Weekend Wrap-up, 05/23/21

This weekend had a very different feel compared to last weekend. Last weekend it was cool and birds seemed to be everywhere, including many migrants. This weekend the heat moved in, that jump that we seem to have in our area from spring to summer at a moment’s notice. The trees were that much more leafed out, and while it was birdy, I found fewer migrants and the birding experience had the beginnings of a summery feel to me.

~A recently fledged Common Grackle clings to a tree at Kendridge Farm, 05/22/21.~

I had an interesting experience on Friday evening. I went to the Beaver Pond near Glenmere Lake to try for shorebirds (I found Least Sandpipers, Solitary Sandpiper, and Killdeer). While I was there, a man and his daughter pulled over and the man got out of his car and was listening to the pond with his hands cupped over his ears. We eventually started chatting, his name was Jay, and he was listening for Northern Cricket Frogs. I’d heard them the night before and thought they must be insects (hence the name!). He explained to me that these little frogs are endangered in New York State, and the “Glenmere Lake” population and another small population at Little Dam Lake are among the few that can be found in the state. Check out the DEC write up on Northern Cricket Frogs here.

~A stunned Cedar Waxwing at Sterling Forest, 05/22/21.~

I had another interesting experience on Saturday evening. After birding Kendridge Farm in the morning, where it was birdy but nothing noteworthy, I went home during the heat of the day and then headed back out in the evening. My goal was to try for Eastern Whip-poor-wills at Sterling Forest, so I knew I would be out past sunset. I birded Ironwood Road and eventually ended up at the power cut at the end of the road, where I birded and waited for Whip-poor-wills.

While I was waiting, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a small flock of birds flying across the power cut, and then something dropping like a stone to the ground. It was a flock of Cedar Waxwings, I found 5 of them perched in the trees. I went to check out where I’d seen something fall – I couldn’t find anything so I was baffled. Then, deep in the vegetation, I found a single Cedar Waxwing. I’m guessing that the bird hit one of the wires and stunned itself. I let the bird be and gave it plenty of distance; checking on it from time to time. It took a good while, but eventually the bird picked up and off it flew! I was relieved, I didn’t necessarily want to rescue another Cedar Waxwing.

~Eastern Towhee at Goosepond Mountain, 05/23/21.~

A little after sunset, the Eastern Whip-poor-wills started calling; I counted three and headed home. On Ironwood Drive, on my way out, I was driving very slowly and I saw one single glowing eye, glowing super bright. I stopped and tried to figure out what it was in my bins; just as I lifted them up it flew and landed in a nearby tree and started calling – it was another Whip-poor-will!

Sunday morning was mostly uneventful – I walked Goosepond Mountain and had the usuals plus one good bird – Canada Warbler! That’s not a bird that I do well with, so I was pretty happy about that. Then, Linda Scrima called me. She had 2 Short-billed Dowitchers at the Camel Farm. I ran for the birds, and had some decent scope views. It’s super hard, especially at that distance, to tell Short from Long-billed Dowitchers, but they looked good to me. I checked eBird bar graphs when I got home and there are no reports of LBDO in the spring in Orange County, so I’m pretty happy with SBDO. I’ve included a distant shot at the bottom of this post. Thanks to Linda for heads up.

~There are plenty of Blue-winged Warblers at Goosepond Mountain this year, 05/23/21.~
~A couple of Short-billed Dowitchers at the Camel Farm, 05/23/21.~

6 thoughts on “Weekend Wrap-up, 05/23/21”

  1. We jumped from barely spring to summer, from 40s at night to wake up to 80s.
    There are days we feel not quite productive when we don’t meet our self-imposed goals or expectations. Whatever you post is no longer just yours.
    Although I’m not a birder, I learn from your pictures and descriptions which lead me to look up for more information. I like that you describe your surroundings and I marvel when I see the beautiful underside of wings and the strength of little creatures. Thank you for your posts.

    1. You are more than welcome, Norma. I, in turn, am moved by your comments; it’s always good to hear from you and get your perspective. Matt

  2. Couldn’t agree more with this post. The excitement and longing for the yearly migration seems to be winding down as those little friends pass us by for their stomping grounds in Canada and the boreal forest. It’s always a little of a Debbie downer but what can ya do. I wish they could stay in NY/NJ indefinitely. Cheers to a nice post though!

    1. Thanks Kyle. And to add to it – this year seemed to be “over” in the blink of an eye, for me it felt like the quickest migration ever. Matt

  3. Great shots as usual. I was away in Ohio for my sister in laws funeral the weekend of the big warbler flight here and missed many species. This past weekend I picked up 9 year birds and a lifer. The Curlew Sandpiper and the phalaropes were a plus. Hope to go down to south Jersey for the ships and chucks. Your photos are A1.

    1. Sorry Bruce, missed this comment – I hate when I do that. Thanks for the kind words; your weekend was certainly productive. Curlew Sanpiper! Matt

Leave a Reply

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