Sunday, December 5, 2010

Birding All Around

Today I birded fields off of Nixon Rd., Williams Rd. and Tusseyville Rd., as well as Colyer Lake. I also spent a few hours hawk watching a Joe Hayes Vista. I saw some nice sized flocks of Horned Larks consisting of 10 - 15 individuals in each of the 3 flocks I observed. I also observed large flocks of American Crows. At Colyer Lake only 3 species of waterfowl were present: Hooded Merganser, Mallard, and American Black Duck. The better part of my morning was spent at Joe Hayes Vista hawk watching with Chet Gottfried. I was at the vista at 8:30 this morning and had 2 Red-tailed Hawks fly by. I left because the cold wind was unbearable and went to do some field birding I described above. I came back at 11:00 am and stayed until 2:00 pm. In the 3 hours we observed: 6 Red-tailed Hawks, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 2 Bald Eagles, and 2 unknown raptors. There was a NW wind for the time I was there which is prime for the vista. I was hoping for more Golden Eagles considering yesterday's total at Stone Mtn. I think that was the reason Chet was there too. Chet had a Rough-legged Hawk at 10:30 am. My nemesis bird may be Rough-legged Hawk. I went to look for one perched off of rt. 220 that Drew Weber had reported. I left 5 minutes after he reported it and I missed it. I missed the one at Joe Hayes by a half hour. There is still plenty of winter left to see one, so I still have hope! Below are a few photos (not of very good quality) from my morning.
2nd Year Bald Eagle (12/5/2010 Joe Hayes Vista)
Red-tailed Hawk (12/5/2010 Joe Hayes Vista)
Flock of Horned Larks (12/5/2010 Williams Rd.)
Hooded Mergansers (12/5/2010 Colyer Lake)
Flock of American Crows foraging in field between Williams Rd. and Tusseyville Rd. (12/5/2010)
I am going to try and get photos/videos of crows roosting near State College and on campus in the near future. They have started implementing a roost relocation program recently to get the roost away from campus.

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