Sunday, November 25, 2012

Patagonia Picnic Table Effect - From Virgina's Warbler to Painted Bunting at Alley Pond Park Queens NY...

Maybe I should keep calling Eric Miller every time I get the feeling of a rarity in the air.  I had just gotten off the phone with my friend Steve Walter who was out at Point Lookout LI enjoying great looks at Cave Swallows.  Subsequently, I called another friend, Eric Miller, you might remember him as the guy who not too long ago found a Virgina's Warbler at Alley Pond Park in Queens.

We chatted for a bit and I told Eric that I was on my way to Alley Pond from the Bronx where I had spent a cold vigil in the morning before finally re-finding a Barnacle Goose at Van Cortlandt Park (I'll post photos later).  Our conversation drifted to the Virginia's Warbler and Eric indicated that he was looking for it, but had not see the bird that morning  (making two consecutive days that the bird has not been seen).  I asked Eric if he had birded elsewhere in the park and he replied that he was leaving the area where the Virgina's was last seen to bird other areas in the park.  He mentioned having Rusty Blackbirds at Turtle Pond.  We exchanged some other information as I relayed to him what birds I had seen at Van Cortlandt Park besides the BAGO.

I then asked Eric if he had birded an area he named after me called, "Andrew's Chat Corner".  There was strategy in asking that question.  I remembered that near the area an Ash-throated Flycatcher was found a few years ago.  I referenced that birders in Cape May had recently reported an Ash-throated Flycatcher and suggested that the corner/area should be checked out.  Eric indicated he was heading in that direction and after a few additional minutes we ended our call but not before I indicated that I was going to call him when I got to Alley. 

Minutes later the phone rang, it was from Eric and this is what he said.  "You better get over here, I just found a female Painted Bunting", I was grinning from ear to ear.  Yes!!  I knew it, there had to be a goodie out there somewhere - it was not an Ash-throated Flycatcher, but it was good enough!  The Patagonia Picnic Table Effect was in play (The Patagonia Picnic Table Effect is a birding phenomenon named for a famous hotspot in southeast Arizona. As the discovery of Rose-throated Becards there drew more and more birders to the area, additional rarities and birds of interest continued to be discovered, attracting even more birders and resulting in even more discoveries).  Here are some photos I managed to obtain of today's female Painted Bunting.  Another excellent find from Eric who might have to fend off birders who may want to start tracking his every move if he keeps finding these rarities.

Tags: , , Share with Bookmark and Share


Joey said...

Great shots! Very impressive. Sorry I missed this one.

Anonymous said...

awesome pics!

Cindy said...

Gorgeous bird!

Peter Reisfeld said...

I like to call it the "Eric Miller Effect"