Migration Madness Walk

May 6, 2012  8:30 PM

Turtle Cove and Environs

Pelham Bay Park

On a cloudy but promising morning, seven of us set out to find migrating species. At first we couldn’t get out of the parking lot because we were fascinated by a Helmeted Guinea Hen foraging in the surrounding area. I’ve seen three of them here before. They were brought over by a local resident and one has survived, we were told the other two were hit by cars. There were also Warbling Vireos, Boat-tailed and Common Grackles in the trees and on the lawn.

As we cut through the traffic circle, on our way to Turtle Cove, we had quite a show. There were six or more Baltimore Orioles chasing each other in the nearby trees. We had many incredible views as we stood there watching for 20 minutes. Also nearby, were calling Yellow Warblers. As the walk progressed, we saw many more Orioles and Yellow Warblers, they were everywhere.

Down at Turtle Cove we had a Black-crowned Night Heron, several Snowy and Great Egrets, American Goldfinch, mostly Greater Yellowlegs and one or two Lesser Yellowlegs. There was a Least Sandpiper, Killdeer, Marsh Wren, Barn and Tree Swallows flying around. Overhead we watched an Osprey and we located a Clapper Rail. We heard it call right in front of us but it never emerged, hidden in the tall grass.

We then went back to our cars and drove over to the Orchard Beach parking lot. By that time the sun came out and it was beautiful. The park was also beautiful, with purple flowers all around, singing birds and happy birders. We had more views, we had one Orchard Oriole, Eastern Towhees, Song Sparrows, and a Monk Parakeet nest. By noon we were ready to get back, mostly hungry but a bit tired too. This was a great way to spend a Sunday morning.

The best camera you have, is the one you carry with you. I took this with my iPhone while a Yellow Warbler was warbling away above my head. From front to back are Celia, Eleanor, Maria and Cathy. Peter and Oliver left us at Turtle Cove  as it got late.

Species Account


Helmeted Guineafowl
Warbling Vireo (several)
Common Grackle (several)

Boat-tailed Grackle
Baltimore Oriole (several)

Orchard Oriole
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Black-crowned Night Heron
Yellow Warbler (several)
Black and White Warbler
Osprey
American Goldfinch
Great Egret (several)
Snowy Egret (several)
Double-crested Cormorant
Killdeer
Least Sandpiper
Barn Swallow
Tree Swallow
Marsh Wren
Clapper Rail (clearly calling but well hidden)
Monk Parakeet
American Crow
Greater Black-backed Gull
Brown-headed Cowbird
Eastern Mockingbird
Mallard
Blue Jay
Canada Goose
Mourning Dove
Downy Woodpecker
Song Sparrow
Brant
Catbird
Eastern Towhee
American Robins (several)

European Starlings
House Sparrows

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