Yesterday I took a few hours and went to Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, near Kleinfeltersville in Lancaster County. I had a double purpose in mind. Naturally, I wanted to see whatever birds were around, but the day was also the last day of the annual three-day Middle Creek Wildlife Art Show. So I could look at birds and bird art all at the same place.
August is often a decent month for birding, if you can find a place where the shorebirds gather. When you live inland, as I do, finding good mudflats is always weather-dependent. Middle Creek can sometimes be that good inland site, at least it can in a dry year or when the lake is partially drained. 2012 is not that year. The heavy thunderstorms of the past week or so have raised the level of the lake so that mudflats are pretty much non-existent right now.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to see. Several hundred Canada geese still hang out there, as were 3 snow geese, probably injured birds that couldn’t migrate north. Songbirds abounded and the wading shorebirds, the herons and the egrets, were happy enough along the water’s edges.
There’s a green heron in the background of my mallard (or is that a mallard x black duck?) photo today. Can you see it?
One of the reasons I wanted to take in the art show was to take another look at a Peregrine Falcon painting, subspecies Anatum that is now extinct in the east, done by Dave Hughes. I first saw the painting at Hawk Mountain last weekend when Dave had just finished it. He was one of the attendees at the Kittatinny Roundtable and brought his latest creation along so we could see it. This weekend he was one of the artists exhibiting at Middle Creek, and his Peregrine was now gussied up with a frame and Dave’s signature. My second photo today is Dave’s work before it was framed and signed.