This weekend I was able to go to my families’ farm south of where I live in Pittsburgh. I was excited to see how sparrow migration was coming along there. Also, there is a challenge going on in PA to see if 150 species of birds can be seen (or heard) in every county in PA this year. Greene County where Tintagel Farms is, has 9 birds to go so I was trying to find more for that list too.
When I first got to the farm, the first thing I noticed is that the baltimore oriole nest that was occupied this Summer can now be seen since the leaves have mostly fallen from the trees.
Batlimore Oriole Nest
I then set out on a long hike through the woods. The first thing I noticed was a large amount of white-crowned sparrows both immatures and adults. Also, I could hear eastern towhees in the background and a large amount of cardinals were flying around. I then continued on.
I then walked into some of the woods on the farms. In the woods, there were many more towhees and some song sparrows. I then continued on until I heard a high pitched bird song in the bushes. After doing a mental search of all the bird songs I knew (have you ever done that where you kind of go through every similar bid sound before hitting on the right one). I finally decided on brown creeper (the first in Greene County this year). I never ended up seeing the creeper but it is good to hear it anyway. When I was about to move on from the creeper, I heard a large animal moving quickly in my direction. I froze and a few seconds later, a buck deer with freshly grown antlers burst out of the underbrush maybe five feet away! It was very cool to see and the closest I have ever come to a deer. I then moved on and came upon the pond that is tucked away in the woods at the farm.
Pond at Tintagel Farms
I waited at the pond for a while to see what turned up. As I waited, an empidonax flycatcher appeared on the fallen tree in the pond. I wasn’t calling though so I couldn’t identify it. I then started walking around the pond to the other side. As I started walking, I heard the long high song of a white-throated sparrow. I then heard numerous sparrow chips coming from the bushes. I did a bit of pishing and a small flock white-throated sparrows turned up. After they moved on, so did I. As I circled the pond, a flock of about six wood ducks took off. I then started heading back to the farm house. On the way, I found another flock of white-crowned sparrows, a ruby-crowned kinglet, and another mystery empid.
Later that day, I was at my friend’s house and I saw a pine siskins at his feeders (another new Greene County bird).
P.S. The image messed up uploading so if you want to see the full image just click on it.