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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch in Pennsylvania

          Sharon and I decided on Friday that we would chase the Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch in Meadville, PA. Meadville is located in western Pa a little south of Erie. It was approximately a 6 hour drive and since we didn't leave until 2PM we arrived at our hotel in the dark. We had contacted a local birder named Shawn Collins to lead us to the private location. He had made arrangements with the homeowner where the bird was visiting a feeder in a gated community. 
           Saturday morning we met up with Shawn at 7AM and made the five minute drive to the location. The gracious homeowners allowed 14 of us to crowd into their small living room with a large picture window.
Wishful Birders
           We arrived around 7:10 and by the time everyone was settled into the room it was 7:20. Well, we didn't have to wait long because at 7:34 the finch made his appearance.
Target Acquired

Another more distant view of Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch
          The Rosy-Finch seemed to like hanging out with a large flock of 30 or more American Goldfinch.
Small portion of American Goldfinch flock

           Also visiting the feeders were Black-capped Chickadees and an American Tree Sparrow.
American Tree Sparrow

           After great views of our target bird we decided to head even further west and go to Pymatuning State Park on the PA/Ohio border.

           Pymatuning Lake was mostly frozen but there were patches of open water and thus some gulls and waterfowl. We missed the reported Glaucous Gull but managed to locate Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, and Common, Hooded and Red-breasted Mergansers.
Lesser Scaup

           A special treat was a small flock of six Snow Buntings on the causeway pullout.
Snow Bunting

Sorry but I can't get enough of these little guys

Welcoming us back to PA
          So, we had a successful trip and started heading home around 10AM. The drive home was a little longer as we stopped at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County. It was nice to get out and stretch our legs but it ended up being a big mistake. After stopping there and also having lunch it was around 2PM and just as we were entering the State College area it started snowing. It never let up for the rest of the drive home. It was about a six hour drive just from Penn State to home. Going 30 mph on the turnpike takes forever. But I would still say it was a successful and worthwhile trip.
In the lodge at Bald Eagle State Park

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