On Saturday, I spent a good amount of time at Vassar Farm to see what wildlife I could find. Like nearly all other hikes here, I started at the front pond.
The pond was relatively quiet, with only a few mallards to be found. As I made my way into the woods across the ponds, I began to hear several woodpeckers. Out of everything I heard, I was only able to find a lone red-bellied woodpecker. Content with the area, I headed back to the parking lot and to the fields.
The highlight of the day came shortly after with an eastern bluebird. I spotted him sitting on a branch along the trail, sun in front of us, so if I tried to take the picture, it would have been a silhouette. The only way to get the shot was to walk by him, getting within a few feet, turning around, and taking some photos. Sounds like a slim chance of success, no?
Unbelievably, the bluebird held his ground as we walked by, and I was able to photograph him in terrific light! I’ve never been so close to one before in my life, so you can imagine my excitement.
As I walked through the fields, I could hear several goldfinches singing while they flied by. I was surprised to not spot any raptors until we got to the back pond area, when we had three red-tailed hawks soar above us. It certainly stirred up the nearby birds! The white-throated sparrows, dark-eyed juncos, and the first of season american tree sparrows all made their presence known.
Out of everything I heard and saw, I was only able to photograph the juncos. I was really hoping to get a shot of the tree sparrows, but it looks like I will have to wait a little longer.
We continued our hike passed the field station. Now that the leaves have fallen, I was able to see the fake woodpecker that I assume was put up to stop woodpeckers from poking holes in the telephone poles. It doesn’t appear to be working too well though, as you can see from the picture.
A few minutes down the trail, I heard an eastern screech owl call out from the woods. I waited around in hopes to locate the owl, but no luck. That pretty much concluded the day. Photos to come soon & the full sighting/sounds list is below:
- Wood Duck
- Red-tailed Hawk
- Mourning Dove
- Eastern Screech Owl (heard only)
- Red-bellied Woodpecker
- Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
- Downy Woodpecker
- Northern Flicker (heard only)
- Pileated Woodpecker
- Blue Jay
- American Crow
- Black-capped Chickadee
- Tufted Titmouse
- White-breasted Nuthatch
- Carolina Wren (heard only)
- Eastern Bluebird
- American Robin
- European Starling
- American Tree Sparrow
- Song Sparrow
- White-throated Sparrow
- Dark-eyed Junco
- Northern Cardinal
- American Goldfinch (heard only)