Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center - Wednesday, January 11, 2006
On a cloudy January morning with the temperature around 40, twenty-five birders met in the parking lot by the Manor House at Stony Kill. Our walk started by the feeder at the side of the Manor House where several Goldfinches were busy having breakfast as sparrows, juncos and doves joined for the morning meal. We moved down the road toward the barns and a backward look gave us a great view of a Cooper's Hawk on the highest point of the highest evergreen by the parking lot. Good start on a gray day!
The winter gardens were still covered with snow but the walking was not too bad as we saw Sparrows — Song and White-throated — in a pile of brush and moving through the field heard and saw a Pileated Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers. We walked the snow across the back of the farm returning to the Manor House through the field. Time was spent in the snow checking out prints of animals and the skull and bones of a deer.
Since it was still before 11 a.m. some of the birders decided to continue through the woods by the parking lot and up to the top of the Verplank Ridge and took the loop trail on the ridge. There was a pocket of birds on the ridge and the snow was still firm enough to walk on.
All in all it was a good birding day with 25 people and 25 species including 1 Canada Goose, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 3 Herring Gulls, 17 Mourning Doves, 6 Red-bellied Woodpeckers, 4 Downy Woodpeckers, 2 Hairy Woodpeckers, 2 Northern Flickers, 2 Pileated Woodpeckers, 10 Blue Jays, 2 American Crows, 15 Black-capped Chickadees, 9 Tufted Titmice, 4 White-breasted Nuthatches, 2 Carolina Wrens, 1 Northern Mockingbird, 30 European Starling, 1 American Tree Sparrow, 3 Song Sparrows, 9 White-throated Sparrows, 13 Dark-eyed Juncos, 13 Northern Cardinals, 2 House Finches, 6 American Goldfinches and 13 House Sparrows.
After the hike, about 8 birders enjoyed their lunches at a picnic table by the Manor House where they could watch the feeders.
— Fran Henry
Lakeside Park - Wednesday, January 25, 2006
On a very nice day for a January 25th 12 Waterman birders met and started out to see what birds were around.
We had noticed a few common birds: Starlings, House Sparrow, Blue Jay, Crow and Mockingbird when Carol spotted the “bird of the day”. A Merlin sat in a pine tree giving us all good looks at a very cooperative little falcon.
As we walked further along the road we saw some Bluebirds, Goldfinch, Chickadees and White-throated Sparrows. We also saw the Merlin again and had some disagreement as to whether or not to count it as a second Merlin. The plumage did look more adult than we had seen a few minutes earlier. However this bird was in more direct light and that may had made a difference. The bird flew away quickly this time so we were left uncertain, so – 1 Merlin. Next we came upon Juncos, a Catbird (good bird for January), Hermit Thrush, Downy Woodpecker and a Flyover Sharp-shinned Hawk. Then we saw more Juncos, Whit-throats, a mockingbird, 2 Mute Swan, White-breasted Nuthatch and a heard Red-breasted Nuthatch.
Past the barn we came on a mixed flock feeding on rose hips of multiflora. In the group were Bluebirds, Cedar Waxwings, Titmice, Chickadees and a Hermit Thrush. As we left that flock 20-25 Robins Flew in sight, landed in tree tops and moved on.
On the walk back we came on another Hermit Thrush and that made three for the day, also unusual for January 25th.
We then had a relaxed lunch in the comfortable lounge (with bathrooms)
in the main building. Only 23 species but very interesting birds among
— Chet Vincent
Verbank Area - Wednesday, February 1, 2006
Norrie Point - Wednesday, February 1, 2006 Added 3/12/06