Songo Blue Skies

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Warblers at Doodletown and Sterling Forest, NY, Revisited

       Has it really been a whole year since I wrote on this blog? (I'll explain in the next post) Was is really about Doodletown as well?  Time flies! So the Brooklyn Birding Club ran their yearly trip to Doodletown May 24, 2014. It was thankfully, not as hot as last year but it was overcast and we did have some rain. Still it was an overall pleasant day weather wise. We met at Grand Army Plaza rubbing our eyes at 5:45 sharp! Tom P. was leading again and his excellent wife, JoAnn had arranged all the carpools and other assorted duties having to do with logistics. Thank you both very much.
      Folks gathered and loaded up, we headed for Bear Mountain Park.

After viewing Black Vultures near the bathrooms it was time to head for Doodletown, "An active Ghost town." Ghost town because no one lives there anymore but people who did can still be buried in one of the two cemeteries.
      We immediately began to see warblers and hear them as we walked up the trail. A total of 71 species of birds were seen along with several herpes like a Timber Rattlesnake, 2 Black Rat snakes and a Red Eft.

Timber Rattlesnake hanging out on a branch at eye level! "Hey what rattles you?"

Black Rat Snake

          Red Eft which is considered a juvenile Red Spotted-Newt that lives on land.
Later it will return to water when it becomes an adult in 1-3 years

We saw/heard Cerulean, Canada, Prairie, Hooded, Yellow, Blackburnian, Golden-winged and Blue-winged warblers and some saw several other warblers as well. There were several Baltimore Orioles, Scarlet Tanagers and Indigo Buntings and an Olive-sided Flycatcher. It put on a show for us by flying around above our heads back and forth between two or three tall dead branches. The Olive-sided Flycatcher was hard to see clearly because he was so high and the lighting was horrible.
Male Mallard playing "Peek-a-boo" with us

 Olive-sided Flycatcher  (Wrongly labeled as a Great-crested Flycatcher, previously)
Male Hooded Warbler

Male Hooded Warbler

Male Indigo Bunting
After we finished at Doodletown we took the ride over to Sterling Forest. We all enjoyed lunch before heading over to Ironwood Road to look for Golden-winged warblers. Thank goodness for the exceptional hearing of Tom the leader. We all heard a loud buzzy sound but we were caravaning with the windows open and lets face it, it could have been anything. But Tom stopped and so we all got out and there were trees and marsh, I think, on both sides of the road. Here were two male Golden-winged warblers probably establishing territory. One at least if not both were taking turns flying back and forth across the road just above our heads. They landed in a tree just above eye level about 10 feet in front of us. It was amazing for about 20 minutes just to watch them.  When we got to the turn around on Ironwood Road there was some kind of construction going on along the power line cutaway and it started raining. We walked a little ways into the woods but I only saw a Phoebe feeding her nestlings - no Golden-wings, so thank goodness for Tom's great hearing and decision making.

Golden-winged Warbler

Yellow-throated Vireo

  It was another great BBC birding trip.