DVOC Main Page > Field Trips > Field Trip Report

Field Trip Report
by Adrian Binns

November 1, 2003

Bake Oven Knob Website

By Frank Windfelder

The annual DVOC trip to Bake Oven Knob, PA had in inauspicious beginning. We were actually going to experience the horror of some nice weather - good for people, bad for birds.

We met at 8:30 AM, and proceeded to the North Lookout. Our fears were realized in the first hour when our highlights were a fly-over Praying Mantis and an unexpected inland Great Cormorant. We were all wishing we had taken up Chinese Brush Painting instead. At 10:30 AM, co-leaders Frank Windfelder, Bill Murphy and Chris Walters decided to reposition the troops at the South Lookout, which is better for hawks on southwest winds.

Our fortunes immediately picked up, and as the day wore on, the number of hawks passing over increased exponentially and we actually had a wonderful day. When Murphy and car mate Bert Filemyr decided to go AWOL at 2:00 PM, we knew we had to stay longer in order to "grip them off". Sure enough, the Red-tailed Hawks and Sharp-shinned Hawks began pouring through, reminiscent of the "river of raptors" that one experiences in Vera Cruz, MX. The birds had been low all day, but now they started appearing overhead in waves. Even non-birders were in awe of all the hawks in the sky at that point.

Where else can you enjoy 75 degree weather and the following bird counts?

Sharp-shinned Hawk (130) , Red-tailed Hawk (100), Red-shouldered Hawk (8), Northern Goshawk (3), Cooper's Hawk (6), Bald Eagle (2), Osprey (2), American Kestrel (1), Black Vulture (4), Common Raven (4), and Turkey Vulture (75). The Northern Goshawk was a life bird for Glenn Seeholzer.

A bird had been called as a Golden Eagle by practically everyone on the ridge until it gave us better looks and proved to be a second year Bald Eagle. A little humility is a good thing.

Other participants were Mike Lymon, Andy Fayer, Jim Best, Mick Jeitner, Colin Campbell, Bob Rufe, Erica Brendel, and Glenn's father Steve along with the rest of their family.