Late yesterday, Todd Bittner (Director of the Cornell Botanical Gardens Natural 
Areas) and I made a last-minute decision to meet up for birding at the Hawthorn 
Orchard this morning. We birded the area for about 3-1/2 hours this morning.

Best birds, but not terribly rewarding, were two Yellow-bellied Flycatchers 
(one seen, one singing) in the Northeast corner area in the Hawthorn Orchard. I 
managed a weak audio recording of the more distant softly-singing bird and 
included that in the eBird checklist with notes. The singer was doing the soft 
“che-bunk” song instead of the “chew-wee” song/calls I’m used to hearing.

Also, an extremely cooperative male Scarlet Tanager was singing persistently 
from the oaks near the tall white pines in the north ravine. We heard this bird 
singing almost throughout the entire duration there.

Early in the morning, a very excited Great Crested Flycatcher was frequenting 
the tallest oak tree along the easternmost edge. From our vantage point, we 
initially thought there were two birds counter-singing, but we quickly realized 
that the second bird was an echo of the single loud bird, bouncing off the 
tennis building behind us.

Another nice find was a male Canada Warbler that was singing persistently from 
one of the olive bush thickets (I forget the specific name) in the northeast 
clearing. Despite being in such a small thicket, and walking all around it, we 
only briefly saw the bird a couple of times. The Canada Warbler was mostly 
whisper-singing the entire time. It was odd, because I usually encounter this 
either down in dense ravine bushes or in the denser section of the Hawthorn 
Orchard near the north ravine edge.

All in all it was a good morning to be outdoors!

Here’s our complete eBird checklist with the audio of the Yellow-bellied 

Chris T-H

Chris Tessaglia-Hymes
PO Box 488
8 Etna Lane
Etna, NY 13062


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