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

Spring Arrivals and Pine Siskins

Published March 29, 2015
Tags: General Observations, American Pipit, Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, Song Sparrow, Pileated Woodpecker, Common Grackle, Killdeer, Blue-winged Teal, Great Blue Heron, Horned Grebe, Northern Shoveler, Wood Duck

Driving through South Wales the other day, I came upon a little flock of American Pipits in a corn field.  I had seen this flock about a week earlier but didn't get on them fast enough to identify.  I suspected Horned Larks, but I could never confirm.  Today, I got my bins on them a lot faster and was able to determine they were American Pipits.  It's the first time I've seen them here in Erie County. There were about 20 of them and I only got off 2 camera shots before they took off again. They're tough to nail down! I never refound them today again either.

Down another road, I found 14 Pine Siskins; I heard them well before I laid eyes on one, their zippy finch-like noises alerting me to their presence.  They were at a bird lover's feeders that I often pass when birding down that way. Karen loves her birds and is very friendly; she even offered to rescue me one day when my car battery died while I was a little further down the road watching the perched Red-shouldered Hawk.  It was Karen's well stocked feeders that the siskins had stopped at. They were quite vocal and I really enjoyed watching this little flock from my car as they fed at her feeders. I've had a few sightings of Pine Siskins this winter, but this was the best!

Over at Sinking Ponds, I saw a Great-blue Heron who had found a little bit of open water in the small pond on the west side of the entrance road. He was with a small group of Hooded Mergansers, Mallards, and a few Canada Geese. I'm anxious for more water to open up here!

On my way back home, I passed a Killdeer in the fields, a Turkey Vulture perched on a rooftop, and I saw a gorgeous male Pileated Woodpecker working on a new excavation in Emery Park. I always enjoy a pileated sighting!

A Blue-winged Teal was found by Joe Fell at Forest Lawn and I was happy to see the beautiful male. I did a little walking around the cemetery but no other spring migrants had arrived that I could find. The duck was beautiful, though, and I enjoyed seeing it at fairly close range.

In Dunkirk, I tried for a Eurasian Wigeon that had been found but I dipped on that sighting. However, the harbor provided my first Northern Shoveler of the year, a handsome male in breeding plumage. He and a Horned Grebe gave me a very nice photo opportunity.  Over at a nearby marsh, where I tried for the wigeon, I saw my first Wood Ducks of the year, along with Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal, and many Ring-necked Ducks.

Back at home, I was happy to find Song Sparrows, a male Purple Finch, and a Common Grackle at our feeders. Oh happy day, Spring is starting to spring!
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American Pipit
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Pine Siskin
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A pair of Pine Siskins - maybe a couple, by the way they're interacting!
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Pine Siskin
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Pine Siskin
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Turkey Vulture in the snow
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Great Blue Heron at Sinking Ponds
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Killdeer in a farm field
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Male Blue-winged Teal at Forest Lawn
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Blue-winged Teal
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Blue-winged Teal cruising a little further downstream
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Ring-necked Duck and Redheads at Forest Lawn
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Northern Shoveler
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Song Sparrow
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Song Sparrow
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Wood Ducks in the back of the marsh
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Horned Grebe
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Purple Finch (male)
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Purple Finch
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Horned Grebe
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Purple Finch
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Common Grackles are back too!