Friday, June 1, 2012

The Poconos Birding Adventure Part 2

     After our hike at the Lacawac Wildlife Sanctuary, my fiance and I realized it was getting a little late and we wanted to hit one more birding destination recommended by NEPA Audubon.  We put in a few places in our GPS to see how close we were to some of the local hot spots.  Finally, we decided we would take the thirty five minute drive north to Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary located in White Mills, PA.

I was drawn to this place for one reason and one reason only.

Bobolinks.  I love Bobolinks.  Not only do they have the most awesome song of any North American bird I have ever heard, but the male's color pattern during the breeding period is spectacular.

       I've never seen a male Bobolink in person and this was my first chance to do so.  Dorflinger-Suydam has a long stretch of a grassy meadow landscape near the entrance.The Bobolinks love this type of environment. 

     After being flushed by a car, the Bobolink pictured above flew out into the field not far from the edge. We crept up as close as we could to try and sneak a photo because our camera is amateur and needs to be close to get a decent photo.  I was surprised at how close he let us get to him.  We got within approximately 30 feet.  I thought for sure he would be afraid because a car from a couple of hundred feet flushed him easily. We snapped a few pictures.  He was posing for us for a few minutes, perched on some tall blades of grass.  Another car drove by behind us and he finally flew away.

   Most would find this Wildlife Sanctuary a wonderful place to spend an evening.  The biggest difference between this one and Lacawac was that Dorflinger-Suydam was a much more manicured setting.  It felt artificial in some places and that to me felt abnormal. I enjoy a much more wild, natural environment but that is just my personal opinion. 

     Most of the birds we saw were concentrated around the Glass Museum.  There were two Eastern Phoebes fly-catching on the south side of the building.  One was perched on a birdhouse and the other was on a low tree branch.  They would take turns leaving their perch, aggressively catching insects.  It is awesome to see the flutter of their wings as they go and snap their mandibles on their prey.  This one on the left would not swallow the bug in his mouth.  He was holding it clenched between his beak for a good ten minutes.  Maybe he was feeling threatened by our presence but it was hard to tell for sure.

You can tell by the photos we took that this place has a number of different environments for birds allowing for more biodiversity.  I am sure that if we were here earlier in the day we would have had a much more successful list but considering we only spent a little more than an hour there I was satisfied.  Not to mention I got to see my first male Bobolink!
Make sure you take some time to do some birding in the Poconos.

Tree Swallow (1)
Barn Swallow (2)
Eastern Phoebe (3)
Cedar Waxwing (7)
Black-Capped Chickadee (1)
House Wren (1)
Chipping Sparrow (2)
Bobolink (2)
Red-Winged Blackbird (1)
House Sparrow (2)

This Black-Capped Chickadee was darting into a fence post

Then he came out to say hello!

As always, your comments are appreciated.  Thanks for visiting :)


  1. Too bad you couldnt record a Bobolink and have a little clip of it here. I dont believe I have heard one since I was a little girl in grade school.

    1. I would have loved to have been able to do that! One day I hope to be able to buy some nice camera and recording equipment. You must live in the southern half of the lower 48 if you haven't heard a Bobolink in awhile I am guessing.