Yesterday I had another great birding morning in the county, visiting the SGL near Tylersburg in the very northern tip of the county where I had mourning warblers last year. In the company of another local birder, we made a loop around the shelterwood area of this gamelands starting at the Tylersburg food plot parking area. We were there for almost three hours and just covered about 1.5 miles but we were cutting through thick understory of blackberry and other heavy cover.
As soon as we neared the cut area we found a singing winter wren alongside the deeper area of hemlock and white pine. A little ways away we could also hear a mourning warbler, the first of three, possibly four that we encountered. I made a recording of the winter wren with the mourning in the background and we then picked our way up through the thickest part of the cut. We found a total of three singing mourning warblers, with a little varied song and were able to see all three and get recordings. When we were almost back to the parking area we saw another mourning but I am unsure if it was the third one that moved a little so didn't count it as a different bird.
In the midst of chasing down the mourning warblers we heard the calls of a red-headed woodpecker. I have never seen one in the county so questioned my ID until I saw two birds across the cut flying from a large cherry tree. Distinct black and white patches were visible, we kept watching and eventually got good looks for a sure ID. Almost as exciting as a mourning warbler as I would suspect attempted breeding at least this time of year. This habitat would be ideal for them so I would hope to get back here this summer to check up on them. Of course the most numerous other species here was chestnut-sided warbler which were literally everywhere as well as yellow-bellied sapsuckers. We were also fortunate enough to find a female sapsucker feeding young in a nest at the top of a tall slender snag.
I am thankful to have so many wonderful birding areas within a 45 minute drive of me and birders can be grateful for the access we have to wonderful habitat on all the PA game lands.