Weekend Wrap Up, 05/12/19

It was an interesting and productive weekend of birding for me. It started on Friday evening after work at Ironwood Drive at Sterling Forest State Park. I had over 40 species in total; highlights included an up-close look at a Hooded Warbler, 2 American Woodcocks peenting and in flight, and several Eastern Whip-poor-wills calling. I had an exciting moment when 2 Whip-poor-wills took flight after sunset, calling as they flew right into the parking area at the end of Ironwood Drive. I could barely see them but I picked them up as they flew through and then disappeared into the night.

~I didn’t think I got a shot of this bird – I didn’t think I was quick enough. I was thrilled when I was going through my pics and saw this shot. HOODED WARBLER at Sterling Forest, 05/10/19.~

On Saturday morning, I woke up unsure of where to bird, or even what type of birding I should do. I had thoughts of shorebirds at the Route 207 Marsh, but instead I headed to Port Jervis to try for passerines. I went to Laurel Grove Cemetery first and it was birdy, but without many warblers present. New birds for the year (for me) included: Brown Thrasher, Least Flycatcher, and Chimney Swifts. From there, I headed up to Elks Brox Memorial Park, where it was also birdy, but with many more warblers. I had 10 species of warbler: Ovenbird, Worm-Eating Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Northern Parula, BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, and Black-throated Green Warbler. Best of all, I got some decent looks and photo ops of several species. Other good birds at Elks Brox included: RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES (FOY), Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, and my FOY Eastern Wood-Peewee.

~A singing Northern Parula at Elks Brox Memorial Park, 05/11/19.~

In the afternoon I joined Karen Miller and we headed to the Bashakill to volunteer for Nature Watch. A pair of BLACK TERNS had been located and reported earlier in the day by the Mearns Bird Club outing, so we stopped at Haven Road first to try for the birds. When we arrived, several other birders were also looking for the birds, which hadn’t been seen in nearly 45 minutes. Birding bud Bruce Nott was there and I told him I had a feeling we would see the birds… five minutes later Bruce located them, north of the bridge and quite distant. Karen and I looked at them briefly but then had to head to the Main Boat Launch for Nature Watch. The terns eventually made their way all the way to us, and we enjoyed viewing them for most of our shift.

~This was a pleasant surprise – One of at least 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES at Elks Brox Park, 05/11/19.~

Today (Sunday) was yet another cold and rainy day. It rained ALL day long. I got out early and was optimistic that it wouldn’t rain too hard. I went to the 207 Marsh to try for shorebirds. I didn’t stay as long as I would have liked because the rain was relentless and my optics were just saturated. Every time I went use the scope or my binoculars they would instantly fog over. I did add a new shorebird for the year: SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS. I went home to dry off and then headed back out in the afternoon, again in search of shorebirds. I went to Lynch Ave (Least Sandpipers, Solitary Sanpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, and Killdeer) and then to the Camel Farm (same species plus Greater Yellowlegs). The Camel Farm is loaded with shorebirds right now, but sadly there really isn’t a good spot for viewing. My final stop made all the wet weather birding worth it – I located a GLOSSY IBIS at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge. I’ve included a documentary shot at the bottom of this post. I have to say it feels good to be home, warm and dry!

~This is one of my favorite passerines and I fee like I find them relatively often. Yellow-throated Vireo at Elks Brox Park, 05/11/19.~
~Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at Elks Brox Park, 05/11/19.~
~One of 2 BAY-BREASTED WARBLERS at Elks Brox Park on Saturday, 05/11/19.~
~I always think Laurel Grove Cemetery lends itself to some interesting pics. Carolina Wren, 05/11/19.~
~This dude looks mean! Brown Thrasher giving me the evil eye at Laurel Grove Cemetery, 05/11/19.~
~Magnolia Warbler on Friday night 05/10/19 at Sterling Forest.~
~The bird of the day on Sunday, 05/12/19: GLOSSY IBIS at Walkill River NWR.~

2 thoughts on “Weekend Wrap Up, 05/12/19”

  1. Went down to south Jersey with Jose on Sat We stopped at Bellplain for breeding Hooded, Worm Eating, Protho and Yellow throated. A summer tanager was a lifer for Jose. Additional stops were made in Heislerville, the Reeds Beach area ,Brig etc. An early group of red knots was present.—always great seeing them.

    1. Sounds like a good day for sure. Red Knot isn’t a bird I’ve had much experience with – I think the last time I saw them was down in Florida. Congrats to Jose on the Summer Tanager. Matt

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