What a Weekend!

I had an excellent weekend of birding, which frankly is not something I’ve been able to say too much recently. I’ll start with today, Sunday, because it was most exciting. While I was at Citgo Pond searching for shorebirds first thing this morning, Kathy Ashman put out an alert on the Mearns Bird Club app – she was at 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary and had located a LARK SPARROW! I did my best to make sure I wasn’t missing anything good at Citgo and headed directly over to 6 1/2, where the bird was not only still present, it was also very accommodating, allowing for some decent photos in spite of the low light conditions.

~Wow! LARK SPARROW at 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary, 09/29/19.~

The LARK SPARROW was a life bird for me – #420. It was, of course also a county (#258) and state (#305) bird for me. Huge thanks and congratulations to Kathy on an awesome find.

~I loved this bird! What a fabulous looking sparrow. It spent most of the time I was there down in the grasses but would intermittently return to the tree line. LARK SPARROW, 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary, 09/29/19.~

From there, I finally did some kayaking at Glenmere lake. I’m shorebird obsessed as most of you know, and I’ve had some shorebirds there recently, but it’s so tough to see from the shore with all the foliage in the way, so I wanted to get out on the water and see what I could find. While I didn’t come up with any new birds, I did have a good collection of shorebirds (Killedeer, Least Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, and Wilson’s Snipe). I got a much better look at the habitat at the south end of the lake – it’s good for shorebirds and it’s also vast! And then there is the magic of being in a kayak with shorebirds. If you move slowly and smoothly, they just don’t seem to know you exist and pay absolutely zero attention to you (except for the Killdeer!). It’s really amazing and allows for some incredible looks excellent photo ops. I was particularly happy to get the snipe up so close – I don’t think I’ve ever had them like that before.

~Wilson’s Snipe up close and personal. Glenmere Lake, 09/29/19.~
~It’s interesting to me, as I looked through my photos (I took a lot!), the quality of the light changed with the passing of the clouds. I love the overall color palette of this shot and, although the bird is pretty sharp, there is an soft almost pretty quality to the photo that I enjoy. Lesser Yellowlegs at Glenmere Lake, 09/29/19.~
~Lesser Yellowlegs at Glenmere Lake, 09/29/19.~
~Wilson’s Snipe at Glenmere Lake, 09/19/19. Another thing about getting so close to these shorebirds is that they are all very small. In Orange County we are nearly always looking at shorebirds in a spotting scope, but when you have one right next to you, they are tiny.~
~Lesser Yellowlegs at Glenmere Lake, 09/29/19.~

SATURDAY 09/28/19 – HAWKWATCH AT MOUNT PETER

~A low flying Broad-winged Hawk flies over the platform at Mount Peter Hawkwatch, 09/28/19.~

I had low expectations for hawkwatch on Saturday. The winds were not good (SE and SW), and plenty of birds had moved through during the week. I didn’t imagine there would be all that many moving for me on Saturday. But, I ended up having a pretty darn good day. With the help of fellow counters Ken Witkowski and Jeanne Cimorelli, I tallied 139 birds for the day. Highlights included 12 Ospreys, a massive and gorgeous Peregrine Falcon, and 3 Bald Eagles. My HMANA report is included below.

~Common Yellowthroat from last weekend at Glenmere Lake, 09/22/19.~

6 thoughts on “What a Weekend!”

  1. Matt,
    I’m so glad you had such a good weekend! You certainly deserve it with all the effort you put in! Great shots all the way around! It was great to hear of your shorebird experience at Glenmere, reminds me of someplace I know. Also, a big congrats to Kathy on the Lark Sparrow! I think everyone finally had a good weekend! John

    1. Thanks so much, John. Yeah, I think there is a place up your way that is similar, lol. Hopefully Glenmere will get some better birds (like a dowitcher, lol?) before this migration is over. Good weekend for everyone for sure. Matt

  2. Great shots as usual. Have not been feeling well the last month so have not got out much Did get the Wilson’s Phalarope at the Meadowlands on Sat .
    Bruce

    1. Thanks Bruce. Good to hear you got the Wilson’s Phalarope, I hope that you are feeling better these days. Thanks for checking in. Matt

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