Dutchess County White-eyed Vireo!

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With just a few species I can still get locally before migration is over, I had to decide what was best to do today. I still need three likely candidates, Olive-sided Flycatcher and Yellow-billed Cuckoo that should still be coming since there have been few reports thus far. I decided on the third, White-eyed Vireo. This bird, actually several, has been being seen at Peach Hill Park just north of Poughkeepsie in Dutchess County for some time now. This bird is rare for our region and has even become scarce on Long Island where I would normally see it. I tried for it the other day at Jamaica Bay without any luck. I had pointers from Tom and Gail and additional info from Carena Pooth as well as a young man named Sean who I met earlier. This was my first visit to PHP and it was a nice experience! There were lots of birds! I walked the trails following the directions I had been given and eventually happened upon on of the vireos. The reason I say this is that I can usually zero in on them because they are singing and or calling and I know where to look. This time I was having no luck and I hadn’t heard them at all. While watching some activity in a densely vegetated gully, one just popped up in front of me! I was just about to get a photo when it dropped down, not to be seen again. Thats when I called Carena and asked for additional suggestions. It turns out I had gone farther than one of the good spots where Carena had had them singing away earlier this morning. When I hung up, just about to head back, I heard “beer check” coming from a little further up the trail. I walked up, immediately spotting one and then two WEVI! They were quite cooperative this time around and I got some decent shots. As I stood along the trail, I was checking out my shots on the camera. I said, “thats not bad” out loud and right over my head by about ten feet a Barred Owl called out “who cooks for you” I was startled and jumped back, thinking I had been alone! The bird just checked me out and posed for a few shots before it flew off deeper into the woods. Other birds of interest included many Eastern Towhees, Blue-winged Warblers, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Orioles and much more! If you’re in the area, definitely check out Peach Hill Park! Thanks to everyone who helped me out!

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