Monday, April 6, 2009

An early morning hike at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge…

With the recent rainfall, it was nice to get out and do some birding. Today, I opted for a walk at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. I got to the refuge around 8:30 am and decided to make the East Pond my first stop. On my way towards Big John’s pond, I picked up my FOY(First of the year) Pine Warbler, which was hanging out with some Yellow-rumped Warblers; in the same vicinity, there were several Eastern Phoebes flitting in and out on the edge of the trail looking for food. At Big John’s, I spotted my first of the year, Black-crowned Night Heron and counted four, two adults and two juveniles. Also on the pond was a pair of Wood Ducks, several Green-winged Teals, Blue-winged Teals, Mallards and Canada Geese. On the East Pond, things were a lot quieter as compared to last week, with Ruddy Ducks, Mute Swans, Double-crested Cormorants, Greater Scaup, Green-winged Teals and Canada Geese being the only action. On my way back to the vistor’s center, I spotted American Goldfinches, Tree Swallows, a Downy Woodpecker, Black-capped Chickadees and 4 Glossy Ibis’ flying overhead. Back at the visitor’s center, I ran into a former neighbor and avid birder Albert Giordano, who informed me of an Indigo Bunting that was spotted outside the Visitor’s center in the newly mowed meadow. I made my way to the location and found Steve Walters, a naturalist and photographer, who was taking photos of the bird. I stayed back and allowed Steve to get off his shots and when the bird took off I made my way closer to the area. In due time the bird returned and I was able to get excellent looks as well as getting some photographs. I stayed for a while and chatted with Steve, then eventually moved onto the West Pond Trail. The trail was pretty active with Tree Swallows flying all around looking for nesting sites. However, on the West Pond things were pretty quiet. The usual suspects were present including the Canvasback that I had found last weekend, but nothing unusual. Over on Pumpkin Channel, I did notice a few additional Great Egrets and counted about 4 of them. I made the loop and walked both the North and South Gardens. Both gardens were pretty quiet with the exception of Robins and Red-winged Blackbirds; nevertheless, in the North Garden, I picked up another FOY in a Golden-crowned Kinglet. I wrapped up my walk around 1:30 pm and broke for lunch. I had planned on heading for another spot, but decided against it and instead opted for some garden work in order to take advantage of the good weather. I am glad that I did because I got some much needed work done and with rain in the forecast for the next few days, I needed to take advantage of all the good weather to get the garden in order for the Spring visitors. While working, I kept alert for any birds and I did note some activity. I had a new garden visitor in a Rusty Blackbird. The other visitors included, a pair of Downy Woodpeckers (I am hoping they nest and I see little ones this year), a female Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red-winged Blackbirds, Robins, Cardinals and House Finches. Share with Bookmark and Share

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