Stoney Creek (Wintergreen) 4/7/2011

A beautiful morning to be out, and I saw 27 species here in Stoney Creek this morning. There were Song, White-throated, and Swamp Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, a good number of Yellow-rumped Warblers, and a Pine Warbler was seen once again in the small pine forest along Deer Run - hope it is making a nest there.

Swamp Sparrow

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Pine Warbler

Pine Warbler

There was a significant habitat change. The wooden powerline pole that came down just across the wooden bridge entrance to the Allen Creek Nature Preserve was replaced with a metal pole. The wooden pole was a favorite drilling place for Pileated Woodpeckers, and probably the reason why the pole came down in a recent storm. But the power company also cleared a lot of the thicket around the pole, and cut a 10-foot wide path all the way from the wooden bridge to Coleman Drive - both reducing some of the overgrown habitat and offering easier access to see what might be there. Will have to see how this works out for birding.

In the remaining thicket I saw an Eastern Towhee and the first of two Brown Thrashers. The Towhee was singing its morning song to the early sunshine.

Eastern Towhee

Brown Thrasher

As I hiked around I saw Bluebirds, Blue Jays, Crows, Turkey Vultures, a Carolina Wren, Carolina Chickadees, a Tufted Titmouse, Cardinals, Mockingbirds, Mourning Doves, Robins, Downy and Pileated Woodpeckers, Flickers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and a Cooper's Hawk.

Pileated Woodpecker

I headed over to the pond on Hidden Creek Drive, and as I approached my favorite observation spot, I could see some Wood Ducks and an American Coot on the pond. But as I got closer, I saw that a pair of Canada Geese had built a nest exactly where I wanted to stand, and they were quick to let me know that I should come any closer. I could see at least four eggs in their ground nest.

American Coot

Canada Goose nest

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