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

Late Afternoon Hike at Birdsong

Published October 12, 2012
Tags: Parks and Preserves, Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue Heron, Swamp Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Cedar Waxwing, Birdsong, Orchard Park

Today, I had to go out and photograph a client's facility for a new website that I'm working on, and I was inspired to do a little hiking on my way home.  It was very chilly, but I had my jacket, had my camera with me, of course, and thankfully, I had my hiking boots in the trunk of the car! I was all set - but I couldn't decide where to go on such an impromptu adventure.

Finally, I hit upon an area close to home, Birdsong.  I've hike there a couple of times before (Lots of Activity at Birdsong, November 11, 2011, Beautiful Day at Birdsong, March 14, 2012) but not nearly as often as I should! The place was teeming with birds. I hadn't walked more than 20 yards from the parking area when I saw my FOS White-crowned Sparrows! That was great!

Next, I saw a considerable flock of Cedar Waxwings with many juveniles mixed in, enjoying some berries on scattered bushes.  I took many photos of them, and a few would've been great, but I just couldn't position myself better to the sun so most were back-lit.

Some other nice sightings were: extended views of a few Swamp Sparrows, 3 fly-overs by 4 Wood Ducks, a Red-tailed Hawk and a Great Blue Heron, 2 Belted Kingfishers jetting about, and as common as Red-winged Blackbirds are, I still really like the chirps and calls they make.  I'm not sure why, but it's a very peaceful, soothing, nature kind of sound to me. I wonder if I'm a little odd with that?

On my way back to the car, I saw 4 Killdeer hopping around near some puddles. I was very surprised at all the noise they made. They had a lot of interactions between them - yelling at one another with their wings fluttering, walking closely together in row, and chirping all the while - interesting little birds! 

Did you know Killdeer pretend to be injured if a predator comes close to its nest? It drags itself around like it has a broken leg and wings, leading the predator away from its nest. Pretty cool!

I didn't even see one Black-capped Chickadee, nor any Northern Cardinals - very unusual.  And I didn't see the beavers that a couple of other hikers told me about.  I hope to get back there soon to see if I can't find them. 

My full list for the day was:
  • American Robin  (2)
  • American Crow  (3)
  • Belted Kingfisher  (2)
  • Blue Jay  (1)
  • Canada Goose  (40+)
  • Cedar-Waxwing  (12)
  • Common Grackle  (14)
  • Downy Woodpecker  (2)
  • Great Blue Heron  (1)
  • House sparrow  (3)
  • Killdeer  (4)
  • Purple Finch  (3)
  • Song Sparrow  (1)
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker  (1)
  • Red-tailed Hawk  (1)
  • Red-winged Blackbird  (50+)
  • White-Crowned Sparrow  (4)
  • Swamp Sparrow  (3)
  • White-breasted Nuthatch  (2)
  • Winter Wren  (2)
  • Wood Duck  (4)
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White-crowned Sparrow (FOS)
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White-crowned Sparrow
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Cedar Waxwing (juvenile)
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Female Purple Finch
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Yellow-rumped Warbler
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Yellow-rumped Warbler
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Female Red-winged Blackbird
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Male Red-winged Blackbird
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Swamp Sparrow
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Swamp Sparrow
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Killdeer - what a lot of noise they made!
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A bunny posed and studied me before hopping off into the brush.