My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Sping Animals are Fun to Watch

This time of the year I find myself bombarded with things to write about but very little time to actually do the writing. I will try to focus on some important things instead of every little encounter that I had. Yesterday morning the Eastern Bluebirds were actively singing around my bluebird box and I am soo pleased to have them around. Not sure how I am going to accomplish this but I am currently trying to come up with a plan on getting some video of these guys for the blog. While working on the computer in my office there was a wonderful little song coming through my window. I had to think for a few second “who is this bird” and then it hit me “Brown Creeper”. The Brown Creeper is a common little brown bird which is rarely seen but commonly heard singing in the springtime. I had also heard the drumming of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Yeah, they are back CHECK). They have such an interesting ecological nitch that they fill and I plan on doing a separate blog posting about them in the near future.

After work I had taken a meander through a few of my favorite areas that just last week was snow covered. This Wooly Bear kept me entertained and obviously I am looking for different ways of photographing them. Out on France Brook I observed my first Colt’s Foot that was in bloom.

raft of ducks

My usual walk around Red House Lake pulled out a large raft of waterfowl. Some of these ducks include Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, one of the Scaup species, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Mallard, Common Merganser, and Red-breasted Merganser. Other cool birds seen on this walk included the Great Blue Heron, Turkey Vultures and an Osprey flying with a fish in its talons (always have the fish head first).

Head First

It had started getting close to sunset and there was a sparrow like song that I just couldn’t point my finger on. It was familiar but then again most songs are familiar to me from listening to the tapes. It appears that every year we need to relearn all of the bird songs or maybe my memory just is horrible. My mind started going into overdrive (reviewing all possible birds) and then it hit me, duh “Fox Sparrow”. Ooo cool, Fox Sparrows are still around ……. so down I go into the Maintenance Area (with the possibility of photographing a few). There were 20 or so of these birds kicking on the ground for seeds, some were singing in the trees and I was amazed because I have never heard this species be so vocal before. I did get a few pictures but wasn’t light enough (or close enough) to really tell that they were fox sparrows (hmm maybe a good future birdquiz picture??). I continued to watch these guys for quite a while and they kept moving around (but I kept on following). Suddenly all of the fox sparrows stopped singing and as I looked up the all were taking off on their migration north. But there weren’t 20 birds there; it had to have been 40 or 50 birds flying away. It was truly an amazing thing to whiteness and I have only witnessed this (but with other species) once before. I wanted to get a radar image of the evening bird migration in WNY (because it should have been good showing movement) but never got around to downloading the clip (sorry).

Obviously I had a fun day enjoying the sights and sounds of nature here in Allegany State Park. I only wish I had more time to get into “more” details on each and every species that I encounter.

12 responses

  1. That video clip was what I needed at the end of my day. Thanks for the laugh, Tom.

    Your story is great tonight. You tell a story very well. Those fox sparrows are fun to watch, aren’ they?

    29 March 2007 at 10:23 pm

  2. Love the wooly bear and the music is perfect for it!

    What type is habitat is that coltsfoot found in? It’s very pretty, but I don’t think I’ve ever found it.

    29 March 2007 at 11:14 pm

  3. I’m with Mary–I loved the video of the wooly bear complete with music by Beck!
    And the bluebirds returning–I envy all you folks who have bluebirds.
    I also peaked at your stink bug post (sent there by Mary). I find them quite frequently in my house–sometimes I escort them out, sometimes I confess to hastening their demise. Sorry.

    29 March 2007 at 11:16 pm

  4. We’re having new spring birds too! Yay!!!

    29 March 2007 at 11:21 pm

  5. Very, very cute video.

    I read an interesting thing about Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers today in Living Bird magazine. It may be that the sap wells they leave behind might have a direct impact on butterfly populations. They can eat from the wells before the Spring flowers are blooming. See, all you non-birders! BIRDS ARE IMPORTANT, DARN IT!

    29 March 2007 at 11:36 pm

  6. Sounds like a wonderful day.

    I’m not sure, but I think I spotted a Brown Creeper near my feeders.

    30 March 2007 at 12:16 am

  7. I love seeing coltsfoot! Spring is really here now! Yay! Can’t wait to get out in the woods to see the spring wild flowers now.
    Love the video and music – perfect choice!
    So much cool action going on around us it’s so exciting! Thanks for sharing as much as you can!

    30 March 2007 at 6:31 am

  8. Brown Creepers are great, it wasn’t until last year that I actually saw my first one! Reclusive little guys…

    30 March 2007 at 8:56 am

  9. @ Mary – so glad you enjoyed this and after recording it, I just knew I had to find some good music to go with it.
    @ Laura – they are in wet places, most commonly found in ditches! They are only in flower for the next few weeks.
    @ KGMom – Thanks and Beck’s music was perfect for it. This is the first time they have decided to check out the box (normally they peak in and move on).
    @ Lizalee – how wonderful, isn’t this the best time of the year?
    @ Susan – they are great birds and very important for our ecosystem! Do expect a post on them here soon when I get some time to write them up.
    @ Barb – Brown Creepers have been seen on my tree with the feeder, I bet that is what you saw! Listen for their song, its a great one!
    @ Pam – Wildflowers are starting to popup!
    @ Luis – keep on watching them, they are very common but one we don’t see that easily!

    THANKS EVERYONE!

    30 March 2007 at 9:19 am

  10. Love the Osprey photo. Spring is such a wonderful time… each day I go hiking at lunch I see new animals and plants. People who don’t bother to get outside really are missing a lot!

    30 March 2007 at 1:01 pm

  11. Very nice spring report, and I am totally with you: so much to blog about but so little time…

    30 March 2007 at 6:36 pm

  12. @ Birdfreak – Thanks but wish he was in better lighting! I love seeing new critters most every day! Great time of the year!
    @ Jochen – Thanks and wish I could quit my job and spend the whole day enjoying nature then blogging!

    30 March 2007 at 9:44 pm

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