BESP: Northern Shrike, etc

This morning was the State College Bird Club’s annual field trip to Bald Eagle State Park, led by Bob Snyder. About 20 of us met at the McDonalds in Milesburg, and then carpooled over to the state park. Our first stop was Lower Greens where there wasn’t much activity besides a few Common Mergansers. Next we drove around to the official entrance of the state park, and were greeted by a beautiful adult Northern Shrike perched in a tree right along the road. As everyone rushed to park their cars and get a look, the shrike flew across the road, perched and then flew out of view. This field trip is famous for typically finding the first shrike of the year at BESP.

Northern Shrike - adult (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

A very over-exposed photo of the Northern Shrike. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Overall the bird activity in the park was low but other highlights included a nice group of Fox Sparrows in the brushy area near the marina, American Tree Sparrows at Hunter’s Run boat launch, and a first winter Bonaparte’s Gull at Hunter’s Run boat launch. Below are a few more photos of some other species we saw around the park this morning. Check out this link for a full checklist of the 40 species we saw this morning at BESP.

'Red' Fox Sparrow (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Cooper's Hawk - juvenile male (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Ring-billed Gull - first winter (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Red-tailed Hawk - juvenile (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)