12/03/11 – Vassar Farm

Eastern Bluebird

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.

Red-tailed Hawk

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.

Pileated Woodpecker

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:

  1. Wood Duck
  2. Mallards
  3. Red-tailed Hawk
  4. Mourning Dove
  5. Eastern Screech Owl (heard only)
  6. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  7. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  8. Downy Woodpecker
  9. Northern Flicker (heard only)
  10. Pileated Woodpecker
  11. Blue Jay
  12. American Crow
  13. Black-capped Chickadee
  14. Tufted Titmouse
  15. White-breasted Nuthatch
  16. Carolina Wren (heard only)
  17. Eastern Bluebird
  18. American Robin
  19. European Starling
  20. American Tree Sparrow
  21. Song Sparrow
  22. White-throated Sparrow
  23. Dark-eyed Junco
  24. Northern Cardinal
  25. American Goldfinch (heard only)
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3 Responses to 12/03/11 – Vassar Farm

  1. Hope you will post the bluebird. I’ve only seen one and didn’t get a good shot of him.

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