Starting out very late this morning, Pat and I decided to heed our own advice 
(and the recent good examples of Eileen, Tom, and Steve) and check out the 
forest breeders at Hunters Garden in Eastport, Suffolk County. Despite such 
handicaps as a 9:36 start, a blazing sun, and 81-85 F temperatures, we were 
very pleased to find Hermit Thrushes in the usual places. With a lot of effort, 
we found 7 birds: four widely spaced males singing, near one of which a second 
bird was heard chucking, presumably his mate; and, at another site, two birds 
calling (one chucking and one mewing), far enough away from all four of the 
singing males that they probably constituted a distinct pair, or a parent with 
a fledgling. I mentioned yesterday that my historical data concerning breeders 
at this site involved eight records of 1-2 birds, the latest being in 2011. So 
I asked Pat, "When do you think was the last time we birded here?" In her 
inimitable way she deadpanned, "Uh, how about 2011?" And though neither of us 
felt that this could be, that's what eBird says, and so it must be true.

So this note is in regard to the purposeful birdwatching thread, as well as the 
forest bird apocalypse one. Pat and I are among a pretty small group of 
continuously active birders who, prior to eBird, routinely recorded time, 
duration, distance, and counts for all species. But like everybody, we focused 
more attention on what we were interested in at the time than on what we would 
be interested in 15 years later. We knew where the Hermit Thrushes were, so why 
make the extra effort to find all of them every time? I'm glad now we took the 
pains to record them as often as we did back then.

This morning, we were generally very favorably impressed with the diversity and 
numbers of birds. We did not detect Yellow-throated Vireo, Wood Thrush, 
Black-and-white Warbler, or American Redstart, but Mike Scheibel and company 
found a Brown Creeper (another scarce and local breeder on LI), and things 
generally felt pretty "normal" to us relative to the expectations we developed 
when we birded this site quite regularly.

There are definitely two Acadian Flycatchers there, apparently a pair, as there 
was in 2007:

Shai Mitra
Bay Shore

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