Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Experiences & Observations

My birding blog site

  Late Afternoon Hike at Birdsong

Published: October 12, 2012
Tags: Parks and Preserves, Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue Heron, Swamp Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Cedar Waxwing, Birdsong, Orchard Park

Today, I had to go out and photograph a client's facility for a new website that I'm working on, and I was inspired to do a little hiking on my way home.  It was very chilly, but I had my jacket, had my camera with me, of course, and thankfully, I had my hiking boots in the trunk of the car! I was all set - but I couldn't decide where to go on such an impromptu adventure.

Finally, I hit upon an area close to home, Birdsong.  I've hike there a couple of times before (Lots of Activity at Birdsong, November 11, 2011, Beautiful Day at Birdsong, March 14, 2012) but not nearly as often as I should! The place was teeming with birds. I hadn't walked more than 20 yards from the parking area when I saw my FOS White-crowned Sparrows! That was great!

Next, I saw a considerable flock of Cedar Waxwings with many juveniles mixed in, enjoying some berries on scattered bushes.  I took many photos of them, and a few would've been great, but I just couldn't position myself better to the sun so most were back-lit.

Some other nice sightings were: extended views of a few Swamp Sparrows, 3 fly-overs by 4 Wood Ducks, a Red-tailed Hawk and a Great Blue Heron, 2 Belted Kingfishers jetting about, and as common as Red-winged Blackbirds are, I still really like the chirps and calls they make.  I'm not sure why, but it's a very peaceful, soothing, nature kind of sound to me. I wonder if I'm a little odd with that?

On my way back to the car, I saw 4 Killdeer hopping around near some puddles. I was very surprised at all the noise they made. They had a lot of interactions between them - yelling at one another with their wings fluttering, walking closely together in row, and chirping all the while - interesting little birds! 

Did you know Killdeer pretend to be injured if a predator comes close to its nest? It drags itself around like it has a broken leg and wings, leading the predator away from its nest. Pretty cool!

I didn't even see one Black-capped Chickadee, nor any Northern Cardinals - very unusual.  And I didn't see the beavers that a couple of other hikers told me about.  I hope to get back there soon to see if I can't find them. 

My full list for the day was:
  • American Robin  (2)
  • American Crow  (3)
  • Belted Kingfisher  (2)
  • Blue Jay  (1)
  • Canada Goose  (40+)
  • Cedar-Waxwing  (12)
  • Common Grackle  (14)
  • Downy Woodpecker  (2)
  • Great Blue Heron  (1)
  • House sparrow  (3)
  • Killdeer  (4)
  • Purple Finch  (3)
  • Song Sparrow  (1)
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker  (1)
  • Red-tailed Hawk  (1)
  • Red-winged Blackbird  (50+)
  • White-Crowned Sparrow  (4)
  • Swamp Sparrow  (3)
  • White-breasted Nuthatch  (2)
  • Winter Wren  (2)
  • Wood Duck  (4)

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White-crowned Sparrow (FOS)

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White-crowned Sparrow

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Cedar Waxwing (juvenile)

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Female Purple Finch

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Yellow-rumped Warbler

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Yellow-rumped Warbler

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Female Red-winged Blackbird

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Male Red-winged Blackbird

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Swamp Sparrow

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Swamp Sparrow

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Killdeer - what a lot of noise they made!

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A bunny posed and studied me before hopping off into the brush.

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