Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spring Birding @ Sunken Meadow

A pleasant hike at Sunken Meadow State Park yesterday(4-24-10) from 7:45am-11:00am got me my FOS Yellow warbler and Common Yellowthroat; the former was singing at the edge of the forest and marsh along the Inner Marsh trail at the western end of the park. Calling from the phragmites in the marsh were 2 Common Yellowthroats. The only other warbler species seen included 74 Yellow-rumped warblers and 14 Palm warblers. Down at the cove near the footbridge(Field 3), 3 Northern Shovelers, 3 Green-winged Teal, and 2 Ruddy ducks were the only transient waterfowl besides the resident Gadwall, American Black ducks, and Mallards.

A quick look on the LI Sound produced 3 Common Loons, 2 Horned Grebes, 36 Brant, and 11 Red-breasted Mergansers. The passerines observed were high in numbers but not in diversity. The majority of migrant songbirds consisted of Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Brown Creepers, Hermit thrush, and the four warbler species named above. The breeding birds are establishing territory and were quite easy to find: 6 Brown Thrashers, Eastern Towhees, and 5 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, two pairs which are most likely to nest. Foraging at the terminus of the Nissequogue River a ways East of Field 3 were 7 Great Egrets, 11 Snowy Egrets, Greater Yellowlegs, and from another observer, a Spotted sandpiper. 2 Savannah sparrows were feeding on the shoulder of the park road, only noticed after they started singing.

Other fauna present: Mourning Cloak, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Muskrat, Painted turtles, and Eastern Chipmunks

Some pics of yesterday's outing...

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