In between the rain drops ...


I took a walk at Wilson Powell Sanctuary in Columbia County today. It's such a lovely place and it is so peaceful there. It was especially beautiful today because everything was wet and glistening from the morning's rain. Colors looked particularly rich and dense, even the damp black bark on the trees caught my eye. Many of the treetop jewels caught my eye too, including a pair of Scarlet Tanagers, several American Redstarts - noisy little things, and Yellow-rumped & Yellow Warblers.

There were several other warbler species tucked away in the treetops, but I had a difficult time getting good views of them. My neck muscles, however, will attest to the fact that I tried! My birding by ear (never really very good anyway) proved to be a little less rusty than I had anticipated. I was pleased to identify a Black-throated Green by its song, even though I never did get a good look at it. I also did not see the Ovenbird, but once you've heard it, you don't forget that one!

I stopped for a bit to listen when I heard a Chickadee, and had the pleasure of seeing a tiny Brown Creeper land on a tree right in front of me. She worked her way up the tree trunk, but not in the characteristic spiral fashion that we usually see. This one when straight up the trunk, pecking away at the bark. After she'd pulled off a small piece, she flew to another tree, even closer to me, and popped herself under the loose bark. A few seconds later, she popped back out and flew away, pieces of the nest she was building hanging out here and there.

No trip to this sanctuary is complete without a hike up to the rock ledge, known to the locals as Dorson's Rock. This outcropping of rock faces south, overlooking the beautiful Catskill Mountains. The "Three Brothers" were in a bit of a haze today, but they still looked spectacular from where I was sitting across the valley. As I sat there, I heard a Great-crested Flycatcher but before I could look for it, a Raven began to make the most interesting sounds. He was perched in a tree quite a few feet below me, giving me a great view of him from above. He carried on for the longest time and it was so cool to hear his voice echo in the stillness of the afternoon.

A wonderful afternoon indeed!

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