Friday, December 18, 2009

CBC, December 16, Goose Pond, Greene Sullivan State Forest

Short-eared Owl.... Hawthorne Mine, Indiana. This bird was no doubt the star of the day. Although several great birds showed up for the counts, the healthy population of this bird in the Hawthorne Mine area is always a Crowd Pleaser!
Northern Flicker... Greene Sullivan State Forest
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 was my second time participating in the Goose Pond CBC and just as with last year, I am happy I did. I could go on an on about not only this property but also the habitats that surround the property. This place is a bird lovers paradise! You have the Wetlands of Goose Pond, the nearby forest of Greene Sullivan, and the local Hawthorne Mines that host a variety of raptors including large populations of Short-eared Owl and Northern Harrier.
Red-headed Woodpecker... Greene Sullivan State Forest

Greene Sullivan State Forest

The day started out a chilling 15 degrees but quickly warmed up to just below freezing. Once my friends and I were assigned our area, we were off to count the birds. Our particular area did not produce many species at first, in fact there were times I wondered if any birds existed at all in our section of the property. They finally did show up and we were blessed with such species as Whooping Crane, Wilson's Snipe (lifer), Swamp Sparrow, American Kestral, Northern Harrier, Belted Kingfisher and a copious quantity of Tree Sparrows. At least 150 in our section alone!

The work of a local Beaver... Goose Pond, Linton, IN.

Goose Pond FWA... Linton, IN. If you were a bird, wouldn't you want to be here?
We birded from about 8am to noon and then met the group to recap the days findings with the rest of the CBC participants. At lunch the tally was about 100 species. Not too bad. Missing species were discussed and then we were off to find some of our missing birds. One bird missing, the Brown Thrasher was spotted by our group at the State Forest about an hour later. Several other of the missing species were also found throughout the remainder of the afternoon. The day end count, I believe ended between 104 and 106 species!

Tufted Titmouse... this bird, along with about 5 others were a blast to watch flipping up leaves for food. My presence didn't seem to bother them at all.
Once we left the State Forest, we were off to the Hawthorne Mine area in search of Northern Shrike, Short-eared Owls, and any other present raptors. Unfortunately, we did not find any Northern Shrikes but did witness an amazing show of Short-eared Owls as well as some other cool raptors like Red-tailed Hawk, Coopers Hawk, and Rough-legged Hawk.
We ended our day at dark and headed home. We were all very tired but extremely pleased with our day. Next CBC for me will be at the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary in Connersville, IN on December 27. I can't wait.
For more information on the Christmas Bird Count, please click the link on the right side of the page.


eileeninmd said...

Great sighting of the Short eared owl. What a great outing. Looks like a great place for birding.

Chad said...

It is a fantastic place... I love it. You have a great Christmas!

Mary said... the owl!

Indiana State Bird

Indiana State Bird
Northern Cardinal