Ibis in Indiana!

Last Friday I was informed of a very special bird that showed up on a small farm pond near Indiana, PA….a Glossy Ibis!! I’ve seen these birds in Florida and a few spots in Delaware and Virginia but never in PA. I was keeping my fingers crossed it would stick around since I was off work for the weekend and could take a ride over to look for him. Saturday afternoon I arrived at the farm pond and to my good fortune he was still there! I first spotted him just down the grassy embankment next to the water.

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I wasn’t sure just how skittish he would be so I approached very slowly and cautiously. I quickly could tell he didn’t seem to concerned with my presence but I still kept a respectable distance. All of a sudden without warning he took off, and I thought, oh no he’s leaving!

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As it turned out he was just in the mood to fly a little, did a couple laps around the pond and then came flying back in.

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Then for the next hour or so, my friend and I watched as he foraged around the pond, sweeping his bill in the water, eating what he could find. Occasionally he came extremely close to us, probably within 10 yards a few times, which afforded us with some nice close ups!

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When the light hit him just right, his iridescent colors absolutely shined. With a maroon colored neck and upper body and green and purple iridescence in the wings, he was truly a beautiful sight to see.

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They are a very rare bird for Western PA as they are mostly found along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coast states. I later found out, this day was the last day he was seen there….I was so fortunate to have had this opportunity to see and photography this magnificent bird. This was definitely one of my highlight birds thus far for 2016!

A morning with the Pine Warbler

This past Saturday I visited Yellow Creek SP in Indiana County, PA. It’s a great place to bird in April as it’s lake is a great stop over for many migrating waterfowl and song birds. It’s also a very reliable place to find Pine Warblers in the day use area. It was a very cold, snowy and blustery morning and very few birds were singing, so it took awhile to find the warblers. Finally after a couple hours I saw one perch on the electrical line beside the boat rental house. First time ever I saw a warbler on a power line!

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He only stayed there a brief moment, then flew to a nearby tree where I got some more shots.

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He then flew over the boat rental house and into a stand of pines. They mostly prefer pines, hence their name. He was up pretty high at first and while watching him I spotted a second Pine Warbler….possibly a breeding pair perhaps!

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After some time one of them came down super close to me at eye level and peaked at me through the pine needles. My money shot of the day!

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I’m so excited!!

I’m so excited, this is my first post on my first blog! Check back often as I plan to add all my latest outdoor adventures to this blog. For starters here is one of my favorite winter birds. An irruptive species that doesn’t migrate into PA every year. The Pine Siskin. I saw at least a dozen of them recently at Crooked Creek Lake.

Pine Siskin at Crooked Creek Lake.
Pine Siskin at Crooked Creek Lake.