Morningside Park and Bashakill

Juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper at Morningside Park.

Juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper at Morningside Park.

Hoping that last nights storms and northwest winds brought in some fall migrants, I headed up to Morningside Park this morning. There was nice diversity, but only a few shore birds. As I scanned the birds, a medium sized shore bird began flying around the lake. I was able to get on it, but couldn’t put an ID to it. It finally was joined by a couple of Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers and I could see that it was quite a bit larger than they were. Eventually everything came back to the island I was sitting next to and landed. I was quite pleased to see a nice juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER! This is our first of the year here in the county. I was able to get some good shots. As I watched the other shorebirds, Killdeer, Semipalmated Plover and Spotted Sandpiper, my first of the year AMERICAN PIPIT flew over several times, eventually landing only 15 feet from me. Holding still in a kayak in the wind isn’t really possible, and before I could get a shot it was startled by the moving kayak and took off, not to return. I called Scott Baldinger to fill him in on the birds and he informed me he had found a beautiful PHILADELPHIA VIREO on the Nature Trail at the Bashakill. An hour later, I was there searching for the bird. I found it to be quite birdy there this morning. I had Red-eyed, Yellow-throated and Warbling Vireos. American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, Black and White, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Blackburnian and a surprise BLUE-WINGED WARBLER! Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Scarlet Tanager and at least four Wood Thrush. An hour later, still no Philly. Working my way back to the boardwalk area from the sandpit, a bird flew out as if flycatching from a small maple right along the kill. I saw some yellow and thought it was probably a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. When I got on the bird I was thrilled to see it was the Philadelphia Vireo! It gave me several great looks, but would not cooperate for a photo. Three new county year birds in one morning, great birding!

A non-avian highlight of the day was this Porcupine feeding in a Poplar.  He suddenly shimmied out on a branch, hung all four legs in the air, lying on his belly and went to sleep.

A non-avian highlight of the day was this Porcupine feeding in a Poplar. He suddenly shimmied out on a branch, hung all four legs in the air, lying on his belly and went to sleep.

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