Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Gifford Pinchot State Park

Finally I was able to get out and do some birding this past weekend. It was great to spend some time outdoors and also to get some good pictures. Thursday and Friday my boyfriend and I were in Vermont visiting his friends and then Friday afternoon we took the ferry from Charlotte, VT over to Essex, NY and cut down to PA for my college homecoming. We really lucked out with weather and had great driving weather and warm temperatures throughout our trip.

The last two days of our trip we left up in the air and after pondering our next move over some craft beers in my college town we picked Gifford Pinchot State Park since there was a camping icon on the map. Oh that and the fact that it was the closest state park to Field of Screams, in Mountsville, PA! My boyfriend found a brochure for it in Sheetz and decided we had to go. It turned out to be pretty impressive. It's a strange feeling to be out in rural PA and then drive up to a such a sophisticated haunted house- it was like a city unto itself. There were three main attractions: two haunted houses and a haunted hayride. In addition, there was a skateboarding competition going on complete with a local radio station covering it. It being the night before the Columbus Day holiday the place was mobbed with teenagers and local college students.

The next day we spent some time exploring Gifford Pinchot State Park before driving back to Boston. I wish we had longer! It was a huge park (2,338 acres) with a lake and lots of tent sites and recreation opportunities. We spent our time on the trails and snapping some shots of birds and wildlife. There was also a frisbee golf (something I've never heard of but my boyfriends knows all about) course that seemed like a lot of fun. Too bad we lost our frisbee to one of the dogs in VT! There were lots of campers going out in rented canoes, and even people swimming, which would have been refreshing since it was in the 80s but unfortunately it didn't occur to me to bring my bathing suit since it's October! Another cool feature of this park is its bird blind which is set up in front of several birdfeeders and suet baskets. According to the sign it was funded by the York Audubon Society. This chapter doesn't have a website, but here is a link to a complete list of Pennsylvania Audubon Society chapters. The blind was pretty cool and I sat in it for a little while watching chickadees, nuthatches, titmice and a downy woodpecker. Unfortunately I didn't have the patience to wait and get some good pictures, but I managed to salvage a few good ones of the woodpecker.

I'm already planning my return visit to Gifford Pinchot! What a great park.


First Great Blue Heron:

Second Great Blue Heron:


Downy Woodpecker from the bird blind:

Red-tailed Hawk:

1 comment:

Larry said...

It looks like you caught a pretty nice pic of a first winter Ovenbird in pic 2. Sounds like a fun trip!