Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 24 - Go west young man !

There has been a significant push of Snowy Owls into our area the last few days with many coastal locations reporting them (Sandy Hook, Barnegat, Long Island, Connecticut) so one would think that is where I would also end up this weekend. 
However the lure was west of my home.  In fact quite far the Harrisburg / Hershey area.  We were after a MacGillivary's Warbler which had been found in the Reservoir Park of Highspire, Pennsylvania.  I had last seen this species in it's typical range of Colorado, back in 2008. After arriving around 9 am, we were glad to see other birders already on site and most importantly they said the bird was still present.  After waiting about 15 minutes in this unusually bitter cold November morning we got a quick glimpse of this skulking bird.  And this is what I had expected to see, a little part of the bird here & there.
Fortunately we decided to wait around and within another 20 minutes or so, the bird began to show itself more reliably, but still in short 2-3 second intervals.  Once it got warmer the bird appeared to prefer this one sunny spot in the tangles and it then really put on a show, giving us nice long extended looks and even being in the open for long periods of time.

click to enlarge

credit: MacGillivray’s Warbler – Highspire Park, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

You can see some more great shots of the bird  by Alan here:

On our long way back eastward, we stopped at New Jersey's Round Valley Reservoir to have a look at the Eared Grebe that had been reported the day before.  We easily found this bird after a short walk and enjoyed nice views of it in a sheltered cove.

A Quality over Quantity type of day...