Monday, February 12, 2007

Update on the Great Hill Climb.



It was about 25 degrees and cloudy Saturday morning. The minute I got out of my truck on Gadpouch Road, I realized I had underestimated the food that would be available in this area for winter birds. The area is loaded with dead and decaying trees.


There seemed to be a woodland bird convention going on the minute I hit the blue trail. On the way up I saw 3 DOWNY WOODPECKERS, 5 WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES,2 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, 4 TUFTED TITMICE, 1 NORTHERN CARDINAL, 2 BLUE JAYS, 1 AMERICAN ROBIN, AND 1 AMERICAN ROBIN. I have to tell you it was NOISY IN THOSE WOODS!


I made the climb to the top in about 20 minutes . The few icy patches along the way did not present a problem. I reached the top of the hill and was reminded of what a great view it is from the overlook. After a few minutes of enjoying the view, I realized there wasn't a single bird near the top.


I was on my way back down when I heard the banshee cry of the mighty PILEATED WOODPECKER. I tried to follow its call but the bird kept eluding me in the deepest part of the woods. After sitting still in one particular spot for several minutes, I finally caught a glimpse of it flying off. As I made my way back down the hill, I heard it call from about 20 feet to my left. Suddenly, a large bird flew below me from left to right.-The Pileated Woodpecker?-NO-Surprisingly, it was a RED-TAILED HAWK flying low through the woods. I'm used to seeing them sitting in trees at the edge of a field or on a telephone pole. It was odd to see one in the woods like that.


So-the total number of species was 10. (I heard crows and Bluebirds off in the distance but out of the Great Hill Zone). The total number of birds seen was only 20.-1 over 1 under.
High upon this hill I stand-
While monstrothic houses eat the land-
As nature's view feeds my soul-
My disappointment stands below-
LN

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