I wasn’t expecting too many people to show on this gloomy and damp Sunday morning. This walk was uncertain. The weather predictions varied all week from downpours to showers or possibly just cloudy, so I just wasn’t sure we would have the walk. People who are on the CityIslandBirds list received emails at 6:30 AM informing them whether the walk was on. By 8:30AM we had a terrific group of birders. Now I had to worry about whether the birds would cooperate. There’s never a guarantee about birds. I hate dragging people out of bed on Sunday morning so they can watch leaves sway in the damp breeze.

After our hellos, we crossed over the parking lot barriers to the lagoon. On a sunny day, with NW winds, we would have seen lots of raptors but the Osprey put on a good enough show to keep us terrifically entertained on this cloudy morning. In fact, their diving antics kept us so entertained that I had to convince the group to move on. I think it was Will who found the Northern Parula Warbler in a nearby tree. We made sure everyone had a good look at this bird, then a Brown Thrasher landed nearby, right on the fence, giving everyone good looks. There was nearby Downy Woodpecker, and as we moved on a few Yellow Warblers popped up. A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker also landed on a nearby tree. A lot of us were in a good position to see it, but some of us missed this “life bird” for some. Later on in the walk, another one showed up. Brendan spotted a Coopers Hawk darting across the parking lot and later on another was overhead. As we continued walking the edges we had both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets and both a Red-eyed and Blue-headed Vireo. Aw we got closer to the BBQ grills we found multiple Eastern Phoebe, Palm Warblers and several Yellow-rumped Warblers. So now things were really picking up. A few people peeled off and missed the Red-eyed and Blue-headed Vireo, too bad, these were great birds. There were other great birds to see as you scan the list below. In many cases there were multiples of each bird. The best part of the walk are the birders themselves. The social aspect is as important as the birds themselves and although we all come from different backgrounds our group is always extremely friendly and cheerful.

Fall Migration Walk

October 2, 2016

Species Account


Parula Warbler

Brown Thrasher

Downy Woodpecker

Great Blue Heron

Double-crested Cormorant

Song Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Great Egret

Snowy Egret

Yellow Warbler

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Coopers Hawk

American Redstart

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Palm Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Tufted Titmouse

Laughing Gull

Herring Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Blue-headed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Black and White Warbler

American Robin

Eastern Phoebe

European Starling

House Sparrow

House Finch

Northern Cardinal

Mourning Dove

Grey Catbird

Dark-eyed Junco

Blue Jay


Northern Flicker

White-throated Sparrow

Gray Catbird

Canada Goose

Common Yellowthroat

“Ok, where the heck did that bird go.”

Raphael and Matthew know where the bird is.

“The difference between a beginning birder and an experienced one is that beginning birders have misidentified few birds. Experienced birders have misidentified thousands.”  Pete Dunne

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