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Golden Eagle Flyover and Fallout at Forest Lawn - Shorebirds at Kumpf

Published April 13, 2014
Tags: Life List Happenings, Golden Eagle, Fox Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Great Egret, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpiper

Saturday night's rain storm caused a little fallout of several species along the lake region.  I was very glad to see a male Pine Warbler and a couple of Chipping Sparrows visiting our feeders early in the morning. That was my first tip that something was up.  As soon as I got the chance, I went to Forest Lawn to see what I might find. I wasn't disappointed. 

I found a little pocket of Fox Sparrows, 11 of them, at one spot. Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets were busy and vocal and at least 4 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were in the area.  I also saw 1 Hermit Thrush, a Brown Creeper, an Easter Phoebe and then, as I was leaving, Alec Humann flagged me down to see my life bird of the day, a Golden Eagle!  Wow!!!  I didn't have time for a photo but Rick Bee got a good shot of it.  You can check that out on Rick's blog here: Birding Buffalo and Beyond. Amazing find; the seldom seen eagle in WNY was migrating right over Forest Lawn Cemetery!

After that exhilaration, I headed out to Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge to look for shorebirds.  It wasn't until late in the evening that I finally spotted some - just under 100 at Kumpf Marsh. Unfortunately, the lighting was low and they were at enough distance to where photos would have been pointless.  The large group contained Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs and at least 3 Pectoral Sandpipers.

The sky and trees were beginning to fill with the sights and sounds of moving blackbirds.  Rusty Blackbirds were in great numbers, which is always a good find.

In addition to the Pine Warbler, Greater Yellowlegs, and Pectoral Sandpipers, I saw a couple of other First of Year birds while hiking  and driving about: 2 Field Sparrows and a Great Egret flyover.  All in all, a great day!


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Pine Warbler
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The trees were beginning to fill with roosting Rusty Blackbirds, Cowbirds, Common Grackles, and European Starlings
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Fox Sparrow - one of 11 seen
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Fox Sparrow
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Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
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Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
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Ruby-crowned Kinglet
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RUby-crowned Kinglet
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Hermit Thrush
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Caspian Tern at Kumpf Marsh
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Red-tailed Hawk
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Northern Harrier
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Little Chippy
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Garter Snakes - my 4th sighting of them in 3 days!