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Groundhogs Day 2014 in Allegany State Park

Me

To all my blogging friends; I Allegany Tom on the 2nd of February 2014, did not see my shadow when I woke up this morning (actually had snow falling and was a whiteout). I predict that spring will come early this year.
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2014 Blizzard


Most of Western New York has been shut down tomorrow due to this storm moving through. It is the first Winter Storm Warning in almost 20 years. Even though they say don’t go outside, please take the time to feed the birds . . . . they could use your help.


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Happy 2014


New Years resolution again is to try and post on the blog more. Hope everyone enjoys 2014!!


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Red House Lake


You have to love early mornings in Allegany State Park. Winter has returned.


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Eastern Phoebe


You know its spring when you have 68F degree temperatures and your nesting Eastern Phoebe returns to your barn!!!


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End of the week Highlights


End of the week we had some exciting birds arrive to the area. Had my first Rough-legged Hawk of the year (CHECK) and then Patty found our first of the year Turkey Vulture (CHECK).


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Deer and Turkey Expo


Getting Excited . . . . . Two weeks from today we are Going to the Deer and Turkey Expo http://deerinfo.com/ohio in Columbus Ohio. This will be my first big hunting expo thing I have ever attended. Anyone have any tips or suggestions on things I should be looking for or be asking at the show? I do plan on attending a seminar or two and excited to see all of the new products that are being offered. I kind of hope my new compound bow will be in by then. Any vendors want me to visit their booth?


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Great Blue Heron


Saw 2 Great Blue Heron’s yesterday (wasn’t a year bird, saw one in Jan) but it was great seeing them because this means they are starting to move back into the area. Spring might be getting a little closer . . . . which I am ready for.


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Eastern Mole

Found an Eastern Mole dead in the road today. I forgot how big these guys are. It has been a few years since I can remember seeing one.


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Red Crossbill (LIFER)

Red Crossbills feeding on salt in the road.
3 Red Crossbill’s in the road.

Today while driving along the roads near Quaker Lake (Allegany State Park) . . . . I saw a some larger birds feeding on the salt in the road. I slowed the vehicle down and needed to take a closer look at these guys. I realized they were crossbill’s and quickly grabbed my binoculars (which I luckily had in the truck) to discover they were Red Crossbill’s (CHECK) 45 species for 2013. This wasn’t any ordinary check this was a LIFER CHECK!!!
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Eastern Skunk


I have been smelling them and also been seeing their tracks but last night was my first of the year Skunk running around! We probably saw 3 different ones out on the roads last night! (CHECK)


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Tufted Titmouse


This week I had my first Tufted Titmouse of the year (CHECK). Wednesday I also had 2 White Winged Crossbills over on the Quaker side of Allegany State Park (CHECK). That takes me up to 44 species for the year.

Weather is changing and the birds should be rolling in here soon.


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American Goldfinch


The birds were up bright and early this morning getting ready for the huge storm that is going to hit us. Are you ready for this storm?


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Northern Cardinal


Enjoying the sun . . . . after Ground Hogs Day the birds start singing. Today I heard my first Northern Cardinal singing its heart out.


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Yellow-bellied Sapsucker


Early visitor to the Western New York area but this morning I had my very first of the year Yellow-bellied Sapsucker here in Allegany State Park (CHECK). That is species number 42 for the year.


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Ground Hogs Day 2013


To all my Blogging friends; I Allegany Tom on the 2nd of February 2013 did not see my shadow when I woke up this morning. I predict that spring will come early this year!! I just love this holidays and on a side note . . . . Punxstawney Phil also did not see his shadow this morning!


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Red-breasted Nuthatch


Saw another year bird today . . . . Red-breasted Nuthatch (CHECK) #41 at the Administration Building here in Allegany State Park. They are stunning little birds and I was able to pish it in nice and close. I might have had some Red Crossbills today at the Adminstration Building today but wasn’t able to get a good look to confirm. However, I will be looking closely for them if they return. They would also be a lifer for me.


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Belted Kingfisher


Still keeping track of my big year and saw another year bird yesterday . . . .. Belted Kingfisher (CHECK) #40. Was on a power line with a minnow in its bill. Great to see they are still gettting food in the creeks.


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american kestrel


Up to 39 species already. Had an American Kestrel on the telephone line yesterday (CHECK). Also, had 3 bluebirds out in the yard yesterday. Good times!


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Bunny


No new bird species today but did see my first cottentail bunny today. Whoot, spring must be coming closer (sorry bunny photo was taken in 2006).


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Eastern Bluebird


Highlight this weekend was a Eastern Bluebird flying around (CHECK). He was my first bluebird of the year!! I am up to 38 species for 2013 now.


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Northern Shrike


When do you expect to find Northern Shrikes? They are always seen when you least expect them and that is exactly what happened to me today. I happen to look to the left (CHECK) Northern Shrike. My co-worker said how did you find that bird. Sometimes we just get lucky!! (Photo is from 2007, sorry not the best photo).


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Snow Buntings, Gulls and Ducks

Snow Bunting
Snow Bunting

Had a great bird day today. Where I was working, had a huge flock (~25) of Snow Buntings in the grape vines. (CHECK) They would fly in a group to another spot in the grapes and then 10 mins later do it all over again.
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Common Redpoll


Up to 21 species now and the highlight was finding Redpolls at the Administration Building this morning (CHECK). Yesterday had a Golden Eagle yesterday at the entrance of the Park (CHECK). Did get a photo of it flying but not really the best in the world.


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