Roger or Margaret Higbee at
Sat, May 25, 8:15 am – 12:00 noon
Sandy Ridge road
Saturday May 25, 2013 three Club members, Margaret and Roger Higbee and Tom Glover met just before 8:00 AM at a small cemetery about 7 miles outside of Punxsutawney on Rt 36 toward Mahaffey. Oddly for this time of the year the morning was cold and windy. The temperatures for the night before were down into the low 30's. And the cold and the wind did have an impact on the birding.
We started the outing on Sandy Ridge Road a short distance from the cemetery. The first mile of the Road is in Jefferson County while the balance of two miles is in Clearfield County. Our first stop on the road produced one of our target birds, Henslow's Sparrow. We did not see the birds but we heard the distinct "te-lick" call of two different birds. Before we departed the Jefferson County part of the Road we added a nice Vesper Sparrow to our list. And again we did not see the bird but heard it singing in the grass off the road.
The Clearfield County section of the Road produced the other target bird for the day. We were parked on the road birding the surrounding large open field when I noticed the bird about 100 yards down the road, an Upland Sandpiper. The bird was jumping in and out of the tall grass next to the road, and we got good views through our scopes of the bird.
Sandy Ridge Road lives up to it's name, being on a ridge. And on this morning the wind coming up and over the ridge at time was a challenge. But we did get a good selection of grassland birds. We heard as many birds as we saw. The grassy field produced not only the above mentioned birds but also Bobolinks, Eastern Meadowlarks, and Chipping, Field, Savannah, Grasshopper, and Song Sparrows.
After we finished with Sandy Ridge Road we explored near-by PA Gamelands #87. The highlight of this part of the outing was a Praire Warbler call in the brush off Yoder Road. We ended the out by birding Power House Road.
Despite the wind and the cold the outing was a success. We got our two target birds. Sandy Ridge Road produced 13 Henslow's Sparrows and 1 Upland Sandpiper, plus we got the bonus of a Vesper Sparrow.
Submitted by Tom Glover
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