Friday, November 25, 2011

Field Notes 11-19-2011: Birding The Bronx...

Other than those days when a good migration flight occurs, it is the time of the year where on some days birding could get slow.  However, there are birds around as evidenced by the number of rarities being reported; plus, there are few not so rare but still good birds to get late in the season like the ones I found last week in the Bronx.  After my Van Courtlandt Park walk last Saturday, I decided on continuing to bird the Bronx.  My first stop was at Pelham Bay Park where after a bit of poking around I found a very cooperative Orange Crowned Warbler (Vermivora celata).

This was a first for the Bronx for me and I was pleased as it was one I was looking for.  After getting a few photographs and observing the bird feeding, I scoped the cove for a bit finding both Red-throated and Common Loons.  After making a few passes and counting the waterfowl, I decided to leave.  On my way out, I decided to bird the same area where I had the Orange Crowned Warbler, the habitat looked promising and so I went off trail poking around.  My hunch paid off;  About 20 minutes into my exploration, I spotted some bird activity in the distance, they were American Robins.  I got excited because they were more Robins than I had seen in awhile (yes, I still appreciate all of the common birds).  Closing in on the location, I realized that they were active near a patch of Porcelain Berries

As I stood watching the Robins feasting, a bird that was not a Robin flew into a nearby section of the berries and began to eat.  It was a Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula).  I put the scope up and began to get some digiscope shots.  This was a good bird to get this late I was thinking.  Then as I continued to bird the area, I found 2 more Baltimore Orioles and a surprising female Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea).  The later was quite the surprise and I carefully reviewed the field marks to ensure that I was not looking at a vagrant Western Tanager.

All of these birds were seen in close proximity to each other in an  area that had a lot of Porcelain Berries, an invasive by native plants standards, but nevertheless a valued food source for the birds.  Having some success at seeing these birds this late in the season, got me to thinking about how much work is still needed to understand our own local patches and realized that I've got my work cut out for me. Later on at Orchard Beach in the Bronx, my highlights were a Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena) working offshore in the midst of a couple of Horned Grebes and a Peregrine Falcon bathing in a puddle in the parking lot.

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Dawn Fine said...

Great sightings there Dude!

eileeninmd said...

Wow, great sightings and beautiful birds. Your photos are awesome! Happy Birding!

Angad Achappa said...

Lovely images... :)