Bronx/Brooklyn Birdwalk

January 12, 2013

City Island Birds met the Brooklyn Bird Club on Saturday at the Orchard Beach Parking lot. We toured Hunter and Twin Islands, Rodman’s Neck, Turtle Cove, Bartow-Pell Mansion and the southern zone briefly. We picked up 53 species which included two Barred Owls, a Saw-whet and Great Horned Owl.

Our large group, composed of approximately 30 pair of eyes, was able to spot a lot more species than we usually find on a dreary damp winter day. We did quite a bit of walking and some of the group didn’t quit until 4 PM or so, beginning at 8:30 AM. As we traversed Hunter Island and scoped off the rocks on Twin Island we were able to pick out several waterfowl, Greater Scaup, Bufflehead, American Wigeon, Gadwall, both Common and Red-throated Loon, Horned Grebe, Brant, Ruddy Duck, Common Goldeneye, American Black Duck and a lone Dunlin among the Ringed-bill Gulls. We unsuccessfully searched for the Clay-colored Sparrow seen a few weeks ago, but still had a fair amount of woodland species for this time of the year.

We never really stopped to eat lunch, but ate on the fly, as the benches at Orchard Beach were damp from the early morning rain. As you can see in the photo on the left, we traveled out on a narrow walkway, to an small island off Hunter Island. If you look carefully, you can see the water level was low, and there was lots of clearance between the water line and the slatted walkway. We stayed on the island for approximately one half hour. When we decided to return to Hunter Island, we found that a very fast moving tide was breaching the walkway and that one stretch was underwater. Only two of our walkers had wet feet as water got into their socks.

Having traveled on this walkway perhaps many many  times over the years, I had never encountered a tide that moved so fast. Luckily we didn’t stay on the island any longer!

This is the slatted walkway that was breached when we returned.

Dennis scoping Red-throated Loon, Common Goldeneye and more off the beach.

We stopped to find two Golden-crowned Kinglets.

Another White- breasted Nuthatch close by.

No fun having wet feet, as the walkway disappears. Photo Joseph Morales

Some of abandoned our scopes, as we went to search for an elusive Great Horned Owl. Later on the walk it was found in another section of the park. Photo Billy Spink

One of the two Barred Owls we saw on the walk. This photo was taken on another day.

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Species Account


Canada Goose  


American Wigeon  10    

American Black Duck  


Greater Scaup  


Common Goldeneye  100  

Hooded Merganser  

Red-breasted Merganser  

Wild Turkey

Red-throated Loon

Common Loon  

Horned Grebe  

Double-crested Cormorant  

Great Cormorant  

Great Blue Heron  

Red-tailed Hawk  

Dunlin  1    

Ring-billed Gull  

Herring Gull  

Great Black-backed Gull  

Rock Pigeon  

Mourning Dove  

Great Horned Owl  1    

Barred Owl  2    

Northern Saw-whet Owl  1    

Belted Kingfisher  

Red-bellied Woodpecker  

Downy Woodpecker  

Hairy Woodpecker  

American Kestrel  

Blue Jay  

American Crow  

Black-capped Chickadee  

Tufted Titmouse  

White-breasted Nuthatch  

Winter Wren  

Carolina Wren  

Golden-crowned Kinglet  

American Robin  

Northern Mockingbird  

Brown Thrasher  

European Starling  

American Tree Sparrow  

Fox Sparrow  

Song Sparrow  

White-throated Sparrow  

Northern Cardinal  

Red-winged Blackbird  

American Goldfinch  

House Sparrow  

An American Tree Sparrow lurks among the White -throats.