Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Out and About: A Birding Hot Spot

November's weather was uneventful with just a dusting of snow on the twentieth and some roller coaster temperatures through the second half of the month. I got out on the twenty-ninth to take a nature walk and got no farther than the access road to Griffin's Ridge. This is a great little birding hot spot. The stream is on either side of the road. Pat's old farm field has a good number of trees with nesting cavities and winter roosts, for birds, squirrels and raccoons, as well as, being surrounded by mature white pines. The pines are a great cover for wildlife and a food source. An apple tree in the field still had apples and is a place deer can be seen from time to time. This day, House Finches were in the tree. A Northern Flicker was looking for insects in tree cavities and under bark right along the road. Thanks to Florence Cruz and her bluebird box, which hosts two broods a summer, I saw four Bluebirds flitting around in the trees. A Dark-eyed Junco struck a pose in the field. A couple of White-breasted Nuthatches, Goldfinches, Black-capped Chickadees, and a Red-bellied Woodpecker were all spotted down there. I have also seen a Red-tailed Hawk in this area flying and perched. The Great Horned Owl, which many of us are hearing at night, seems to be both on Mount Morris and closer to this field and Griffin's Ridge this season. Let me know what you see and hear when you're out and about!
Access Road to Griffin's Ridge

Pat's Old Farm Field

White Pines in Background

Great Nesting/Roosting Holes

In Use?!

Male Northern Flicker Looking for Insects. Note the Black Moustache

Northern Flicker Back View

Two Male Eastern Bluebirds

Male Eastern Bluebird

Male Dark-eyed Junco