08/13/10 – Cary Institute Hike *Updated 8/17/10

*Update #2 – Thanks to all the responses regarding my Finch dispute!  Removed House Finch from sighting list, and replaced with a Purple Finch.

*UpdateForgot to add Belted Kingfisher to sighting list.  Also removed Red-Eared Slider Turtle from sighting list and replaced it with a Wood Turtle sighting. Looking at my photos, I quickly realized my error.

Summer hours are still in effect at my job, so I decided to go to the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook for a little hiking.  I’ve always had very good luck at this place, which features various habitats.  Today was no different.

My main focus was on Fern Glen and the Bacon Flats section of IES.  While Fern Glen only had a few pondhawks, frogs, two garter snakes, and a red spotted newt, the Flats proved to be much more bountiful.   One of the first animals that I spotted today was a beaver, a first sighting in the wild for me!  I’ve seen beaver dens before, but never the actual beaver itself.

I also got the chance to watch a major bug catching session with dozens of Cedar Waxwings.  There were plenty of juveniles trying to get the hang of it too.  Had a couple of them come extremely close as well.  After that, I spotted what I believe is the ‘confusing fall’ type of the Chestnut-Sided Warbler.  I got a pretty solid photo to show off and discuss, which I’ll post later.  It’s the first warbler sighting in a few weeks, so it was nice to see one before they fly out of our area.

If that wasn’t enough, I got some great looks at two male ruby-throated hummingbirds showing off their bright throats.  While I’ve seen them before, its the first time they displayed for me with my camera on hand.  Finally, as we were driving out, I had a ton of young turkeys cross the road in front of me.  I scrambled to get my camera from my back seat and managed a few shots of the juvenile turkeys.  All in all, a superb day of viewing.  A full sighting list is below:

Birds:

  1. Wild Turkey (1 adult, 12 juveniles)
  2. Red-Tailed Hawk
  3. Rock Pigeon
  4. Mourning Dove
  5. Belted Kingfisher
  6. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
  7. Red-Bellied Woodpecker
  8. Downy Woodpecker
  9. Northern Flicker
  10. Warbling Vireo
  11. Blue Jay
  12. American Crow
  13. Barn Swallow
  14. Black-Capped Chickadee
  15. Eastern Bluebird
  16. Gray Catbird
  17. Cedar Waxwing
  18. Blue-Winged Warbler
  19. Chestnut-Sided Warbler (Confusing fall warbler)
  20. Ovenbird
  21. Song Sparrow
  22. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
  23. Purple Finch *A first sighting for me!
  24. American Goldfinch

Other notables:

  • Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • Spicebush Swallowtail
  • Pearl Crescent
  • Monarch Butterfly
  • Cabbage White
  • Eastern Painted Turtle
  • Wood Turtle *A first sighting for me!
  • Garter Snake
  • Green Frog
  • American Bullfrog
  • Wood Frog
  • Eastern Pondhawk
  • Beaver *A first sighting for me!
  • Eastern Chipmunk
  • Eastern Cottontail Rabbit
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