* This post is the first one on The Nightjar, done by my ever loving wife Danika…
Here are some high-lites from this past weekends’ big year birding adventures…
We started our day Saturday, albeit late and with children heading out to Berne where we had a nice look at some Pine Siskins, Dark-eyed Juncos, American Goldfinches, American Tree Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, House Sparrows, European Starlings, American Crows and Mourning Doves (and that was only our first stop).
From there we headed out to Schoharie County way then ended in Coxsackie hoping to see the Snowy Owl, with out success. It was a fairly slow day but we did get a look at a fairly striking Rough-Legged Hawk dark phase black, with Stark white under side which kindly sat near the road for us.
We then headed down to Four Mile Point and did find a Red Phase Eastern Screech Owl tucked away in a box near dusk.
One very happy seven year old later for we got great views, and we were off to see if our our owling streak was still hot. On River Road in Coxsackie (or Lawrence Ave or County Route 61 ) we did just that, as perched on a tree in the fields of an old horse farm we found a Short Eared Owl. It took off across the street towards the rail road tracks. Heading down the road we counted no less then 7 Short Eared Owls! They were out around 5:10 flying not far from the road and on our way back through the fields we got to see one perched on a fence post having just caught a large mouse. We didn’t get to see the Snowy Owlbut did mange to run in to Hope Batchellor.
Sunday was a success for a Snowy Owl as we found it just off the main stretch of field on Johnson Rd in Ushers, Saratoga County at the top of a tall tree, in the tree line adjacent the housing development. A group of birders were already there scoping it out despite the falling snow, and told of a resident stoping a previous day to tell them the owl was perched on her home if they would like to come and see it. We also got to see a couple of Short Eared Owls in the same field as the Snowy Owl, and were pleasantly surprised to see such a expanse of fields in Ushers I’m sure well will be back.