Monday, February 27, 2012

Saturday in the Park with Ge... er, Ian and Eric

Saturday Feb 25, 2012

My plan had been to catch up on some rarities in Staten Island on Saturday. The weather had other ideas, being brutally windy though not as cold as one expects in February. That plan on hold, I was catching up on other things when I got a call from Eric, and he and I met up with Ian at the Kissena Corridor to try for the elusive Orange-crowned Warbler.  

I have tried as many as 10 times for this bird, and keeping with ‘the Universal Laws’ of birding it became insulted and had been deliberately avoiding  me. See “Spiteful Avoidance”.

It was so bad that even when the bird had just been seen I could not relocate it. See “The YSHBH Constant”. So in keeping with my chronic irony poisoning, it figures that on the day one presumes that birds would be hunkered down and uncooperative, we find the bird.

I arrived first, and began to slowly bird the area. A few Bluejays and Robins were all that were evident. Continuing west past the community gardens, I flushed a Cooper’s Hawk and wondered if its presence might have made the smaller birds more prudent. 

I got a call from Eric who started at the Velodrome end, and he had a large flock of blackbirds, but on the way over I met up with Ian and the Junco flock. Known to associate with the Juncos, I started looking around for the OCW. It then called and Ian found it in a tree behind us. It then flew right past us before I could get a look, but landed in some shrubs and was better situated.

Naked eye, and through my bins, this individual looked very yellow! In fact two other birders had commented on it to me, saying how bright this individual was. I thought perhaps it was a bit of birding salt in my nemesis wounds, but Damb! It was uncharacteristically bright!

It was so bright, and the grey on the head made me question the ID. Looking in Dunn, my recollection of the brief looks made me wonder if it were not in fact a Nashville Warbler; a thought that had independently been thrown about by some others. 

Orange-crowned Warbler

It was not until I had the chance to review my photos that I was able to see the faint streaking on the breast. What a nice bird!

We ended the brief outing by spying a Ring-necked Pheasant, and then departed to prepare for our adventure the next day....

Ring-necked Pheasant

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