04/29/11 – Vassar Farm Hike

Solitary Sandpiper

Stopped at Vassar Farm after work today.  It looked great outside all morning, but when I left, the clouds were definitely rolling in.  It was certainly quieter than my hikes at Peach Hill Park earlier this week.  I did my best to photograph what I could, but with the threat of rain, I wasn’t as patient as normal.

I started at my usual spot, the front ponds.  The yellow-rumped warblers and yellow warblers were still both there.  On the pond, I spotted this solitary sandpiper perched near the shore.  Shortly after that, I saw my first baltimore oriole of the season.

At the front ponds, there were also song sparrows, a great blue heron, and a blue-gray gnatcatcher.  After that it began to get quieter and darker out.  I figured we were in for a storm.  I went back to the parking lot in case of a downpour, but pushing my luck just seemed more exciting. 😛

I headed through the fields, snapping a few scenery shots along the way.  The only wildlife out there was a single bluebird.  As I got to the eco ponds, thats when I hit a little more activity.

Yellow Warbler

There were warblers everywhere, mostly yellow-rumped, but there were also palm and yellow warblers too.  The highlight of the day came with the sighting of a first of season flycatcher!

Flycatchers are notoriously difficult to identify without hearing their calls, and the one I spotted didn’t make a peep.  Chances are it is a species I haven’t photographed yet, and I may never know.  Once he took off, there wasn’t much to be seen the rest of the day.  I took the trail behind the field station back to the parking lot.  Full sighting / sounds list below:

  1. Mallard
  2. Great Blue Heron
  3. Solitary Sandpiper
  4. Mourning Dove
  5. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  6. Downy Woodpecker
  7. Hairy Woodpecker
  8. Pileated Woodpecker (heard only)
  9. Flycatcher (unidentified)
  10. Blue Jay
  11. American Crow
  12. Barn Swallow
  13. Black-capped Chickadee
  14. Tufted Titmouse
  15. House Wren (heard only)
  16. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  17. Eastern Bluebird
  18. Wood Thrush (heard only)
  19. American Robin
  20. Gray Catbird
  21. Northern Mockingbird
  22. European Starling
  23. Yellow Warbler
  24. Palm Warbler
  25. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  26. Eastern Towhee (heard only)
  27. Song Sparrow
  28. White-throated Sparrow
  29. Northern Cardinal
  30. Red-winged Blackbird
  31. Common Grackle
  32. Brown-headed Cowbird
  33. Baltimore Oriole (first of season sighting)
  34. American Goldfinch
  35. House Sparrow
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