10/22/11 – Vassar Farm


After running a few errands Saturday morning, my fiancee and I went to Vassar Farm to enjoy a nice fall hike.  She has been taking the scenery photos lately, which is great, as this allowed me to completely focus solely on searching for wildlife.  Because of this, I had several highlights, which made for an exciting hike.

The day started off very quickly with a cooper’s hawk circling in the parking lot before I could even take my camera out of my pack.  By the time I was ready, we went to strike a mourning dove, but missed.  Thankfully, he landed in a nearby tree, and I took a few photographs before he took off.

As I headed to the front pond area, I could see a great blue heron sitting near the shore by the trail.  By the time I got to it, he took off to head deeper into the pond.  The trail was still pretty muddy and parts were underwater from this year’s bad weather, which blocked me from heading into the woodpecker rich woods on the other side.

I decided to comb the sidelines of the rugby field instead of walk the gravel trail by the community gardens to see what was hanging around.  The decision was a good one, as a few yellow-rumped warblers and palm warblers were waiting to be photographed.  There was also a northern mockingbird that struck a pose too for me.

Once I got back on the gravel trail, I found several woolly bears, more palm warblers, a garter snake, and a new type of caterpillar I have yet to identify.  In the field area, there were even more palm warblers, but the majority of sightings consisted of white-throated sparrows, song sparrows, blue jays, and american robins.  There was even a lone gray catbird that made his presence known.

Wood Ducks

As I made my way to the back pond area, I found some mallards and canada geese.  When I got to the wooden bridge back there, I happened to spot five wood ducks paddling there way further into the woods from the stream.  So far, I was having a stellar day.

It didn’t end there either, as I ran into a brown creeper in the woods behind the field station!  There was also a ruby-crowned kinglet that didn’t like me at all, and chirped at me several times, coming very close on a pair of occasions.  I managed to get a photo, but didn’t stick around to get too many.

And that’s about it!  It was a solid day with a couple of great looks at hard to find birds.  Full sighting list is below, and photos will be posted soon!

Bird Sighting/Sounds List:

  1. Canada Goose
  2. Wood Duck
  3. Mallard
  4. Great Blue Heron
  5. Turkey Vulture
  6. Cooper’s Hawk
  7. Red-shouldered Hawk
  8. Red-tailed Hawk
  9. Rock Pigeon
  10. Mourning Dove
  11. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  12. Downy Woodpecker (heard only)
  13. Northern Flicker (heard only)
  14. Pileated Woodpecker (heard only)
  15. Eastern Phoebe
  16. Blue Jay
  17. American Crow
  18. Black-capped Chickadee
  19. White-breasted Nuthatch (heard only)
  20. Brown Creeper
  21. Carolina Wren (heard only)
  22. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  23. Eastern Bluebird (heard only)
  24. American Robin
  25. Gray Catbird
  26. Northern Mockingbird
  27. European Starling
  28. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  29. Palm Warbler
  30. Song Sparrow
  31. White-throated Sparrow
  32. Northern Cardinal
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One Response to 10/22/11 – Vassar Farm

  1. Mike Fraatz says:

    Glad to see plenty of birds hanging around the preserve!

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