Friday, April 13, 2012

Bird watching in Queens NY…

Some of the birders who came out for the walk, looking at the Yellow-throated Warbler.
Last Saturday, my friend Eric Miller led a bird walk for the Queens County Bird Club at Alley Pond Park Queens. Given that it was expected a sizable group would attend, I decided to help him instead of going to Prospect Park in Brooklyn. We predicted the group was going to be huge, for two reasons. One, Eric is a popular naturalist and birder well known for his talents to find good birds; the second was a Yellow-throated Warbler (a not so common spring migrant) that was found at Alley Pond Park on Thursday by birder Booby Kurtz was still present. Many people who could not make it during the week were sure to come out on Saturday.

Yellow-throated Warbler was still around on Saturday, but has not been seen since.
The crowd was 24 and counting on Saturday and the bird on everyone’s mind that morning was the YTWA. Happily, all who came out for the walk got excellent looks at the bird and a few who stayed with Eric and I until later that morning got to see and hear it sing. The birding while good that Saturday was not as productive as it was on Thursday as I noted that the numbers of Pine and Palm Warblers were down. A Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla) seen on Thursday was not seen on Saturday. Nevertheless, we managed to pick up several early spring migrants in Black-and-white Warbler, (Mniotilta varia), and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, (Polioptila caerulea) . A partially leucistic American Robin was seen quite nicely giving those of us with cameras a chance to get some photos.  A Great Horned Owl, (Bubo virginianus) missed earlier in the walk, put in an appearance as some of us made a second pass around the kettle ponds. During our walk, we also took some time to look at plants such as Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) and Sessile bellwort or wild oats (Uvularia sessilifolia). While the trees were not dripping with birds, it was still a good day for bird watching in Queens.

A partially leucistic Robin was one of the Alley Pond Park highlights.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) has a nice flower when it blooms.

Sessile bellwort or Wild Oats (Uvularia sessilifolia).
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