Sunrise Bird Walk – Penfield Reef

21 01 2009

Red-shouldered Hawk - Luke Tiller

Red-shouldered Hawk - Luke Tiller

It was a freezing Saturday morning when I rolled out of bed to see the temperature reading -1 degrees f. I called a few people and the general consensus seemed to be that everyone was staying tucked up in bed for the morning however after calling around a couple more participants it seemed like some hardy souls were braving the weather and heading out for the walk.

Penfield Reef in Fairfield is usually a great spot to look for shorebirds, gulls and ducks in winter but unfortunately for us on the day the ducks had attracted the attention of the local hunting fraternity (mental note for self to do this trip on Sunday next year when the hunters won’t be out!!!!!) With the constant boom of gunfire and the bitter cold temperature we decided to skip the hike on the reef and head for more sheltered climbs.

Another spot that is good for a host of wintering birds nearby is Pine Creek. We stopped in there and were quickly greeted by a pair of raucous Red-shouldered Hawks who seemed to be either wooing or trying to drive each other away. It was cool to hear them vocalizing so vociferously on such a frigid morning. In between the two duelling Red-shouldereds a young Red-tail sat looking pretty doleful – perhaps they were cramping his style? A couple of other nice finds there included 2 FOX SPARROWS.

After losing a member of the group we then headed towards the bottom of Reef Rd where I have had good luck with half-hardy species in the thickets around there. Even I was surprised to find a total of 6 FOX SPARROWS all fighting for space in a tiny little bare patch of grass along with a cracking male EASTERN TOWHEE and a Field Sparrow.

All in all a nice day out. Just to confirm for me that Sunday was the day to go Charlie Barnard emailed me to say he had a decent day out on the reef on Sunday with 100 Ruddy Turnstones, 1 Glaucous Gull and 1 Iceland Gull (next time!) Thanks to everyone who braved the elements on the day!

Trip Species List:

Canada Goose, Brant, American Black Duck, Mallard, Gadwall, Greater Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Hooded Merganser,  Red-tailed hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Monk Parakeet, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, American Robin, Blue Jay, American Crow, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, House Finch, EASTERN TOWHEE, American Tree Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Song Sparrow,  Savannah Sparrow, DE Junco, FOX SPARROW, European Starling, House Sparrow



3 responses

21 01 2009

great photo. you got a new camera?

21 01 2009

Thanks Jamie – no same old same old – just working out how to get the most of it doing the old digiscoping.

22 01 2009
American Goldfinch - Carduelis tristis | Birds of the World

[…] Sunrise Bird Walk – Penfield Reef « Under Clear Skies […]

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