Excellent Day of Birding in OC, 10/06/18

~Cape May Warbler at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge’s Liberty Lane, 10/06/18.~ 

Saturday was a busy day for me, so I’m finally getting around to writing this post early Sunday morning. First, the bad news: hawkwatch at Mt. Peter was a total bust as the mountain was completely fogged in all day. The good news, was that I did some more traditional birding and it was very productive.

~Just look at the markings on this beautiful bird. I especially lover the white around the eye. Swamp Sparrow at Liberty Lane, 10/06/18.~ 

My first stop was Skinner Lane. It was supposed to just be a pit stop, but since the fog was showing no sign of lifting and the birding was good, I stayed for a good while (actually, I ran up to Mt. Pete at 10:30 thinking it might be clear; it wasn’t so I headed back to Skinner). When I first arrived, I was impressed by the number of Tree Swallows present. I was pleasantly surprised to find a pretty good sized flock of Horned Larks had moved in, among them several AMERICAN PIPITS. The big surprise came when I was scanning the larks and came across a LAPLAND LONGSPUR! This is a bird that is certainly one of my favorite, has a certain inherent coolness to it, and I just seem to have a knack for tracking them down. I was pumped, and although the bird was not really close, I was able to get some documentary photos; I’ve posted one at the bottom of this post.  Kyle Dudgeon joined me shortly after I’d located the LALO, but unfortunately we were unable to relocate it.

~Very exciting – AMERICAN PIPIT  at Skinner Lane, 10/06/18. I was happy to have this bird close enough for some photos. 

Shorebirds were, of course,  my initial target for my stop at Skinner. I’d had 6 American Golden-Plovers earlier, and Kyle relocated them as soon as he arrived. Then, we had a single shorebird flying and calling. We tracked the bird in our binoculars, waiting for it to put down. But, it never found a spot that it liked and it rose up and flew out of range. We thought that was the last we would see of the bird, but minutes later it returned and did the same routine but this time it put down in the distance. We relocated to try to get a better vantage point, but alas we were unable to relocate the bird. Based on the overall coloring, size, and its call, we believe that it was a SANDERLING. Karen Miller had arrived, and she was able to get the American Pipits and the American Golden-Plovers, but we were unable to relocate the Lapland Longspur nor the Sanderling.

~Palm Warbler at Liberty Lane, 10/06/18.~

Kyle and I had an unproductive stop at the Pine Island Turf Nursery, a single Solitary Sandpiper and several American Kestrels were our best birds. Kyle had to head home, but I continued, heading over to Liberty Lane; Rob Stone had let me know it was pretty active earlier in the morning. It was still hopping when I was there. I had a nice walk with loads of birds with almost every step. Swamp Sparrows and Song Sparrows dominated, but there were also some highlights: 4 White-crowned Sparrows, a Palm Warbler, a Blackpoll Warbler, and a CAPE MAY WARBLER. The Cape May Warbler was super accommodating and I was able to take many photos of it. On my way out I had a single Lesser Yellowlegs flying and calling overhead, which was a nice way to end a good day of birding.

~This bird stumped me. Chipping Sparrow (first winter) at Liberty Lane, 10/06/18.~ 
~I alway love these dudes. Horned Lark, looking spiffy. Skinner Lane, 10/06/18.~ 
~Solitary Sandpiper strutting its stuff. PI Turf Nursery, 10/06/18.~ 
~Blackpoll Warbler in tough photo conditions. I had the bird in better light, but blew it. Liberty Lane, 10/06/18.~ 
~One more shot of the Cape May Warbler, Liberty Lane 10/06/18.~ 
~Documentary shot of the LAPLAND LONGSPUR,  Skinner Lane 10/06/18. 

6 thoughts on “Excellent Day of Birding in OC, 10/06/18”

    1. Thanks so much John. I went back to Skinner today, and there were almost no birds to be found – just a Northern Harrier and a couple of Savannah Sparrows. It’s amazing the difference a day makes. Matt

  1. My birding has slowed considersbly since I am back to school teaching. I was pleased to get several Nelson’s a few days ago in Bayonne. Keep missing my nemesis bird- the Connecticut warbler though. It is one of about 5 North American warblers that I am missing.Itis good to have something else to search for. Great shots as usual. Seems like your new camera lens combo is working out well
    Bruce

    1. I can appreciate what you are saying Bruce – my birding has slowed as well. I got a promotion at work, so that is taking a lot of my energy and also keeping me later some days. Add the shorter days in, and it’s cutting back my birding considerably. Congrats on the Nelson’s – that’s a super bird. Oh, and thanks, I’m enjoying my setup – it’s pretty much perfect for my needs. Matt

  2. I love your commentary on your Orange County birding experiences and your photos are excellent. They make a really good ID exercise for a rusty old birder.
    Mary Yrizarry

    1. Thanks so much, Mary. I always hope that the blog in general, and the photos in particular are useful and helpful to my readers. Good to hear from you again. Matt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *