I got up and out the door a little later than I had planned but I was in the park by 8am. My first stop was a quick check at Delaurier. I was rewarded with a Screech Owl posing nicely (minus the vines in the way). Off to the tip. I was surprised that no one was around. Okay, I wasn’t that surprised – that was a cold wind this morning. At least the sun was shining!
As I got to the Tip, I noticed that more work had been done on that mystery post that the park put in. Whoever guessed “camera” was right (that’s what my guess was). The park is taking time lapse photos of the changing tip. It sure was different this morning than the last time I was there. It was short and jutted out to the east.
Other than finally getting closure on the mystery post, not much else exciting happened at the tip. It was very quiet. Large rafts of scaup were off to the east and west but they were out at the extreme view of the scope so I couldn’t pick out much else other than a few other common waterfowl species. No rare gulls. Oh well. Like I said, the sun was shining.
Off to Sparrow Field. Along the way, I noticed a Hermit Thrush working the edge of the shrubs. It sat and watched me for a bit, so I did the same. It never did get out in the open for a good pic. I really noticed how silent the park was at that point, aside from the crashing waves on the west side. Not even a kinglet making a peep. I did eventually run into a small group of Golden Crowned Kinglets and some Brown Creepers just before Sparrow Field.
|Immature Bald Eagle|
Just as I got into the opening in Sparrow Field, a Great Horned Owl flushed out in front of me. I admit it, I jumped a little. It saw me before I even had a chance to see it. It would have been a great photo op. It headed off north into Post Woods. It’s amazing how something that large makes no sound. I finished walking the loop, picking up a few sparrows, and even some Eastern Bluebirds along the way. Just as I got back around, a Long-eared Owl flushed out of another tree and headed south. This time I at least got a silhouette shot when it landed and turned to watch me.
|Long-eared Owl – Silhouette|
The next stop was Woodland Nature Trail. A juvenile Northern Goshawk was soaring over the Visitor Center. I also came across a few more small groups of White-throated sparrows and some Yellow-rumped Warblers. I cut back through Redbud trail, which the park has done some major clearing on. It will be interesting to see what happens with all this clearing they’re doing.
After a quick and unsuccessful check for Snowy Owls in the Onion Fields, I was on my way home. It was a great morning. I enjoyed just being out today with no pressure of chasing down rarities. Today was just about enjoying what I saw, no matter how common. It really cleared my head after a few long weeks at work. In fact, I might do the exact same thing tomorrow morning!
For a full list of the birds seen today, click here.
Oh yeah.. and don’t forget to join Wepbirds!