Tag Archives: Lycoming County

Lycoming County Spring Migrants


Spring migration has certainly picked up in the last few weeks with Blue-headed Vireo, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Louisiana Waterthrush all becoming rather common in appropriate habitat. This weekend I finally got the chance to see some new spring migrants with both Pine Warbler and Palm Warbler at Rose Valley Lake.

Purple Martins have returned to their roost on County Farm Road just north of Montoursville and Spotted Sandpiper and Green Heron have appeared at Rose Valley Lake once again. I even had my first Chimney Swift, twittering high overhead of my house.

More migrants should be showing up daily throughout the state so get out and keep your eyes open! Some of the best places in Lycoming County to find spring migrants is Rose Valley Lake, Rider Park, and Canfield Island.

Lycoming County Winter Raptor Survey & Redpolls

Yesterday Dave Ferry and myself went ventured into northern Lycoming county to conduct our first winter raptor survey of the year. Raptors were few and far between, real far between. We only had 3 Red-tailed Hawks the entire 25 mile transect. No harriers, rough-legs, or kestrels, which was a major surprise. I’m uncertain as to the lack of raptors the past few years in northern Lycoming county but I’m hoping it’s just been slow the past two years and not hinting at any declines in the wintering population of raptors.

As a consolation prize we had roughly 100 Common Redpolls and 15 or so Brown-headed Cowbirds at a home in eastern Jackson Township. The birds were flying from tree to tree and would eventually come into the feeders at the home below. I was surprised by the skittishness of the redpolls but I did manage to get a few good shots.

Lycoming County’s third Rufous Hummingbird this year!

On Saturday, Wayne Laubscher banded Lycoming County’s third Rufous Hummingbird of 2012. This is one of over 70 hummingbirds banded since the middle of October in the state of Pennsylvania. Nate has had the opportunity to observe the first two Rufous Hummingbirds that were banded this fall and winter (You can the see the first here and the second here).

Here’s what Wayne had to say about this hummer:

“This afternoon I banded Lycoming County’s 3rd 2012 Rufous Hummingbird in Pennsdale.  The homeowner has had this bird consistently since around Sept. 15th and it visits the feeder every 5- 10 minutes, which is apparently doing it well as it’s of exceptionally goodweight and quite healthy.  The homeowner will be putting a heat lamp on the feeder in case it decides to ride out a while longer the real winter weather we now have.”

Rufous Hummingbird in Lycoming County on 29 December 2012. Photo by Wayne Laubscher.

Rufous Hummingbird in Lycoming County on 29 December 2012. Photo by Wayne Laubscher.

Rufous Hummingbird in Lycoming County on 29 December 2012. Photo by Wayne Laubscher.

As you can see from the eBird records for this Fall 2012, there have been quite a few Rufous Hummingbird sightings, specifically in yards where the birds were banded to confirm identification.

Another Lycoming County Rufous Hummingbird

Yesterday another Rufous Hummingbird was banded in Lycoming County, making that two birds for this fall. I saw the first in October. However, this bird was an adult female unlike the immature female found in October. As of today the bird is still present and can be seen coming into the Pineapple Sage and to the feeder.

Tail shot of the Rufous Hummingbird

Always an exciting moment, the homeowner got to release the hummingbird.

As the hummingbird rested, I was able to get a blurry photo of the bird.Notice the dark central spot, typical of female Rufous Hummingbirds.

Snow Bunting and other Thanksgiving birds

I had the chance to do quite a bit of birding over Thanksgiving break in northern Lycoming county and Tioga county. Most of the birding was by ear since I was hunting as well but I did have a number of interesting sightings. In Tioga county, I had a White-winged Crossbill at “The Muck“, a large flock of Pine Siskins, and a county lifer, American Tree Sparrow. I have never really birded Tioga County in late fall but I plan on making a few more trips up this year.

In Lycoming county I didn’t have anything too special. A mix of Ruddy Ducks, Bufflehead, and Lesser Scaup at Rose Valley Lake was a nice late fall mix. Typically the lake is partially if not entirely frozen by Thanksgiving so it was nice to be able to enjoy some lingering waterfowl.

My favorite sighting of the break was a lone Snow Bunting at Rose Valley Lake. I first saw it on Saturday morning where I flushed from a gravel parking lot. The next morning the bunting was still present and allowed for some great photos.

A Three Scoter Day in Lycoming County, PA

After a few days of rather warm weather and south winds, colder weather, rain showers, and north winds came in and so did the waterfowl. I first stopped out at Rose Valley Lake to see what had dropped in. As soon as I got to the lake I noticed four large ducks among the ~200 Ruddy Ducks. Floating among the Ruddy Ducks were 3 female Black Scoters and 1 female Surf Scoter. I watched them forage for a while then continued on around the lake. A Common Loon, 11 Bufflehead, and a Horned Grebe rounded out the interesting waterfowl. I also picked up my first Rusty Blackbird of the fall. I attemped to digiscope the Black Scoters and ended up with a half decent picture of the three birds together.

After birding Rose Valley Lake for about an hour I headed down to the dam in Williamsport where waterfowl were less numerous but I still picked up 14 White-winged Scoters and 1 female Black Scoter.

Rufous Hummingbird in Lycoming County

Today an immature female Rufous Hummingbird was banded by Wayne Laubscher just outside of Muncy in eastern Lycoming county. The bird was first reported earlier in the week but confirmed as a Selasphorous hummingbird today. Steve Pinkerton and I spent a better part of the early afternoon photographing the bird, which was very cooperative. We were fortunate enough to see the bird hawking a few insects and resting on a snag as well. I was very excited as this was my first Rufous Hummingbird for Lycoming county. Here are a few of my better pictures.

Rufous Hummingbird (immature female)