Friday, September 21, 2012

Van Cortlandt Bird Walk Report 09-15-12...

On Saturday, I was back in the Bronx to lead my Saturday morning walk at Van Cortlandt Park.  As my usual MO, I got to the location early and did some scouting; sadly, I was very disappointed that the enclosed field across from the nature center was now fully accessible.  The fence was all gone, which was a bummer because the fence used to be a reliable area to look for Sparrows and other passerines.  After doing a quick check of the south end of the lake, I headed to our meeting spot near the ranger station and connected with the group.  After some administrative tasks, I set us out onto the field where we looked for Sparrows.  As luck would have it, I heard then spotted a Savannah Sparrow, flying across the field and tracked it to its landing spot.  The entire group was able to get good looks and study the bird.  For some, it was a lifer!

From the field, we headed towards the lake and at the bridge near the golf course, we picked up a couple of good birds including a Solitary Sandpiper and Wood Ducks.  Later on as we worked the lake, we added a Great Blue Heron and Green Heron.  As we worked our way around the John Kieran trail, we added Philadelphia Vireo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and a few other passerines.  The Philadelphia Vireo was a treat and a first for our walk, although it was disappointing not to get everyone in the group on the bird.

From the lake, we headed to the restoration area where we had a calling Carolina Wren that never really showed itself.  Several Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Red-eyed Vireo and Least Flycatcher were among the many birds that put in an appearance.  By then, it was getting late and things had already started to quiet down.  We ended our walk shortly after. Here is a list of the species seen:

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Green Heron (Butorides virescens)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria)
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus)
Philadelphia Vireo (Vireo philadelphicus)
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)
American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)
Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  

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