Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May 24 - Orange County's Black-Bellied Ducks

Working a half-day, I was able to have friend Bill E.  join me in heading north to the NJ/NY Stateline. Here we stopped at Oil City Road's Liberty Loop and were able to see the five Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks which had been found the day before.

While enjoying these birds and hearing a Sora calling in the marsh, we also heard & then saw a Sandhill Crane fly overhead !

Other species seen here today were Orchard Orioles, Willow & Alder Flycatchers, and a Black Bear !

Sunday, May 22, 2011

May 22 - Tri-County Birding

Today saw a loop through the three NY counties that are just north of where I live.  First up was Orange County and it's Sterling Forest area near Harriman State Park.  The targets today were Golden-Winged Warbler and Cerulean Warbler with both being seen well.  Also seen were warblers of Hooded, Yellow, Chestnut-Sided, Prairie, B & W, Redstart, Ovenbird, C. Yellowthroat, and Louisiana Waterthrush.  A nice surprise was a Great Horned Owl.

The next stops was a quick one at the Blue Chip Farms in Ulster County for the Upland Sandpipers that breed here.  Fortunately I was able to spot them upon arriving.

Lastly I visited the Bashakill Wetlands in Sullivan County.  Here I had quick views of Common Moorhen, and also Canada Warbler & Northern Parula. Three species of Swallow were seen, thise being Barn, Tree, and Bank.  Three species of Vireo were Red-Eyed, Warbling, and Yellow-Throated, and three species of Flycatcher in Least, Alder, and Pewee.  The Bald Eagle nest has produced some young this year too !

Friday, May 20, 2011

May 19 - Liberty Loop

I went up north after work today in hopes of seeing the breeding Red-Necked Phalarope which had been reported earlier in the day. Unfortunately the Phalarope was not found again. However while searching I did come across a very unusual bird for this inland habitat, a Piping Plover.  This species is almost exclusively seen along the beaches. Perhaps this bird was blown inland after a week of easterly winds, otherwise could it be from the Great Lakes population of this species ?

Credit: David Baker 

credit: South Dakota Birds & Birding

May 14 - Southern NJ specialties

With friends of Andy and Jennifer today and our goal was the birds of southern NJ.  The first stop was at Heislerville WMA where Andy was able to locate the Curlew Sandpipers that had been reported there recently. It had been 4 years since I last saw this species, which is a rare visitor from Eurasia.  Here we also had a Yellow-Throated Warbler. Next at nearby Thompson's Beach we heard and ultimately saw a King Rail.  This was my first record in New Jersey !

We then headed up to Belleplain State Forest and here Jennifer was able to find a Kentucky Warbler for the group to enjoy. In addition to more Yellow-Throated Warblers, we also saw Worm-Eating Warbler.

Finally on the way home we stopped in at Brigantine NWR and saw some of the regularly occurring birds here. Swallows of  Tree, Barn, Bank, and Purple Martin and Chimney Swift. Plus the terns of Forster's, Gull-Billed, and Caspian.  Both species of Dowitcher were seen too.

May 8 - Garret Mountain

May 7 - Garret Mountain

May 6 - Garret Mountain

May 5 - Garret Mountain

April 30 - Garret Mountain Yellow-Throated Warbler

While at Garret this morning friend Stephanie gave me a call telling me that she had re-found the Yellow-Throated Warbler that had been reported yesterday.  We were all able to get fine views of this extremely rare visitor to the park. Typically these birds are found in southern New Jersey, or along the Delaware River. So this was my first time seeing this species in the decade or so of coming here.

Around the pond we had Sandpipers of Spotted and Solitary, and newly arriving Warbling Vireos.  The other notables are the Wood Warblers, and these 15 species were seen today: Nashville, Parula, Yellow, Chestnut-Sided, Black-Throated Blue, Yellow-Rumped, Black-Throated Green, Blackburnian, the aforementioned Yellow-Throated, Pine, Prairie, B&W, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, and an early Canada Warbler.

A Lincoln's Sparrow was a nice find, as were the M/F pair of Orchard Orioles.

April 29 - Meadowlands

I stopped here before work today looking for a Red-Necked Phalarope that had been reported yesterday, but I did not see this bird. It has been 4 years since my last sighting of this species, so I hope to get one soon.

What I did see were some nice birds in Blue-Winged Teal, Black Duck, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Green-Winged Teal, and Ruddy Duck. Highlights were certainly the several Sora that showed quite well, and the Common Moorhen that put in a brief appearance.  We also got a quick look at Marsh Wren.  A beautiful male Scarlet Tanager made for a nice surprise too !

April 26 - Garret again

Another fine morning today with just a bit of time before work. The warblers are arriving in good numbers now and diversity is picking up too. Wood Warbler species seen were Blue-winged, Parula, Yellow, Yellow-Rumped, Pine, Prairie, Palm, B&W, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, and a quick glimpse of Louisiana Waterthrush for a total of 11 species.
the same species of Sparrow were seen as on the 24th, but add a Savannah Sparrow. Also my first Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks & Scarlet Tanagers of the year was seen.  The same is true for Wood Thrush, House Wren, Eastern Kingbird, and Spotted Sandpiper. I'm sure to be back here soon enough!

April 24 - Garret Mountain

One of the better early-spring warbler days were had here today.  A total of 9 species seen were Northern Parula, Yellow, Black-Throated Blue, Yellow-Rumped, Black-Throated Green, Palm, Black-and-White, American Redstart, and Ovenbird.
Other notable species from today were Common Loons flying overhead, Osprey, Cooper's and Red-Tailed Hawks. Along Barbour's Pond I saw my first Solitary Sandpiper of the year, and Eastern Phoebes are back in. A single Great-Crested Flycatcher, and several Blue-Headed Vireos put in appearances, along with Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers. The Sparrows were well represented too, with Towhee, Chipping, Field, song, Swamp, White-Throated, and Juncos being seen.  A singing Purple Finch added some nice color to the morning!

April 17 - Metro New York birding

With friends Andy, Jen, and Simon today we visited Central Park, Jamaica Bay, and finally the Botanical Gardens.

In Manhattan's Central Park we dipped on the long-staying Varied Thrush but did see most of the regularly expected birds for this time of year. A Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher offered some of the better views.

Since it was quiet here we headed east out to Queens and Jamaica Bay's Refuge.  Here on the West Pond we got excellent views of a few Tri-Colored Herons ( a bird that I completely missed in 2010) and several Little Blue Herons.  Shorebirds seen were Dunlin, Oystercatcher, and a Pectoral Sandpiper.  Later on East Pond, we saw Blue-Winged Teal, Green-Winged Teal, Gadwall,  and a surprise in Cliff Swallow.

Lastly at Bronx's Botanical Gardens we got outstanding views of the early Prothonotary Warbler. Alos seen were Palm and Pine Warblers.