Saturday, September 18, 2010

Van Courtlandt Bird Walk Report...

Digiscoped Wood Duck
This is the second week that I have led the group at Van Courtlandt Park in the Bronx since moving up the walk to 8:00 a.m. Despite the constant stream of cross country runners that seemed to be able to access trails that I would love to be off limits, we have seen an uptick with our species count. You think it has anything to do with the change in the start time? This week, our group started with 5, maxed out at 10 and ended up with 8 birders. I changed up our starting point and it paid off as we hit a nice little pocket of activity around the pines near the Ranger Station; we picked up 2 Pine Warblers in that flock, which was my first at Van Courtlandt.

Our "hot" spot over at the restoration area behind the Van Courtlandt Museum was buzzing with Hummingbirds.
Digiscoped Eastern Phoebe

On a conservative count, we settled for 7 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, though there could have been as many as 9-10 around. In that same area we had Eastern Phoebe, an unidentified Empid and a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak that was not very cooperative.

Out on the parade ground, I heard and then spotted Savannah Sparrows and got the early arrivals on a couple that perched on the chain link fence. No sign or sound of the Killdeers, on the field, but that could be as a result of all the activity on the field. Additional highlights were two Solitary Sandpipers seen near the Golf Course at Tibbets Brook.  Below is a list of the birds seen.
  1. Canada Goose
  2. Wood Duck
  3. Mallard
  4. Green-winged Teal
  5. Great Blue Heron
  6. Sharp-shinned Hawk
  7. Cooper's Hawk
  8. Red-tail Hawk
  9. American Kestrel
  10. Solitary Sandpiper
  11. Rock Pigeon
  12. Mourning Dove
  13. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  14. Belted Kingfisher
  15. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  16. Downy Woodpecker
  17. Northern Flicker
  18. Eastern Wood-Pewee
  19. Empidonax sp.
  20. Eastern Phoebe
  21. Blue Jay
  22. American Crow
  23. Black-capped Chickadee
  24. Tufted Titmouse
  25. House Wren
  26. American Robin
  27. Gray Catbird
  28. Northern Mockingbird
  29. European Starling
  30. Northern Parula
  31. Yellow Warbler
  32. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  33. Pine Warbler
  34. Palm Warbler
  35. American Redstart
  36. Eastern Towhee
  37. Savannah Sparrow
  38. Song Sparrow
  39. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  40. Red-winged Blackbird
  41. Common Grackle
  42. Boat-tailed Grackle
  43. House Finch
  44. American Goldfinch
  45. House Sparrow

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