Fall Migration Walk 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Orchard Beach Lagoon and Hunter Island

It was a day for Sparrows. The weather was brisk and the sun was shining. A dozen of us headed out and birded the edge of the lagoon, near the Orchard Beach Parking Lot. Sparrows dominated. There were so many House, Savannah, White -crowned, Chipping, Song, Swamp and a Clay-colored Sparrows that we could have remained for hours. Sorting them out was not easy, but it was fun. It was difficult to move on to Hunter Island with so many birds on the ground and flying in and out of the grasses alongside the marsh. We walked the perimeter of the parking lot birding the edges and walked into Hunter Island. By the time we got into Hunter, it was getting late, so we cut short our walk as some of us needed to leave. There were many birds on Hunter Island  but warbler diversity could have been better. It was only a couple of days prior that the woods seems busy with warblers. What’s nice about the Pelham Bay woods are the low trees and foliage. This allows close looks at many species.

Here’s the report sent to NYS Birds:

A dozen people birded the edge of the lagoon, alongside the parking lot at Orchard Beach and then on Hunter Island on a CityIslandBirds walk from 8:00-12:00.

Highlight was a Clay-colored Sparrow found by Matthieu Benoit near the kayak launch. There were many sparrows and we could have spent the entire day investigating this area. We  found several White-throated, Chipping, White Crowned, (both adult and first winter), Song, Swamp and Savannah Sparrows. Because of the relatively low foliage in this park, it is possible to see many birds close by and at eye level. We had some great looks at a close by overhead Coopers’ Hawk and an immature Bald Eagle.

American Crow

Marsh Wren

Great Egret (several)


Eastern Towhee

Yellow-rumped Warbler (several)

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron


Song Sparrow

White-crowned sparrow

Clay-colored Sparrow

White- throated Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

House Sparrow

Brown Thrasher



Peregrine Falcon

Cooper’s Hawk

Bald Eagle 

White-breasted Nuthatch

Downy Woodpecker

Dark-eyed Junco

Eastern Phoebe

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Swainson’s Thrush

Hermit Thrush

House Wren

Black and White Warbler

Yellow- bellied Sapsucker

Gray Catbird

American Robin

European Starling

Blue Jay

Herring Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Laughing Gull

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