On April 17th, I had spent the morning doing some nest box monitoring at a few locations in Gateway Recreation Area (more on that in another post) and did not plan on doing any birding. However, after reading a message about the Prothonotary Warbler seen earlier at Fuch’s Pond in Northport LI, I decided to make a late afternoon run. It so happened that my friend, Joan Quinlan, called to report on her birding for the day and I asked if she would be interested in the run. Joan was probably tired from her earlier bout of birding, but she was up for a chase. Around 4:30 p.m., we met up at Sunken Meadow State Park and from there we took one vehicle to Fuch’s Pond. After 2 hours of searching and waiting for the bird to show, we called it a day, as the light was fading.
Undaunted, I told Joan that I was going to return the next day for another shot, though much earlier. The next day, I made the hour drive in short order and was at the pond around 7:30 a.m. There were a couple of birders already there, but they had not seen the bird. Other birders soon joined and took up strategic positions around the pond. It was Gail Benson who had arrived with Tom Burke that first spotted the bird when it flew in from the woods and I relocated it among the brush in the middle of the pond. What a spectacular looking fellow. We got everyone at the scene on the bird, which kept disappearing into the brush and we had to really be on our toes not to lose him. By 8:30 a.m. I spotted Joan entering the trail towards the pond and I waved her over. She was able to get on the bird as well and so we were both quite pleased to pick up the bird. Leaving Fuch’s Pond we birded at Makamah Preserve, then at Sunken Meadow State Park. A dead cell phone resulted in a missed phone call from Tom Burke about an American Golden Plover that he and Gail had found at Cedar Beach. We did try after the word finally reached us, but after spending 2 hours sifting through various flocks of Black-belied Plovers we could not turn one into a Golden and we reluctantly accepted that we had dipped. Later on, we joined friends Shai Mitra and Pat Lindsay for happy hour sharing our birding adventures of the day.
Tags: Birding, Fuch's Long Island, Prothonotary Warbler