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: https://www.nybirds.org/KBsearch/y2007v57n4/y2007v57n4p298-299lindsay.pdf# Shai Mitra Bay Shore -- NYSbirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsWELCOME.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsRULES.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L 3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01 Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --