Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My Yearly Visit to Sterling Nature Center in Sterling, NY

I got a cortisone shot the other day in anticipation of my cross-country trip which starts next week with the goal being four days at Yellowstone with  many stops both to and fro.  I really wanted to get out to Sterling to see the Great Blue Heron rookery which is always a treat.  Today was no exception.  There were a lot of other birds as well and each year I see different ones.  There were lots of Blue Jays.  Except for my visit to Janet's last week, I haven't seen many Blue Jays the past few years.  They must have had a bumper crop this year!!

The first bird I spotted was a Common Yellowthroat -- a warbler.  I have only seen these one other time -- at Payne's Prairie in Florida with my sister.

Going through the woods to the rookery, I spotted this Wood Thrush, another bird I don't see too often.

I counted 13 nests but there may hve been more.  These three nests were sitting close together.  Three young ones are being fed on the right.

They are all looking up to the adult for more food.  Great Blue Herons are usually very solitary birds except during mating and nesting.

I think the young one is ready to fly on his own.  They seem older this year than when I usually see them which is a couple of weeks later.

There were several families of Canada Geese and lots of bird poop on the pathway by the pond!!

The place was crawling with cute little chipmunks.  This one stopped  posed for me  a bit!

This Belted Kingfisher was hanging out with the Herons.

I didn't see any ducks at all this year which was unusual but the ponds were a bit drier than usual so that may have been the reason.  I saw several beautiful Bluebirds.

At the end of the walk, I sat for a bit in a picnic area and just watched the trees around me.  The above Bluebird, this Cardinal and the birds that follow all passed by me there!

Downy Woodpecker.  You can tell by his prominent tuft on the beak.

There were a lot of Tree Swallows round but generally they are moving too fast.  A couple stopped to pose for me for a bit.

An Eastern Phoebe stopped by to visit.  

Almost forgot this beautiful Caspian Tern which flew over the pond.

Last but not least was this Northern Flicker.  I used to see these all the time when I lived in Batavia and do see them down in NC.

Just for chuckles, I took a picture of the trees off in the distance which show all the greens of spring here in Western Upstate NY.

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