Saturday, May 16, 2015

New York Spring

Random birds for Spring Migration ....

It's been a 'bitty' Spring with little time off but a few good days here and there.  Slowly filling out the year list though and adding a few decent species here and there.

Saturday, May 3rd
Had a choice to make today - chase a (lifer) SMITH'S LONGSPUR in Connecticut or an ABA bird BAR-TAILED GODWIT in New Jersey.  I chose wrong.  Spent a pleasant few hours watching robins and song sparrows on a soccer field in Connecticut, but the Longspur was long gone.  Running errands on Long Island later, I was at least able to add a couple of Blue Grosbeaks - small consolation but a good bird nevertheless.
Blue Grosbeak - Robert Moses SP, Suffolk County, NY
Sunday, May 10th
So after a birdless day in Central Park on Saturday I decided to go North and chase the warblers on their breeding grounds .... and I was very glad I did.  Ended the day in Putnam, Orange, and Rockland Counties with 21 species of warblers including Golden-winged, Tennessee, Hooded, Cerulean and Kentucky Warblers.  Hit Doodletown Road, Sterling Forest State Park and a side trip to Blue Chips Farm where I dipped Upland Sandpiper.  In addition to the warblers I got a WOOD TURTLE a Box Turtle and some lizards.   Very nice day out in the country.

Bear Mountain State Park
Worm-eating Warbler (above) and Hooded Warbler (below)
Doodletown Road is the most amazing place and I had a bizarrely interesting birding experience birding it today.  As I started up the trail I ended up in synch with a Mennonite (?) family (my best guess based on the attire the women were wearing).  One of the three teenagers in the group had serious birding skills and great ears and eyes.  He was calling birds (correctly) left right and center - and where I could add or correct him, it was based on experience rather than skills.  Clearly not someone connected to the birding community, but this kid had promise. Hope he gets to develop his talents.

Once again though I managed to miss the best non birds seen that day.  Others saw a TIMBER RATTLESNAKE (this is a great spot of them but I never see them) and a BLACK BEAR.  One day I'll see the rattlesnakes - they are apparently always there but my timing always seems to be off.  Will just have to keep going until I see one I guess.

Tuesday, May 12th
Did a Long Island run with Nathan Remold, a visiting Cornell/Chicago birder.

Black-billed Cuckoo - Jamaica Bay
Started at Jamaica Bay where we got an incredible 84 species - lots of coastal birds and lots of migrants, including Orchard Oriole, both Cuckoos, Lincoln's Sparrow, etc.  We also got some good costal birds and nice mix of Spring shorebirds.

Later stops included Dune Road in Quogue where we got Nathan's LIFER Seaside and Saltmarsh Sparrows.  Took me a few stops, but I was eventually able to deliver the local amadromus .....
Solitary Sandpiper - Jamaica Bay

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