Spring Migration Walk 2014

Saturday, May 10, 2014  8:00 AM

Pelham Bay Park

    I don’t think anyone on our walk expected to see and hear the quantity and variation of species on this walk. I had been to the park and checked out the areas a few days before the walk. It was positively dead. There were so few birds that I was not looking forward to disappointing anyone who got up early and sacrificed their morning, only to see a few common species. What a difference a day makes! The rain and wind pushed the birds here, they dropped out of the sky and stopped over just in time.

It was a damp and overcast morning.The weather prediction was dire. Sixty percent chance of showers and possible thunderstorms. When I awoke it was just overcast, so we gave it a go. Twelve birders attended, more than I thought would attend, given the weather.

When I arrived in the parking lot, a few were already on some warblers in a nearby tree. I was heartened.

   After seeing those warblers in the parking lot tree, I wanted to check out the traffic circle because I heard Warbling Vireos and Orioles. As soon as we put up our binoculars, we began seeing more and more birds working the trees. We stayed in the traffic circle for quite a while, we couldn’t leave, there were too many birds!

    We then proceeded to the path that leads to the Meadow. Here we saw more species of passerines. When we felt we had exhausted the possibilities we slowly walked over to Turtle Cove, that’s where we had a few shorebirds. On the way back to the parking lot, I saw what I thought was a Red-tailed Hawk looking with my bare eye. Yikes, what a miss-call! One of our walkers, Ricky, shouted Bald Eagle and she was right! It was an adult Bald Eagle directly overhead! Walking a few feet more, we were greeted by an eye level Scarlet Tanager! A handful of us drove over to Hunter Island and checked out a Killdeer nest. On our walk to Turtle Cove we also found a very low, waist high, Yellow Warbler nest. It was a great day in many respects!

Species Account:

Nashville Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler (close looks, a spectacular male)

Northern Parula (several)

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Magnolia Warbler (more than we cared to count)

Black-throated Green (also several)

Northern Waterthrush

Common Yellowthroat (several)

Yellow-rumped Warblers several

Back and White Warblers (several)

American Redstart (several)


Yellow Warbler (also, an eye level nest)

Baltimore Oriole (several)

Orchard Oriole

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Eastern Towhee

Warbling Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

Great Crested flycatcher

Lesser Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Great Blue Heron

Snowy Egret (several)

Great Egret (several)

Least Sandpiper (flock of about 100  around Turtle Cove)

Common Tern

Spotted Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper

Double-crested Cormorant

Mourning Dove


Killdeer (at Turtle Cove and nest on Hunter Island)

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

White-throated Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Lincoln’s Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Red-tailed Hawk

Scarlet Tanager

Bald Eagle

Eastern Kingbird

Carolina Wren

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Gray Catbird (several)

Tree Swallow

House Finch                                                                                                               

Red-winged Blackbird

Northern Flicker

Blue Jay

Savannah Sparrow on the fence at Turtle Cove golf driving range.

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