A Travellerspoint blog

Hiking around Chautauqua

Chautauqua, NY

semi-overcast 79 °F

Yesterday I set out on a long loop hike which took me through the Chautauqua Institution, the golf course, the woods, up by an cell tower, and back. I saw a good amount of wildlife despite venturing out in the heat of the afternoon and managed to amazingly only pick up a single tick! Was expecting more due to the thick habitat I traversed.

There was one of the resident MERLINS waiting for me right outside of the dormitory — awesome that they nest around here:

I then headed to one of the nearby Ravines which is known to have Slimy & Red-backed Salamanders, and within a few flips, I had this lead-backed phase of an Eastern Red-backed Salamander. This phase is more common than the red phase around here, I think, though both can be found.

As well as a tiny little Northern Slimy Salamander which I was happy to photograph since the two I had here last summer got away from me!

There were plenty of CANADA GEESE groups out on the golf course, as to be expected.

And a fawn in the woods with parents nearby:

An adult and a juvenile female HAIRY WOODPECKER, as evidenced by her incessant begging:

And its smaller cousin, the DOWNY:

At a tiny seep in the woods I managed to find a Dusky (Desmog) Salamander sp and I have it narrowed down to Northern or Allegheny Mountain Dusky. The former would be more likely as the latter tend to have scalloped back patterning, but both species can be extremely variable. Anybody on here have insight into Desmog salamander ID? Niche, I know.
EDIT: This is a Northern Dusky, thanks to Simon for the ID due to its laterally-compressed tail shape.

There were plenty of Green Frogs around in weird places today. I think it’s been a drought around here so these frogs are searching for even the tiniest possible wet patches in which to reside. I hope it starts raining more for these poor amphibians — even the Dusky Salamander was found in the smallest of seeps.

The resident pair of OSPREY at the nearby cell tower was there, as usual:

As well as a SONG SPARROW carrying food:

The most frustrating event of the day happened when I lifted a piece of cover and my lifer Red-bellied Snake escaped into the tall grasses before I could catch it for photos. Dang! This has been a species that has constantly eluded me so to have one escape like this slightly soured the mood for the day.

Anyway, it was still a great hike with bird-of-the-day going to the Merlin and runner-up to the Ospreys! Raptors sweep the awards!

Good birding,
World Life List: 1138 Species

Posted by skwclar 18:02 Archived in USA

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Ok, we are going to that golf course.

by Tian

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