Sunday, May 15, 2016

Big Weekend

     Yesterday, Saturday 5.14.16, was a "Global Big Day," where you bird the day, counting up and tallying as much as you can. I joined a walk in Forest Park in Queens with the NYC Audubon and birded in the park, and the entire walk to the park. It was finally a warbler-ful day, which I have been missing and just watching lists come in as I was in work. It felt good to finally have that experience.
     Today, I could have saved myself some time and just visited a corner in Green-Wood Cemetery, I birded mostly at my favorite tree (which I learned is an European Birch), that is surrounded by a japanese maple, a pin oak, and many azalea bushes near-by. In the one tree, I had 17 species of warbler plus scarlet tanager, chipping sparrow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Swainson's thrush, and Red-eyed Vireo also in (or under). Here is my list that mostly is from under the birch tree.
     Then in an unexpected chase, I joined some fellow birders, escaped to Prospect to find the earlier reported least bittern. Not too shabby!
     In this weekend I got 4 life birds, the Nashville, Canada, & Mourning Warblers, plus the Least Bittern!

Forest Park:
I do not know what I have done to my camera's setting, but I warn, my photos are below sub-par. I am personally not too happy with them, but that's not what the day was really about. Here is a blurd, a rose-breasted grosbeak.
A great-crested flycatcher way high up. I liked forest park, it felt very "wild." But man, the trees were tall and the birds were high. Lots of neck straining. 
A bay breasted warbler, high, and blurry.
More blurry bay-breasted.
Side view of the bay breasted.
A low look at the Cape May Warbler, right over my head.

A singing Nashville Warbler
A meh photo of the Nashville warbler. But the best I got of the 30 or so that I took.
Green-Wood:
A robin collects some bounty.
A catbird hiding in some shrubbery.
A low magnolia warbler, eye level in a young tree.

The ground was crawling with birds! Especially when I got to the birch tree, which had 10-12 oven birds, a N. water thrush, when I first arrived, a Swainson's thrush, and a chipping sparrow.
My sub-par photos but, identifiable of the Mourning Warbler.
He is little and quick and backlit, and I am not really a skilled photographer. I was looking for the Canada warbler and came upon him instead!

Prospect Park:
The Least Bittern, high up in a tree. Much smaller than I expected and really not easy to see, pretty well camouflaged on such a day!