can carry things in them
  • when it's really hot, you can fan yourself with them
  • they keep your hair out of your eyes
  • if you fish, you can hang your lures on it
  • and of course, if you're ever wrong about something, you can always eat it!

So, this was not a great day for cool bird sightings or photos, but I did enjoy myself...

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Belted Kingfisher
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Belted Kingfisher
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Chipping Sparrows, I believe
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My very poor photo of a Winter Wren
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Pied-billed Grebe
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Another view of the Pied-billed Grebe