dinsdag 18 oktober 2011

My first self-found rarity in Pennsylvania!

This self-found rarity was in the form of a (probably Greenland) Greater White-fronted Goose!

Me and my dad decided to make a trip today to see if we could find some cool birds here in the surroundings. We left the cabin around 9 and proceeded towards Route 30. Our plan was to go to the Shawnee State Park first, to see if we could find some waterfowl, and then go to the Allegheny Front Hawkwatch. No sooner said than done.

While we were driving on Route 381 towards Rector we were carefully looking for Turkeys, as Tammo hadn't seen any yet since he arrived. They weren't present at the spot I'd seen them latest, but we found a nice flock 8 Turkeys foraging in a front lawn just next to the road! I was surprised how tame they were, especially because the hunting season has started. They allowed us to take some photos from really close!

One of the Turkeys
The entire group, maybe they were so tame because they were behind the fence!

Around 10 in the morning we arrived at the Shawnee State Park. We watched some birds around Shawnee Lake. The numbers of waterfowl were a bit dissappointing but while we were driving in the car next to the lake I saw a Goose flying towards us and I was like: huh, that looks like a Greater White-fronted Goose! In my country, they are really common in fall and winter and I figured that they would be rare overhere! Therefore I quickly jumped out of the car and I was able to take a few recordshots. Here is one:
A Greater White-fronted Goose, a rarity overhere!

Waterfowl on the lake included quite a few Pied-billed Grebes, 2 Lesser Scaups, a large group of Canada Geese with a Blue morph Snow Goose amongst them! Belted Kingfisher and 2 Rusty Blackbirds were seen here as well.

As we drove from Shawnee Lake to the Allegheny Front Hawkwatch we came across a couple interesting things:
A group of Bisons near a Bison-farm.
Driving through Pennsylvania (not only in PA I guess though!) you come across a lot of roadkills. Raccoons are the number one, followed by White-tailed Deer, Skunks, Squirrels and also Porcupines (2 roadkills seen today).  White-tailed Deer are really clumsy when it comes to passing the road, so the roadkill pictured above isn't really surprising.
Acces by car is the primary focus of the Americans, this is also the case with cemetries, where you can drive through with your car.

We arrived at the Hawkwatch a little later. The wind had gained in force which made being outside a bit uncomfortable, luckily we found ourselves a spot in the shelter. Raptor migration was slow, and the hawks were passing by on high speed! Some photos of the Hawks:
Cooper's Hawk, first year
Sharp-shinned Hawk, adult male
Red-tailed Hawk

After a couple of hours hawkwatching we had a short stop at the Subway, as we were getting a little bit hungry:
Tammo at the Subway

Afterwards we drove back to Powdermill with one last stop at the Quemahoning Reservoir. This turned out to be a great place for ducks. We saw about 25 Ruddy Ducks, 3 Pintails, 3 Northern Shovelers, 1 American Black Duck, 30 American Coots, 2 Common Loons, 10 Pied-billed Grebe and 1 Great Blue Heron. 
Ruddy Ducks
American Black Duck male with 2 Mallards.

1 opmerking:

  1. Great find! Looks like you are getting to see some good birds and getting great photos in PA.