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After settling in at my campsite, I sat back and watched the sun go down. After finishing dinner, I sat back in my chair and watched the sun go down. The air had become chilly but the sun shone through the tall pines to warm my face. As darkness settled in, I gazed into the fire and listened to the music. It's moments like these that make camping such a special experience.
I was up early the next morning anxious to explore the area in search of birds. I went for a walk along the Hubbard River which might have been about a mile from my campsite. I immediately found both Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets fluttering and ringing in the treetops . I came across several large flocks of Dark-eyed Juncos, too. Common Ravens made their presence known by croaking loudly from somewhere deep in the woods. I could hear their wings flapping as they passed overhead. I did not see a large variety of species of birds in the Hubbard River area. I'm sure that it would be much more suitable for birding during the Spring migration or nesting season.
I hope no one was in this outhouse when that tree came down. I could think of several captions for this photo but I'll leave that up to you.
One of the places listed in a book called: Bird Finding Guide To Western Massachusetts , was Miller Road. It was here that I came face to face with a Barred Owl! Usually they fly off before I can get a photo, so I was happy to not only get a photo, but also some video footage.
After finding the owl, I tried birding for a while longer but breakfast was calling for me. After seeing this mushroom, I had a sudden urge for pancakes.
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Here's the video of the Barred Owl. I was trying to keep my hands still but it's not every day that I get a chance to videotape an owl in the wild. (note-date should read 10/11/08 not 8/11/08)
Before heading back home from my camping trip, I visited a Hawkwatch Site called Blueberry Hill. The manager of the site is John Weeks. He keeps detailed data, including wind direction and air temperature, as well as the number, age, and sex of each raptor (whenever possible). He was very helpful in passing information along to me as well as other visitors at the site. There were a number of other skilled watchers assisting him. Some of the raptors I saw included: two Osprey, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawks, Cooper's Hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawks, American kestrel, male and female Northern Harriers during the short time I was there. I was able to pick up a few tips and had fun helping to spot hawks. Other birds in the area included American Pipits , White-crowned Sparrow, Ruby-crowned kinglets (one was singing), and Yellow-rumped Warblers. We also counted at least 400 Pine Siskins that were flying by in flocks of 15-60 birds at a time, pretty amazing to me!
I followed a trail of Palm Warblers along the path that led me back to my truck. It was the perfect ending to my weekend.