Grove Stone Quarry
October 13, 2013
The day began cloudy with patches of fog as expected, but we managed to have a successful exploration of Grove Stone Quarry, rustling up 37 species before the clouds reconvened and the weather turned iffy.
Via the quarry's system of gravel roads, we walked through a variety of habitats. From mixed forest through riparian zones and past rocky hillsides and freshwater ponds and marshes, early winter birds announced their recent arrival with a flurry of activity. Ruby and Golden-crowned Kinglets are back in full force, and we got great looks at both species as they foraged, fluttering almost continuously.
We also had good numbers of Eastern Phoebe as well as a few Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, and a small flock of White-throated Sparrows. Hopping off the main gravel road, we walked down one of the many overgrown side roads and found a nice mixed flock consisting of Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, both Kinglets, Blue-headed Vireo, Tennessee, Black-and-White, and Black-throated Green Warblers. The fall migration of songbirds has truly slowed to a trickle!
The highlight of the day had to be watching 6 Cooper's Hawks interacting with a murder of 80+ American Crows along a mined terrace before rising up over the quarry on a thermal, into the clouds and out of sight.
We are always pleased with birding Grove Stone Quarry, and today was no different!