My husband and I had a great time on Presque Isle Saturday and Sunday. The warblers are everywhere! We saw two lifer birds, the Black-throated Blue Warbler and the Great Crested Flycatcher. The rest I’ve seen before but I still got excited seeing them again. Most are around such a short time and if you don’t get out there to see them you probably won’t see them again until the following year. They do migrate back in the fall but the colors aren’t nearly as pretty as they are now in their breeding feathers.
Saturday we hung out at Fry’s Landing. That’s where we saw the Yellow-throated Warbler the weekend before. This time it was filled with Palm Warblers. We also spotted some White-throated Sparrows in the bushes and a few Chestnut-sided Warblers. The little Gold-crowned Kinglets were there to greet us. They are so small and bounce around and seem curious. I heard some bird calls that I couldn’t place and recorded them. I’ll try to find out what birds I was hearing. It got a bit chilly with the wind blowing and it sure didn’t seem it was nearly as warm as the forecast had predicted. We left hoping that the forecast for Sunday would be wrong. On the way out we stopped at the parking area for Dead Pond Trail, across from the Thompson Bay parking. The bushes along the parking loop were full of Yellow-rumped Warblers (butter butts.)
The forecast wasn’t wrong, it rained, but there were several hours in the afternoon it stopped or just spitted drops so we went out to look for more warblers. We stopped at the different parking areas on the way at Presque Isle and watched the ducks. Not many left but we still saw two loons out there. We spotted a canvas back, some scaup and small group of ruddys are still around.
We pulled into the Niagara Launch area and walked behind the bathrooms to where they band birds. We didn’t see much except White-throated Sparrows and Palm Warblers. My husband spotted a Rose-breasted Grosbeak but it was gone by the time I got there. A Downy Woodpecker let me get really close to it.
The wind was blowing a pretty good clip. But between the paved path and the road at the entrance to Niagara Launch we spotted Chestnut-sided Warblers and a Black-throated Blue Warbler.
The Black-throated Blue Warbler was a lifer for my husband and I. We just never happened to see one before. So this was exciting to me and they are really handsome birds.
We moved on to Fry’s Landing and spotted a pair of Wood Ducks leaving the area. My camera just started to focus as the male was almost out of sight.
Again the bushes were full of Palm Warblers. We spotted an Osprey in a tree and watched it fly away. We took the little paths around the area. Where we saw the Yellow-throated Warbler the week before,
we didn’t see any birds except for the Gold Crowned Kinglets. The birds must have moved into the more protected areas to get out of the wind. We headed down a path under a canopy of trees and then spotted another Black-throated Blue Warbler. Some bird was calling out and we couldn’t figure out what it was. We finally spotted it and looked it up in our bird book. It was a Great Crested Flycatcher. That was another lifer for us. We’ve probably seen them flying around and but never questioned what they were. It wasn’t shy about making it’s loud call near us. Just as we were getting ready to leave, a most vivid male Redstart bounced on the bushes in front of us. I love Redstarts!
We left Fry’s Landing and parked over by Thompson Bay again. It was spitting light rain drops but we decided to take a walk in on the trail to see what we could spot. The Yellow-rumped Warblers were all over the bushes again near the parking loop and some White-crowned Sparrows eating some cracked corn someone had piled on the side of the parking area. We didn’t spot much along the trail except for an Eastern Towhee. We headed home but I can’t wait for a day without rain to go again.
We heard of an eagles’ nest site in the west county area and on Saturday we packed up our gear and headed out. We didn’t find the eagles in the nest, just Great Blue Herons. Dozens of them in the eagle nest’s tree, a pair on what we believe is the eagle’s nest and many nests in surrounding trees. I had just mentioned to my husband last week that I’d like to see a Great Blue Heron rookery so this was a welcomed surprise. But I wonder about the eagles. I assumed that for some reason they didn’t use that nest this year or abandoned it. A lady stopped when we were peering through our binoculars and told us she saw the eagles the day before, Friday so we were confident we were in the right area. I’m not sure what is going on with them but I got to see the rookery, which was fascinating.
Below is part 3 of the BIRD WALK at the Erie National Wildlife Refuge during the Heritage Fest. This video is about the song of the Veery. See previous posts for the rest of the videos. Be sure to turn up the volume to hear the sound of the Veery in the background.
The video below was taken at the Guys Mills Heritage Fest that took place on June 27, 2009 in the town of Guys Mills, PA and on the Erie National Wildlife Refuge (Guys Mills.) The birds from the Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center exhibit was a big hit.
See more videos from the day HERE
Below is part 2 of the Bird Walk video led by Rich Eakin at the Guys Mills Heritage Fest on June 27, 2009. The bird walk was at the Erie National Wildlife Refuge as part of the Fest.
During the Guys Mills Heritage Fest I was lucky enough to go on the scheduled bird walk led by Rich Eakin. He gave an excellent walk and I learned a lot. Another walk was led by Ron Leberman. Note: Other videos that show as thumbnails on the bottom of the video box when the video is finished are what YouTube thinks are related to this video. They may be from others’ accounts.
BIRD WALK PART 1
Turn up volume as necessary to hear the bird calls in the background.
I took some bird video clips when down at the refuge in early May. I kept the videos clips very short so most computer connections will be able to play them. For those new to bird watching this may help you identify some of the more common birds you see at the refuge.
Above is a male Yellow Warbler. Note reddish streaks on chest.
Above are Canada Geese with their babies.
Above is an Eastern Phoebe. Easy to ID because of their constant dipping of the tail.
Above is a White-crowned Sparrow.
Above is a Field Sparrow. Note chestnut-colored crown.
Above are American Bald Eagles taken looking left from the Deer Run observation deck. One is an immature. Note it hasn’t gotten its white head and tail yet.
Above is a pretty American Goldfinch male.
Above is a female Yellow Warbler.
Above is a Yellow-rumped Warbler.