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Monday, January 10, 2011

More Birds in Western New York

They pushed the forecast of snow to tomorrow (I've been amazingly lucky with the weather!), so the weather was nice for some more birding on the way out of Niagara Falls. One place we stopped was Buckhorn Island State Park on Grand Island, where there were hundreds and hundreds of canvasback - far more than I have ever seen in one place:


While watching the canvasback I heard a belted kingfisher (36), and then my attention focused towards some tundra swans (37) a guy in the parking lot told us to look for. I'm really glad he mentioned them, because I almost missed them even though I was looking right at them! Every single one of them had their heads tucked in against the frigid wind which made them look like ice themselves:


Scanning the canvasback some more, I also found some lesser scaup and a single ring-necked duck (38).

Next up we made another stop at Tifft Nature Preserve where the first thing to catch my eye was a white-tailed deer crossing the frozen lake:


The feeders weren't quite as active near the visitor's center, but I did see a solitary white-crowned sparrow (39). I walked a little further up and found more than half a dozen American robins (40) drinking in a small patch of the creek that wasn't frozen:


Then before I got too cold I spent some more time photographing the birds around the feeders. The white-throated sparrows and common redpoll were no where to be found, but I did find a single song sparrow (41) in with the American tree sparrows. Here's another look at one of the tree sparrows:


The abundance of downy woodpeckers again amazed me, as well as their lack of fear:


Speaking of boldness, the black-capped chickadees were clearly used to being hand-fed. They were all around me so I held my hand out and one of them landed on it! It felt weightless. It's always so cool to get such an up-close look at a wild bird. I didn't photograph the chickadees today, but I did finally get a photo of a white-breasted nuthatch after several failed attempts:


In two days I'll catch a train back to the west coast, so depending on what I see in the next couple of days I may not update the blog until back across the country, but we'll see!

3 comments:

The Chatty Housewife said...

Those last three photos are amazing!

Vera said...

I agree with the housewife!

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful photos, Monika. I was surprised at first to see your post was from New York. Sounds like you are having a great trip.