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Hawk Watch Day 2 and Tifft

Published April 23, 2013
Tags: Parks and Preserves, hermit thrush, belted kingfisher, eastern towhee, great egret, great blue heron, white-throated sparrow, cooper's hawk, common loon, hawk watch, tifft nature preserve

I went to the Hamburg Hawk Watch after work again today since the winds were supposed to be more favorable. There were quite a few raptors flying overhead - pretty high - but still discernible with binoculars. Turkey Vultures were the greatest number of raptors with Broad-winged Hawks coming in second - at least while I was there. I saw 3 American Kestrels, a few Red-tailed Hawks, and several Sharp-shinned Hawks too. It gives one a very different perspective trying to ID these birds of prey from below. It's quite challenging!

I also tried for a Brown Thrasher since several sightings have been reported. No luck for me again! I tried at Times Beach - where I saw a Carolina Wren and my FOY Eastern Towhee.

A short while later, over at Tifft Nature Preserve, I was rewarded with my second sighting of a Hermit Thrush. I met up with John, a birder I've spoken with before - and he pointed out a good tip for spotting a thrush: watch their movements and the way they'll jump to grab an insect. He was right on; this little guy did exactly that and it was really fun to watch.

On the way in at Tifft, I also saw a Great Egret fishing next to a Great Blue Heron (I thought the heron was going to steal the very accomplished fisherman-Egret!). A solitary Common Loon was lazily drifting about over near where a Belted Kingfisher was fishing. Many White-throated Sparrows were throughout the preserve too. Their songs filled the evening air with their haunting, whistle-like notes. I could find no warblers - and John confirmed the same for him. I did see an Osprey fly over Lisa's Pond and a Cooper's Hawk at the opposite end of the preserve.

No Brown Thrasher again - but a lovely evening to be out, for sure!
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Great Egret
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Great Blue Heron fishing to the right of the Great Egret
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Common Loon
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Pied-billed Grebes
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White-throated Sparrow
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Song Sparrow
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Hermit Thrush
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Hermit Thrush
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Hermit Thrush
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Cooper's Hawk
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Downy Woodpecker (female)