Second Spring Migration Walk

May 3, 2015

8:30-12:00

Hunter Island


    This was the day we were dreaming about in February, after so many snowstorms and so much cold. It was sunny, warm and beautiful at the beach. We began by walking counter-clockwise to our usual route. We stopped at the first small field as we walked toward the hill. We immediately saw an Orchard Oriole and a Yellow Warbler. It was a good start. Then we checked out the Killdeer nest. We found two nests. One of the new nests was in the middle of a newly seeded lawn area. We hung around for a while enjoying watching the bird walk around, eventually going to the nest. It was pretty good photo op, since the birds were relatively close. We walked down toward the water and checked out the lookout. There was one Red-breasted Merganser, who promptly scooted away as he saw us coming. It was surprising to see him still there, he should have been flying north with the rest of the flock by this time. The waters were pretty empty, a few Mallards, Canada Geese and Brant. We checked out the tall pines as we walked on, looking for the Great Horned Owl. Boris and Brendan were our scouts but the bird wasn’t there. As we kept on the trail we had several Baltimore Orioles and Yellow Warblers were singing all around us.

    We stopped suddenly to find a beautiful male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. He was at eye level and really close. He stayed for a long while and we were glad to admire this guy. Cutting back toward the water we decided to tour the small island and too a long boardwalk out there. I wasn’t too optimistic but it’s a beautiful spot, looking out at the water and land formations. Suddenly we heard the cries of American Oystercatcher and 4 -5 flew around and gave us a good look. Later on a few landed on the rocks and we all had some good looks. Other birds were Yellowlegs. Without a scope, it was difficult to say whether they were greater or lesser. Eleanor and I thought they were most likely lesser. Out on the rocks, to our right, were some Yellowlegs and a Spotted Sandpiper. We also saw a huge flock of Brant, perhaps 200-300, difficult to count. I was thinking that they also needed to begin their journey way north, to their breeding grounds. On the way back we had more Yellow Warblers, a flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers and some Warbling Vireos. Of course there were Downys and Red- Bellies long with a Catbird and Black and White Warbler. As we crested the hill by the pines we heard a Phoebe calling and located the bird high up. It was our last bird of the day and everyone went home happy and hungry.

This is the stop at the Killdeer nests. Gerry adjusts the camera while the bird flies to Brooklyn. Eleanor gets the good look. Bob is also interested in getting the shot.

A break from looking at the Oystercatchers, Matthew and Joy get some of that great sun.

Will looks like he’s the “Birder of the Year” with the perfect birder pose.

Ok, who wants to count the Brant, was it 200 or 300? What, nobody!

Will, Brendan, Ravi and Boris have already identified the Yellowlegs and Spotted Sandpiper. Can’t anyone find a Spoon-billed Sandpiper?

Eleanor is happy, it was fun- and now we all get to go home, relax and eat lunch!

Brendan, Ravi and Jane have finished having a deep philosophical discussion about birds. (not)

Joe is smiling because he got some good photos.

(He has ammo in that vest, watch out!)

John is the “Black Birder,” but wait, he has white shoes!

Brendan gives the sign, all is well, peace, and birds! You can’t get any cooler than that.

Species Account

American Robin

Red-winged Blackbird

Yellow Warbler

Orchard Oriole

Killdeer

Osprey

Red-breasted Merganser

Great Egret

Northern Flicker

Canada Goose

Brant

Downy Woodpecker

Blue jay

Baltimore Oriole

Eastern Towhee

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

American Oystercatcher

Yellowlegs (sp.)

Spotted Sandpiper

Double-crested Cormorant

Yellow-rumped warbler

Warbling Vireo

Red-tailed Hawk

Black and White Warbler

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Mourning Dove

European Starling

Brown-headed Cowbird

Eastern Phoebe

White- breasted Nuthatch

Gray Catbird.

Mallard

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