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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Birding Nescopeck State Park in Luzerne County

       As the month of May was winding down I was getting tired of birding the same spots around Delaware County. So I packed a lunch and headed north to Luzerne County to visit Nescopeck State Park. This is a large, mostly forested park, over 3500 acres in size, with a couple of small lakes, ponds and a few bogs. Dave Kruel was leading a bird walk and I thought that I would take advantage of his local knowledge. I arrived a little early and birded around the parking lot and office building and was rewarded with a nice look at a male Cape May Warbler along with a Blackburnian Warbler.
Cape May Warbler & What's behind him? Photo by Laura Erickson
        The action kept coming with an Osprey flying over the main lake and a rare visitor to the park, a male Orchard Oriole. Red-eyed, Warbling and Yellow-throated Vireos were spotted along the wooded trails and we heard a Rose-breasted Grosbeak but it was not located. A highlight for me, besides the Cape May Warbler, was an Alder Flycatcher seen and heard in a small bog. Just outside of the bog there were a couple of Least Flycatcher also calling. Raptors included Sharp-shinned, Red-shouldered and Broad-winged Hawks.  
       We were hearing a tremendous amount of Ovenbirds but not seeing any. Dave kept trying to test the new comers to see if they were learning the Ovenbird's song. As we were walking along we spotted a Wild Turkey and one of the new birders shouted "Now that's an Ovenbird".

Wild Turkey
       Other birds of interest were Black-capped Chickadees, 2 Common Ravens, Black-and-White, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Green and Canada Warblers. A colorful addition, that we saw in the parking lot, was a beautiful male Purple Finch.
Male Purple Finch
        So I enjoyed the day trip to the northern tier of Pennsylvania and got a taste of their breeding birds and some late migrants as well. Next year I'll try to get there a little earlier in May to see the major push of migration through Luzerne County.

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