Friday, May 25, 2012

Van Cortlandt Park Birdathon - and the winners are....

Us...we did it!!! Our team retained our title from last year as this year's winners of the Van Cortlandt Park Birdathon. This year we tallied 63 species beating last year's number of 56. The day (May 19th), started with Frank Donovan and I working a few spots as early as 6:00 a.m. we quickly picked up a number of species and by the time we met up with Hilary Russ, we were well into the twenties. At 8:00 a.m. we picked up the rest of the folks who would participate with us and birded the Parade Grounds, Vault Hill, and then the North West Woods.

 It was obvious that many of the birds we had from the previous week were not around and it appeared that there were little to no new arrivals; however, with some hard work we slowly but surely added to our list. Black-crowned night Heron, Broad-winged Hawk and Purple Martin were species we picked up that I felt other teams would be hard pressed to find. We looked hard for a Solitary Sandpiper that I found the previous week but could not find it (I learned later that someone else had seen it); instead we picked up several Least Sandpipers, which were new for the year.

We took a break for lunch, something we did not do last year and then birded the Putnam Trail, where we tried to add Titmouse; we did not find any and I considered this a bad miss. We pondered about going into the North East Woods, but decided against it because we had already birded 10 + hours and folks were starting to lag. In the end 63 species was good enough! Huge thanks and congratulations to the team consisting of Frank Donovan, Hilary Russ, Abby Turner, Joan Klavan, Tamara Loomis, Ann Murray, Gerry McGee and his wife and Ryan Davis. 

If you wish to support our effort in the Birdathon, you could still make a pledge. Remember, it is all for a good cause as the money goes into the conservation work and birding programs at Van Cortlandt Park. Click here to view and download the pledge form or you could click here to donate online. A complete list of birds from our walk is provided below.

American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata)
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)
Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus)
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica)
Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus)
Great Egret (Ardea alba)
Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)
Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)
House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla)
Magnolia Warbler (Setophaga magnolia)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
Northern Waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis)
Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius)
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
Purple Martin (Progne subis)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)
Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
Veery (Catharus fuscescens)
Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus)
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii)
Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina)
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata)

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hilary said...

Woot woot! Thanks for all you expert guidance Andrew.

Cindy said...

Ha, ha..Ten hours of birding enough? No! Never ;-) Congrats!


@Cindy 10 hours is just not enough :P


@Hilary - Expert I am not, but thanks for the compliment.