03/09/11 – Peach Hill Park Hike

I had an hour and a half to burn today between errands and appointments, so I drove up to Peach Hill Park to do a quick hike.  The trail system has been updated since the last time I was there, including a new trail and new interpretations of existing trails.  To say it was a little wet up there is the understatement of the year.  Regardless, I was armed with both my wildlife camera and basic landscape camera to see what I could capture.

I started on the trail from the kiosk first (blue trail).  Mid afternoon hiking is rarely the best time for looking for birds, but I heard the a few crows and blue jays to start.  Once the pond was in view, I saw two red-tailed hawks circling the park (one adult and one juvenile).  I watched them for several minutes until I couldn’t see them anymore.

From there, I turned on to the orange trail to head up towards the summit.  On past visits to the park, the orange trail has yielded some decent sightings.  Today was not one of those days, as I didn’t see a single bird on the entire hike to the summit.  At the top of the hill, there were three white-tailed deer grazing before they darted away.

I picked up the red trail from there, and I finally began hearing things.  Black-capped chickadees and tufted titmice were frequent here.  Then I heard the familiar chatter of red squirrels, which Iwas able to photograph.  Shortly after, I saw a red-tailed hawk gliding in the sky and I couldn’t believe how close he got to me.  I managed to capture this photo as met eye to eye.

That was about as exciting as it got!  I finished up the red trail, which was still covered in a few inches of snow and made my way home.  I took several landscape photos along the way, which will be posted with the few wildlife photos I took later.  It felt great to get back on track and get outside!

Full Sighting List:

  1. Canada Geese (flew overhead while hiking)
  2. Mallards (pair on Egdewood Drive)
  3. Red-tailed Hawks (1 adult, 1 juvenile)
  4. Mourning Dove
  5. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  6. Blue Jay
  7. American Crow
  8. Black-capped Chickadee
  9. Tufted Titmouse
  10. Eastern Bluebird
  11. American Robin (heard only)
  12. Northern Mockingbird
  13. White-throated Sparrow (heard only)
  14. Dark-eyed Junco
  15. Northern Cardinal (heard only)

Non-avian Sightings:

  • White-tailed Deer
  • Red Squirrel
  • Eastern Cottontail
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