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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Early morning in Staten Island

Bluebells - Blue Heron Pond

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Sean and I escaped Brooklyn for a little spring birding across the Verrazano Bridge. Our plan was to make stops along the southeast stretch of the island. We began just after sunrise at Blue Heron Pond Park. From there we drove to Mt. Loretto then ended the morning at the southern tip of Staten Island at Conference House Park.

All of the oak trees are covered with dangling, pale yellow flowers; a veritable flashing neon "Free Food" sign for songbirds. Unfortunately, the cold temperature early on slowed much of the bird activity to a dribble. A majority of this morning's bird activity was observed in 3 or 4 oak tree clusters. A sunny spot near the butterfly pond at Blue Heron held Nashville Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Orchard Oriole. A Hooded Warbler was located behind the visitors center. At Conference House Park we spotted one mixed flock that included Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler and Hooded Warbler. A short distance from that flock, in another stand of oaks, were Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Palm Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler and Black-and-white Warbler.

The highlight of the morning was watching one very hungry Scarlet Tanager behind the Conference House. It was feeding on insects close to the ground (and sometimes on the ground) completely ignoring the human voyeurs. At one point it flew so close that I thought that it was going to hit me. When he was on a low branch in a cherry tree we watch him catch a honey bee and carefully eat it while avoiding the stinger.

Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

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Blue Heron Pond, Mt. Loretto, Conference House Park, 5/4/2005
Common Loon (Several flyovers.)
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret (Mt. Loretto.)
Green Heron (All locations.)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Mt. Loretto.)
Glossy Ibis (Flyovers.)
Canada Goose (All.)
Brant (Mt. Loretto, Conference House.)
Wood Duck (Drake & hen, Blue Heron.)
American Black Duck (Flyovers.)
Mallard (All.)
Osprey (Mt. Loretto.)
Killdeer (Mt. Loretto, Conference House.)
Laughing Gull (Mt. Loretto, Conference House.)
Ring-billed Gull (Mt. Loretto, Conference House.)
Herring Gull (Mt. Loretto, Conference House.)
Great Black-backed Gull (Mt. Loretto, Conference House.)
Rock Pigeon (All.)
Mourning Dove (All.)
Chimney Swift (Mt. Loretto.)
Belted Kingfisher (Mt. Loretto.)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Blue Heron.)
Downy Woodpecker (All.)
Hairy Woodpecker (Mt. Loretto.)
Northern Flicker (All.)
Great Crested Flycatcher (Blue Heron.)
Eastern Kingbird (Mt. Loretto.)
White-eyed Vireo (Conference House.)
Yellow-throated Vireo (Conference House.)
Warbling Vireo (All.)
Red-eyed Vireo (Conference House.)
Blue Jay (All.)
American Crow (All.)
Tree Swallow (Mt. Loretto, Conference House.)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (Mt. Loretto, Conference House.)
Barn Swallow (Mt. Loretto, Conference House.)
Tufted Titmouse (Blue Heron.)
Carolina Wren (All.)
House Wren (All.)
Winter Wren (Mt. Loretto.)
Marsh Wren (Conference House.)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (All.)
Hermit Thrush (All.)
Wood Thrush (Blue Heron.)
American Robin (All.)
Gray Catbird (All.)
Northern Mockingbird (Mt. Loretto, Conference House.)
Brown Thrasher (All.)
European Starling (All.)
Nashville Warbler (Blue Heron.)
Northern Parula (Conference House.)
Yellow Warbler (All.)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (All.)
Black-throated Green Warbler (Conference House.)
Palm Warbler (Conference House.)
Blackpoll Warbler (Conference House.)
Black-and-white Warbler (Blue Heron, Conference House.)
Worm-eating Warbler (Conference House.)
Northern Waterthrush (Mt. Loretto.)
Common Yellowthroat (All.)
Hooded Warbler (1, Blue Heron. 1, Conference House.)
Scarlet Tanager (Conference House.)
Northern Cardinal (All.)
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Conference House.)
Eastern Towhee (All.)
Chipping Sparrow (Conference House.)
Field Sparrow (Conference House.)
Savannah Sparrow (Mt. Loretto, Conference House.)
Song Sparrow (All.)
Swamp Sparrow (All.)
White-throated Sparrow (All.)
Red-winged Blackbird (All.)
Common Grackle (All.)
Boat-tailed Grackle (Mt. Loretto.)
Brown-headed Cowbird (All.)
Orchard Oriole (1, Blue Heron. 2, Mt. Loretto.)
Baltimore Oriole (Blue Heron.)
House Finch (Conference House.)
American Goldfinch (All.)
House Sparrow (All.)

Unidentified fungi - Blue Heron Pond

(Photo credit - Rob J)


jnfr said...

Wonderful pictures!

Dope on the Slope said...

The tanager pix are awesome.

You should send them to the Friday Ark at The Modulator.

And thanks for dropping by my blog to give the id on the duck and the night heron.

Rob J. said...

Thanks, this weekend I expect to be filling up a couple of memory cards with pics. I'll send some shots to the Ark on Sunday.


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