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

Braddock Bay and Owl Woods

Published April 15, 2013
Tags: Parks and Preserves, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Wood Duck, Mallard, Mute Swan, Belted Kingfisher, Caspian Tern, Field Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Winter Wren, Brown Creeper, Northern Flicker, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-rumped Warbler, leucistic

Inspired by the several reports of Long-eared Owls being found at Owl Woods near Braddock Bay, I finished work a little earlier than usual and took the long drive to see if I could add a Long-eared to my life list. Unfortunately, no owls were to be found; a man and his beagle had flushed them in the morning! Aarrgghh! That was very disappointing.

And when I went by the banding station, the guys were just closing up shop. The southerly wind blowing off the lake was keeping the birds on the ground, they told me. Another disappointment!  It will be a little while before I make the drive again so I hope those Long ears stick around for a bit! The day was saved with a few nice finds, though.

At Owl Woods, I enjoyed a nice view of a Winter Wren, my FOY,  along with many Golden-crowned Kinglets and a couple of Brown Creepers.

Over near the Hawk Watch at Braddock Bay, I saw a Northern Harrier hunting far out over the reeds, a pair of Mute Swans, some Canada Geese, and 2 Caspian Terns. The terns put on a very nice show.

As I started the short hike to Cranberry Pond, I noticed a very odd looking bird with a white head. It turned out to be a Dark-eyed Junco. Another person saw it and called it "pigment challenged". The word "leucistic" came to MY mind; I'm not sure which is correct. The juncos were joined by a Song Sparrow and a Field Sparrow (another FOY).

At Cranberry Pond, I got some very nice views of my favorite duck, the Wood Duck. A group of 3 came by while I was watching a Mute Swan foraging for food.  Notoriously shy, the Wood Ducks didn't seem intimidated by me at all. And while sitting at the marshy end of the pond, I had a couple of fly-bys by a Belted Kingfisher.  I also saw 2 female Mallards, 3 Northern Flickers, 2 Eastern Phoebes, 1 Northern Cardinal, 2 American Goldfinches, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, a Song Sparrow, and a Yellow-rumped Warbler.

All in all, it was a lovely afternoon with some interesting sights. You just never know what you'll find!
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Wood Duck (male)
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Wood Duck (male)
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Wood Duck (male)
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Wood Duck (male)
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Mute Swan
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Mute Swan
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Caspian Tern
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Caspian Tern
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Belted Kingfisher
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Belted Kingfisher
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Dark-eyed Junco
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Dark-eyed Junco
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Field Sparrow
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Northern Flicker
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Red-winged Blackbird
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Muskrat - very busy doing what muskrats do