Stoney Creek (Wintergreen) 3/31/2011

It was dark, damp, and cold on this overcast and foggy morning, but that's no excuse not to go bird watching! Not too much on the lakes and ponds - only a few Canada Geese. I also saw Cardinals, Phoebes, Vultures, Titmice, Carolina Chickadees and Wrens, Common Grackles, and Crows. My camera settings were adjusted for the poor lighting, and even then, any photo I took was sure to be somewhat grainy. Of course, when I encoutered a very close approach to a Golden-crowned Kinglet at the edge of the Deer Run pine forest, my camera had gone to sleep and reset itself to bright sunlight conditions. By the time I realized this, all of the close-up shots were dark, and the GC Kinglet had flown high up into a different tree. I had to pull out all of my post-processing tricks to get anything out of the close-up photo shown here.

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

In the bog area at the end of the pine forest, I saw 5 or 6 Brown Creepers. Usually see only one or two all winter long, and now I have been seeing them almost every day, and seeing a small flock of them was a treat.

Brown Creeper

I heard the same grunting sound here that I had heard yesterday, and am fairly sure it was a Cooper's Hawk. This time I got a quick shot of it through the trees as it flew away. My bird hike ended with a female Kingfisher at Sawmill Creek pond # 3.

Cooper's(?) Hawk

Female Belted Kingfisher

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