Surprisingly still relatively quiet today: only warbler was ongoing Pine
Warbler singing/seen in pines between RV Campground and Croton Bay. Big
influx of House Wrens this morning singing in every corner and uptick of
singing Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers and Eastern Towhee.  Small kettle (11)
Broad-winged Hawks seen mid-day.  Two American Kestrels seen hunting the
native grass areas of the landfill. (A Northern Harrier, a grey ghost, was
seen by other birders yesterday on the grassland.)

Two male Purple Martins arrived today, singing and entering gourds on
nesting structure by park entrance booth. (Third year for this project;
here's hoping for another successful nesting year.)

Of note: a 2nd martin nesting structure was added this spring, at Rockwood
Hall State Park, ~4.5 mi S, in hopes of establishing a 2nd Westchester
County Purple Martin colony.

Also as a heads up to regional birders: the Croton Point Park landfill
grassland restoration project has now begun with most of the landfill
grassland mown this spring with exception of flagged areas of native
grasses. The main path was closed temporarily today while targeted spraying
for smooth bromegrass was done. This is the start of a two-year project.
Saw Mill River Audubon is encouraging signage on site -- to be added soon
-- to explain the project. More info below, if of interest.

Brief project overview: Using state funding to its Soil and Water
Conservation District, the County of Westchester is restoring grassland
atop the former landfill at Croton Point Park. Larry Weaner Landscape
Associates has designed this project and will be overseeing its
implementation. The project is intended to curb less desirable, invasive
plants in favor of more ecologically friendly native plants to improve
wildlife habitat, especially for grassland birds.

Thursday, May 23, 7:00pm at the Croton Free Library, Saw Mill River Audubon
is hosting a public program to overview this project including a Q&A with
presenters Larry Weaner and Jenna Webster, of Larry Weaner Landscape

Ongoing, Saw Mill River Audubon is glad to field questions or comments
about this project and pass along any concerns, as may be helpful.  We have
been closely following the project plans and were invited to offer input,
including referencing eBird records of grassland bird use of the project
site, with ongoing thanks to all who eBird their visits to Croton Point

Anne Swaim
Saw Mill River Audubon


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