On Saturday, May 20th, I was joined by seven others for a fine outing (weather
and bird wise) of birding at the Dorothy McIlroy Preserve and Summerhill area.
Susan Soberoff, Jae Sullivan, Diane Traina, Judith Saul and I first stopped
at the pull off on Lake Como Rd. Here we saw two Cedar Waxwings, and listened
to a Green Heron vocalizing in the wetland right in front of us. We never did
see it, and it continued to vocalize almost the whole time we were there.
There was a singing Warbling Vireo, Red-winged Blackbirds, Grackles, Yellow
Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Swamp Sparrow, Goldfinch, Chickadee, and Crows
calling from a distance. A Willow Flycatcher called from a field across the
Continuing to the Preserve further down the road to Fire Lane A, we met up
with Donna Scott, Bob Horn and Ann Mitchell at the parking lot. Before
entering the forest, birds seen or heard right from the parking lot included
two Kingbirds, Baltimore Orioles, Song and Chipping Sparrows, Tree Swallows,
Canada Goose, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Ovenbird, and Ann had heard
a Yellow-throated Vireo singing before we arrived. The Hemlock-hardwood
forest seemed pretty quiet when we first started out, but we eventually had a
lot of good birds throughout. It was also much cooler than the previous couple
days. We heard numerous Northern Waterthrush all along our walk and just
before we reached the overlook one was spotted on some dead trees out on the
shrub swamp, and we all got good looks. An exciting find was a Winter Wren
that suddenly started singing and continued for quite some time. We never did
see it, as it stayed well hidden, but we all enjoyed the beautiful song, a real
treat. We also enjoyed the Hermit Thrush song. Other birds we heard were
Black-throated Green Warbler, Pileated Woodpecker, Blue-headed Vireo, Veery,
Swamp Sparrow, Alder Flycatcher, Scarlet Tanager, numerous. Ovenbirds, and
Great-creasted Flycatcher. A couple times we spotted Veeries as they flew
around low, landing on lower branches where we could observe them. We had nice
looks at a Broad-winged Hawk that circled overhead, and as we were walking
along a Coopers Hawk flew from a tree just ahead of us. Towards the end of the
loop we saw a Great Blue Heron, out over the water, and watched a female
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker on a dead stump. A female Purple Finch was vocalizing
from the top of a tree. A mystery song we heard while we were on the overlook
was recorded by Ann Mitchell. After she later checked with Jay McGowan, it
was thought to be a possible House or Purple Finch. It certainly was a
different call we couldn't place. It was a very pleasant walk for everyone.
Before moving on two Turkey Vultures were spotted soaring near the parking lot.
We continued on and drove down Sprouls Road where a short stop yielded a
Savannah Sparrow and a field with several Bobolinks.
Driving along Creel Road we stopped at the bottom of a hill where there was a
small stream and a swampy-brushy area on both sides of the road. Here we
observed two Kingbirds, Robins, Yellow Warblers, Common Yellowthroat and
Chickadees and heard or saw Alder Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Song Sparrow and
Catbirds. From nearby fields we heard and saw more Bobolinks, Red-winged
Blackbirds, Tree Swallows and another Savannah Sparrow.
We stopped on Dresser Road and walked down a side road to a swampy area in
hopes of finding an Olive-sided Flycatcher, but were disappointed. We did see
a Broad-winged Hawk, soaring and carrying something in its talons. We also
saw/heard many repeat species that we encountered at the other stops.
It was well past noon but several of us quickly went to Hoag road in hopes
of finding some more Warblers. It was now the quiet time of the day but at one
stop we saw two wonderful birds. Diane Traina got nice looks at a Magnolia
Warbler but it quickly flew across the road and disappeared. About a minute
later a gorgeous Canada Warbler popped up and sat in a small tree for us all to
Heading down Lick Street we made a quick stop where we added two more
species - two Field Sparrows were singing in a brushy pasture area and a Wood
Thrush sang from a nearby woodlot. It was a beautiful day to be out with
others enjoying the birds. Thanks to everyone who joined me!
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