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

Hamlin Wild Goose Chase

Published October 19, 2014
Tags: General Observations, Merlin, White-crowned Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Northern Mockingbird

I am embarrassed to say how many times I've chased after a Greater White-fronted Goose this year.  This bird is killing me.  One was seen late in the day in a farm field with hundreds of Canada Geese up in Hamlin, NY.  Naturally, I hopped in my car early the next morning and chased after it. Once I got there, I slowly and carefully scanned through close to a thousand Canada Geese and came up with nothing.  Nada.  Again.

In with the geese, though, were seven Snow Geese, one being a blue morph. Those are always a nice sight for me and they were my first Snow Geese of the season.  Unfortunately, they were too far out for decent photos, but I had some nice looks through my scope.  A Cooper's Hawk came swooping through, probably after one of the cute, little Horned Larks I found in the field as well. But no Greater White-fronted Geese were to be found anywhere...

Disappointed (again), I drove around the Hamlin area looking for fields containing more geese to look through, but I didn't come up with much at all.

As I was driving, though, I came upon a Merlin and then a rather "birdy hot spot" of passerine (song bird) activity.  I was able to get a few photos of the Merlin as well as some of the songbirds, which included a family group of Northern Mockingbirds, Cedar Waxwings, a Hermit Thrush, White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows, and a Fox Sparrow (my first of the season).

I stopped at a new park (for me) on my way home.  It's called Mill Road Park and is in West Seneca off of East and West Road. I liked it a lot and found some nice habitat there - diverse enough to attract a few different types of birds - from waterfowl in the creek - to songbirds - to raptors.  I found an unexpected Spotted Sandpiper there, rather late in the season for that guy.  I also found a Great Blue Heron, Mallards, and Wood Ducks in the creek, Yellow-rumped Warblers, both types of kinglets, a Hermit Thrush, several woodpeckers, and a Cooper's Hawk giving chase to a Mourning Dove. I think it will be a nice place to bird come spring...
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Northern Mockingbird
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Northern Mockingbird
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Northern Mockingbird
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Young White-crowned Sparrow
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White-crowned Sparrow
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White-crowned Sparrow
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White-crowned Sparrow
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Fox Sparrow
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Horned Lark in the fields where the Canada Geese were
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Spotted Sandpiper at Mill Road Park
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Merlin (male Taiga)
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Merlin
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Merlin
Reply from: tim on 11/8/2014 2:47 PM
 Exceptional photos Sue,you sure have a knack for finding these Merlins