Sunday, April 26, 2015

Week Seventeen - 35 To Go

Great addition for your coffee table. Outstanding photos of world-class formal gardens. But more of a compendium than a resource guide.

Butler United Methodist Church

 
Route 89, South Butler, NY

More interpretations at InSPIREd Sunday.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Birding - Beechwood State Park

Eaton Birding Society

While the day started out a bit chilly, a quick stop at Muckrace Flats jump-started the day.
The Trumpeter Swan had a green tag but was unable to read it.

Arrived at Beechwood State Park just as the group was assembling to honor The 2015 Elon Howard Eaton Award winner, Jon Podoliak. The group presented Jon with a check for $500 and wished him well in his upcoming research.

In the Eaton Birding Society outing today were Jon Podoliak, Lyn Jacobs, Steve & Linda Benedict, Jean Bub, Marge Comstock, Lynn Donaldson, Leona Lauster, Mark Miller, Betsy Russell, new members - Robert Wright and Jessica Reeves and myself.

The bird of the day was the Pine Warbler, singing and active in two locations. With the
sun on the bird, was able to get a great look. A Sharp-shinned hawk perched in a tree, allowing me a brief glimpse before it took flight.

Lyn Jacobs complied the bird list:
Canada Goose 1
Red-breasted Merganser 7
duck sp. 3
Turkey Vulture 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk 2
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Mourning Dove 3
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker 3
Eastern Phoebe 3
Blue Jay 6
American Crow 2
Black-capped Chickadee 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 6
Carolina Wren 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 9
American Robin 12
European Starling 1
Pine Warbler 4
Eastern Towhee 1
Fox Sparrow 3
Song Sparrow 4
White-throated Sparrow 6
Dark-eyed Junco 1
Northern Cardinal 4
Red-winged Blackbird 2
Common Grackle 2
Brown-headed Cowbird 7
Purple Finch 1
American Goldfinch 1

After a breakfast at Nick's Family Restaurant, stopped at this bird sanctuary. Things were quiet here, with the exception of a female Red-winged Blackbird.
On to Martens Tract, the tree swallows were active and had taken over a bluebird box.
After a pit stop at Tschache Pool where I visited with another birder and his wife and where we viewed a juvenile Bald Eagle flying over the observation tower, continued to South Spring Pool. Three Mallards in the pool plus three dragonflies along the path were the highlights.
Visited Mudlock. The Bald Eagle was on the point near the nest. An Osprey was in a tree north of the tower.
Leaving River Road pulled up to Joan's and my favorite house and introduced myself to Brian, the owner. Told him how we admired his home.

Before crossing Rt. 20 took a quick photo of a horse at Woodseye-View Stables.
Another great day for birding.

Previous 2015 Birding Walks:


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Week Sixteen - 36 To Go


Although the story was rather long, the Internet is exposed for the harm it can produce.  Coben maintains interest with his reference to pop culture and his views on parenting. Since the “Stranger” is still at large perhaps he will reappear in a future novel.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Birding - Owasco Flats Nature Reserve

Arrived at the kiosk at 8:00 AM. There were two cars in the parking lot, but no people.
 
Across from the parking lot on Rte. 38.

Shortly thereafter Dave from Virgil arrived. Then Noelle and Nancy came off the trail. Then seven others arrived.

Noelle, the leader, and Bruce, an OFNR officer, gave a short introduction to the reserve.

We stepped off around 8:45 AM. From the parking lot, the trail followed an old railroad bed before winding towards Owasco Creek which we followed until we reached the southern end of Owasco Lake.  The trail then proceeded along a gravel road and circled back onto the railroad bed and returned us to the parking lot. The loop trail is approximately the 1.0 mile in length. 
Old Railroad Bed
Owasco Creek

It turned out to be a pleasant morning, however, the trail was quite muddy. Thank Good for Mucks.

There is a great mix of habitats to bird along the way (forested wetland, open marsh, the lake and upland forest).

Bruce pointed out a Shagbark Hickory tree.
Shagbark Hickory
(carya ovata)

The forested wetlands were teeming with skunk cabbage.
We saw or heard 32 species in all. The highlight was a lone calling Virginia rail along the north side of the gravel road.

The list of birds seen:

American robin
White-breasted nuthatch
Wood duck
Red-winged blackbird
Black-capped chickadee
Blue jay
Downy woodpecker
Mallard
Great blue heron
Canada goose
 On the nest
Tufted titmouse
Hairy woodpecker
European starling
Song sparrow
Tree swallow
Common grackle
Bufflehead
Scaup spp.
Redhead
Osprey
Double-crested cormorant
Eastern pheobe
Northern cardinal
Herring gull
Ring-billed gull

The list of birds heard:

Red-bellied woodpecker
American crow
American goldfinch
Northern flicker
Pileated woodpecker
Chipping sparrow
Virginia rail

The non-bird species observed or heard were painted turtles, spring peepers, northern leopard frog and several dead mudpuppies were found along the bank of the creek (presumably stranded from receding flood waters).
Mudpuppy rescued by Noelle

Our bird walk ended about 11:30 AM.

Another great day for birding.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Week Fifteen - 37 To Go


The tension between Hero Devlin and Lord Devlin brings to mind the peer-to-peer sharing of NYPD Detective Kate Beckett and Rick Castle. Sebastian’s angst can wear on the reader, but the inclusion of the literary figure, Jane Austen, makes for a good storyline.

Birding - Broadway Rd.

Bluff at the end of Broadway Road

The Eaton Birding Society scheduled a field trip to Broadway Road north of Wolcott. The purpose was to view raptors (hawks) and other migrants. Dave Robinson was to be the leader.

Once in Savannah stopped at Muckrace Flats. There were several Ring-necked Ducks using the flooded area.
Making my way to the site, made a wrong turn on Brown Rd. and was lost. Fortunately came upon fellow birder, Sheila. She told me to follow her. But Sheila wanted to make one stop along the way. Sheila took me to Lankin Rd. After crossing Red Creek (there were several Bufflehead here) we came to a parking area. Sheila showed me a trail. While walking to a pond we sighted a Golden-crowned Kinglet.

Arrived at Broadway Rd. There were several birders already present. Dave Robinson's count for the day:
Canada Goose 15
Common Loon 1
Double-crested Cormorant 4
Turkey Vulture 203
Osprey 7
Golden Eagle 1 Great look at a classic Juvenile (life bird for me)
Northern Harrier 12
Sharp-shinned Hawk 54
Cooper's Hawk 5
Bald Eagle 8
Red-shouldered Hawk 3
Broad-winged Hawk 126
Red-tailed Hawk 38
Rough-legged Hawk 4
Ring-billed Gull 122
Northern Flicker X Flickers starting to move thru
American Kestrel 10
Peregrine Falcon 1

Not listed in Dave's count was a Song Sparrow that I spotted.
Walking down to the end of the road there was a birch tree that had been defaced.
Left the group and headed home. But first stopped at Martens Tract. Quiet with the exception of tree swallows buzzing around the blue bird houses.
Continuing on home saw a Red-tailed Hawk on MacDonald Road.
Another great day for birding.