Well, it’s hard to beat the birding in southwest Florida! Birds were seemingly everywhere and I made it out to many great spots during the week that Tricia and I were there. I took loads of photos and its is going to take a little while to get through them, a task that has been complicated with some computer problems upon my return. I’m writing this post on my iPad, which is also what I used to edit the photographs. To say this is less than ideal is a gross understatement. With any luck, I will get this squared away in the next day or so.
Meanwhile, this morning I got out and did some local birding. I met up with Maria Loukeris and Linda Scrima early and we headed to Garret Mountain Reservation in Woodland Park, NJ. We had visions of low flying warblers in perfect light, but unfortunately that was not to be. Foggy, cool conditions with poor light was more like it. We saw or heard 27 species as we walked around the reservation. As far as warblers go, we had 7 species: Northern Parula, Yellow, Black-throated Blue, Yellow-rumped, Pine, Black-and-white, and Common Yellowthroat. A personal highlight of the visit was seeing a single Least Sandpiper in a mud flat on one of the small ponds there. We decided to try our luck elsewhere and headed to Pochuck Mountain State Forest in Pine Island, NY. As we drove, the weather cleared up and it started to become sunny and warmer. We did much better at this location with both birds and photos. While we did not have a large number of species (23), we made up for it in quality. Our best birds were: Worm-eating Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, and Swainson’s Thrush, all three of which were lifers for both Linda and Maria. We also got a great look at a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, which is one of those birds that I struggle to get photos of. It was a great walk in the woods and was a nice way to finish up the day of birding.