Sunday, January 9, 2011

A morning of birding around State College

I met Nate Fronk at Bald Eagle State Park this morning around 9:30 to start birding. We started at the feeders near the Environmental Education Center. At the feeders were plenty of House Finches, American Goldfinches, Dark-eyed Juncos, American Tree Sparrows, Mourning Doves, and 2 Red-breasted Nuthatches. The previous reported Northern Shrike was located near the marina going from treetop to treetop. There was open water at the marina and held 6 Hooded Mergansers. A juvenile Bald Eagle was also soaring over the open water at the marina. We decided to head towards the butterfly trail to hike around for a while. The highlight from the butterfly trail was a Northern Harrier hunting the shrubby area. We then headed to Upper Greens Run to look for the other Northern Shrike, but did not find it. Here is a total list of species and numbers of individuals:

Location:     Bald Eagle SP
Observation date:     1/9/11
Number of species:     23

Hooded Merganser - Lophodytes cucullatus     6
Great Blue Heron - Ardea herodias     1
Bald Eagle - Haliaeetus leucocephalus     1
Northern Harrier - Circus cyaneus     1
Red-tailed Hawk - Buteo jamaicensis     1
Mourning Dove - Zenaida macroura     5
Red-bellied Woodpecker - Melanerpes carolinus     1
Downy Woodpecker - Picoides pubescens     1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) - Colaptes auratus [auratus Group]     1
Northern Shrike - Lanius excubitor     1
Blue Jay - Cyanocitta cristata     1
American Crow - Corvus brachyrhynchos     4
Black-capped Chickadee - Poecile atricapillus     11
Tufted Titmouse - Baeolophus bicolor     1
Red-breasted Nuthatch - Sitta canadensis     2
Northern Mockingbird - Mimus polyglottos     2
Cedar Waxwing - Bombycilla cedrorum     18
American Tree Sparrow - Spizella arborea     20
White-throated Sparrow - Zonotrichia albicollis     2
Dark-eyed Junco - Junco hyemalis     15
Northern Cardinal - Cardinalis cardinalis     2
House Finch - Carpodacus mexicanus     3
American Goldfinch - Spinus tristis     8
flock of House Finches at BESP Main Office feeders (1/9/2011)

Northern Shrike at BESP Marina (1/9/2011)

Red-breasted Nuthatch at BESP Environmental Education Center (1/9/2011)
Our main goal of the morning was to add more birds to our Centre County year list. We headed to Millbrook Marsh to see what we could come up with. Along Rt. 220 near the Shiloh Rd. exit was an adult Bald Eagle soaring along with 3 Red-tailed Hawks. 3 Black Vultures were soaring on a thermal near the Penn State University exit and they met us at Millbrook Marsh giving us some decent photo opportunities. As we were heading into the marsh, we noticed a fourth Black Vulture. Highlights at Millbrook Marsh were a flyover Sharp-shinned Hawk, Swamp Sparrow, and 2 Carolina Wrens. Here is a total list of species and individual numbers.

Location:     Millbrook Marsh Nature Center
Observation date:     1/9/11
Number of species:     12

Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos     15
Black Vulture - Coragyps atratus     4
Sharp-shinned Hawk - Accipiter striatus     1
Belted Kingfisher - Megaceryle alcyon     1
Black-capped Chickadee - Poecile atricapillus     1
Tufted Titmouse - Baeolophus bicolor     1
Carolina Wren - Thryothorus ludovicianus     2
Northern Mockingbird - Mimus polyglottos     1
American Tree Sparrow - Spizella arborea     3
Song Sparrow - Melospiza melodia     1
Swamp Sparrow - Melospiza georgiana     2
House Sparrow - Passer domesticus     10

Black Vulture over Millbrook Marsh (1/9/2011)

Belted Kingfisher at Millbrook Marsh (1/9/2011)

Carolina Wren at Millbrook Marsh (1/9/2011)
After the marsh, we headed to the Duck Pond to pick up a few species for Nate's year list that I had already seen. Highlights were Redhead, Northern Shoveler, Ring-necked Duck, and American Black Duck. Here is a list of species and numbers of individuals:

Location:     Duck Pond (Centre Furnace Pond)
Observation date:     1/9/11
Number of species:     7

Canada Goose - Branta canadensis     50
American Black Duck - Anas rubripes     5
Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos     50
Northern Shoveler - Anas clypeata     1
Redhead - Aythya americana     1
Ring-necked Duck - Aythya collaris     1
American Coot - Fulica americana     6
Redhead among Canada Geese at Duck Pond (1/9/2011)
Today brought my year list to 53 species and my Centre County list to 51 species.

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