Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Adventures & Observations

My birding blog site


  Birding the Day After

Published: October 14, 2018
Tags: Parks and Preserves, Brant, Indigo Bunting, Eastern Towhee, Northern Pintail

Yesterday was the BOS October Count and today would normally be a day I'd take off and relax.  For some reason, though, I felt a pull to get back "out there"...  And I'm glad I did because I enjoyed a few nice sightings.

There were four Brant on the naval stations's lawn seen through the fence at Times Beach.  We just had a very cooperative young Brant visiting the area recently so this sighting was a surprise as they don't stop along Lake Erie very often.

Walking back from the blind, I noticed it was unusually quiet.  I heard a couple of very soft cheeps and I stopped to look around.  Nothing.  I took a step and "whoosh"!!!  My first thought  was I had flushed a Ruffed Grouse!  That would be very unlikely but that's what I thought.  The noise was thunderous as at least 20 sparrows and juncos all flew out of the leaf litter with a powerful rush of their wings.  In the next second, a Cooper's Hawk swooped in but came up empty.  Well, that explained everything.  The young coop took a perch in a small tree and let me get a few photos of him - he must have been very hungry.  His head kept cocking from one side to the other, listening for anything he could call "lunch".   I left him to his hunt, hoping he'd move up front and go for a House Sparrow or starling.

A couple of other nice birds today were a female Eastern Towhee, two Fox Sparrows, my first of the season, and a late Indigo Bunting.  The bunting must be a male as there's still a good amount of blue on his back and I heard him sing once.  Three Tree Swallows flew overhead, the first I've seen in at least a couple of weeks.  And ducks are coming in.  I had 3 Northern Pintails (one of my favorites) and a Northern Shoveler fly over, some Gadwall on the pond, and 3 Lesser Scaup flew in and settled on the pond.  These are signs of winter, which I'm not ready for, but I am always happy to see new arrivals!

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Brant seen at Times Beach

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Young Cooper's Hawk

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Cooper's Hawk listening for "lunch"

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Eastern Towhee (female)

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Indigo Bunting

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Three Northern Pintail and a Northern Shoveler

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Winter Wren

Reply from: Willie D'Anna on 10/15/2018 5:59 AM
 Wow! You had a good day, Sue! I saw your checklist too. Really impressive! I could use those Brant in Niagara County, please!"
Reply from: Sue on 10/15/2018 6:46 AM
 Thanks, Willie! If I see another, I'll be sure to send it up north. I'm surprised you haven't had any yet. Usually, it's the other way around. I wonder what forces are at work here!"


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