Monday, October 15, 2012

Winterizing

Connie and I headed up to the camp in Potter County (God's Country) this weekend to winterize the cabin.  It's a good thing we went this weekend.  It was 28 degrees on Saturday morning which would definitely freeze the pipes if it stayed that cold for a few days.  The camp was in tip top shape and hardly took any effort at all to winterize.  That left us with time to wander around hiking and birdwatching.  Here are some photos and stories.

Sparrows are definitely the biggest migrants at the moment.  I got good looks, but lousy photos of Fox Sparrow.

 Fox Sparrow

Also have a mystery sparrow which I want to call White-throated which are quite common, but this bird didn't look quite right.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  I know it is a terrible photo.

 Mystery Sparrow

Here is something that you don't see very often - a Pileated Woodpecker hanging from a grape vine in the parking lot at Sinnemahoning State Park.  This guy (yes, male identified by the red mustache) squawked from the woods, then flew into view and picked at the grapes for a few minutes. In case you don't know much about Pileated Woodpeckers, they are our largest woodpecker - about the size of a crow - and usually chisel out large channels in trees digging out bugs and grubs.  That is what made this encounter so odd. Connie and I just stood there and gawked.  (I just used squawked and gawked in the same story)

 Pileated Woodpecker

Another unusual sighting this weekend was this Roughed Grouse.  We see them around the camp quite often, but we usually see just their butts as they fly out of sight.  Not this bird.  He/she flew up onto a branch and watched me take photographs for about 5 minutes before flying away, giving me great views of his/her crest and face pattern.  Naturally, the lighting was terrible in the woods before 8 AM, but I got a photo worth keeping.

Roughed Grouse

Oh, did I mention that hunting season is in full swing and we feared for our lives while in the woods?  Bow season, small game season, and muzzle loader season have the woods packed with men trying to kill something.  Luckily, we had some blaze orange garments to wear.  We took a ride up on Ridge Road and had our photo taken at one of the vistas.  Bloopers too.  Did you ever notice that the dog will never look at the camera when you have it on a timer?  Dag nabbit! 

 Blooper

After 3 or 4 attempts with me running back and forth to the camera which was propped up on the camera bag which was teetering on a rock, the dog looked in the general direction of the camera as the shutter snapped.  Ain't we pretty in orange?

Family protrait - in Blaze Orange


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