Saturday, February 21, 2009

Raptors at Griggstown

At Griggstown this morning the red-tailed hawks were putting on quite a show. The first time I saw one was shortly after arriving; it flew along the edge of a field just under a far treeline. Another was perched on another treeline, and yet one more was soaring on a thermal. Several more appeared during the two-hour walk, including at least one apparent pair. I had a difficult time figuring out how many were around. The most I saw at any one time was four, but there seemed to be others around, and at least one red-tail was a migrant, very high up.

The most active songbird flock was in the grove of spruces on the portion of the preserve closest to Canal Road. Several Carolina chickadees and a house finch were singing. Tufted titmice and white-breasted nuthatches flitted from tree to tree while chattering. They were joined briefly by a lone pine siskin. As much as I looked for them, no white-winged crossbills made an appearance. The spruces there have a moderate cone crop, so they may be worth checking again.

In addition to the other birds there was a flock of eastern bluebirds patrolling the parking lot.