It is very rare that I can do any weekday birding, except a little around the campus. So when the chance came up yesterday to spend half-an-hour in Bear Creek Park, I grabbed it with both hands. It turned out to be worthwhile.
My first stop in the park was the equestrian parking area just south of the junction of Bear Creek Road and South Golbow. It was a good choice: Even before I got out of the car, I saw two of the birds I was hoping to see: Red-bellied Woodpecker and American Robin.
A quick walk around the edge of the parking area also turned up the Red-shouldered Hawk that often hangs out there. Although the light was terrible and I had only my small camera with me, I managed to get one recognizable photo.
Next up was the junction of Golbow and Dopslauf, the best place I know anywhere in our region for woodpeckers. Sure enough, I immediately heard the distinctive call of a Red-headed Woodpecker. In the next 15 minutes I saw three Red-headed, 7 Red-bellied and two Downy Woodpeckers. I didn't see a Pileated Woodpecker but I added another new bird when two Carolina Chickadees sang a duet (or perhaps a duel) in front of me.
On my way out of the park, I swung by the golf course in hopes of seeing the Vermilion Flycatcher who spends his winters around the course's ninth hole. My luck held and I got a (very distant) look at him. What a stunning bird!
With the American Crow and Lesser Scaup that I saw on my drive to work on Tuesday, yesterday's birds take my list to 59 species.
We currently have large numbers of Red-tailed Hawks in our area and on my way home yesterday afternoon I passed a pair who seemed to be busy flirting with each other. As there was nowhere to pull over, I had to settle for quick photos through the (very dirty) windshield.
Please Think of the Birds!
The weather forecast is for a very cold end to the week, with overnight temperatures falling to as low as 19F/-7C. I hope everyone around here is going to keep birdfeeders full and birdbaths unfrozen, because our winged friends are certainly facing a tough few days ahead.