Due to a closed bridge, I was only able to access the western two-thirds of my Winter Raptor Survey (link to Part 1), so today Josh Lefever and I ran the last third as its own survey. The weather was great, with a bright sun and blue skies accentuating the snow-covered stripmines of northern Centre County, Pennsylvania. Within the first half hour of our survey we encountered 2 Red-tailed Hawks and an adult Red-shouldered Hawk. We also spotted an adult Golden Eagle soaring in the distance with 5 Common Ravens! I was so happy to have finally found a wintering Golden Eagle up on the stripmines, since we have figured they must use the area but no one had ever seen one up there. About halfway during the survey, we spotted a flock of Common Redpolls foraging in a stand of larches. We walked over to get a better look and counted 80 individuals redpolls and were able to pick out a very cooeprative Hoary Redpoll! My second ever, and second so far this month in Centre County! This is also the 4th documented record for Centre County, ever! Later during the survey we spotted an adult male light type Rough-legged Hawk and then saw a distant adult Golden Eagle soaring around….we weren’t sure if this was the same one we saw earlier or not.
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