My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

Chirps and Cheeps Bird Blog

A Birder's Blog About Birding in Western New York

July Birding

Published October 31, 2016
Tags: General Observations, White Ibis, Barn Swallow, Short-billed Dowitcher, Least Sandpiper, Indigo Bunting, Gray Catbird, Acadian Flycatcher, Purple Finch, Killdeer, Green Heron, Marsh Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Black-crowned Night Heron, Common Yellowthroat, Merlin, Northern Flicker

July brought a great rarity to the Western New York area.  Matt Nusstein found a White Ibis at Evangola State Park!  This large, white, wading bird was foraging in a small pond when I first laid eyes on him.  That massive, pink bill was incredible to see!  He (or she) was loosely hanging out with some Canada Geese, totally unaware and uncaring of the stir it was causing.  People from all over raced to see this bird, who only stayed but a few hours.  It was later seen further north along the Niagara River, giving a brief view to just a couple of lucky birders.  What a great sighting!

Shorebirds began filtering through the region during the month, giving me some nice looks at a Short-billed Dowitcher and a Stilt Sandpiper.  A short visit with a Northern Goshawk was a nice thrill for the month, along with a surprise face-to-face with a Barred Owl.  Seeing fledgling Acadian Flycatchers for the first time was super nice - the two little guys couldn't have been cuter! This was a life bird experience for friend, Shelley Seidman - I think we got Shelley 3 life birds that day!

I spent much of the month collecting photos of birds for a book project myself and three colleagues are working on.  Visit our website at: www.10x10species.com for more about that project!

Some of the July birds I caught on camera are shown below...
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White Ibis
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White Ibis
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Barred Owl
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Barred Owl
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Young Barn Swallow
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Newly fledged Acadian Flycatcher
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Least Sandpiper
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Purple Finch
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Indigo Bunting
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Gray Catbird
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Short-billed Dowitcher
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Young Killdeer
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Common Yellowthroat - male
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Common Yellowthroat - female feeding young
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Marsh Wren
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Cedar Waxwing
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Black-crowned Night Heron
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Northern Flicker
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Merlin
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A Merlin and American Kestrel tift at Tifft


June Birding

Published October 29, 2016
Tags: General Observations, Sedge Wren, Vesper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Brown Thrasher, Prairie Warbler, Black Vulture, Bobolink, American Kestrel, American Redstart, Northern Mockingbird, Red-winged Blackbird, Tree Swallow, Blue-headed Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Osprey, Carolina Wren, Northern Waterthrush, Mallard, Hairy Woodpecker

After May migration ends, June brings relief from the frenzy and a much more relaxed birding pace takes over.  This is a nice time of year to leisurely see, study, and visit our local breeders.

It's also a nice time to do some county birding, seeing species in the different counties of NYS that I've never seen before.  I visited several counties across the region, taking my time, and just enjoying seeing what I could see.  One of the advantages of that is you get to see things you might not see if you're busy chasing a bird. On one trip, I got to see the first male Ruffed Grouse down in Wyoming County.  That was cool!

I also took advantage of the slower pace and went birding with a couple of my grandkids.  I love spending time with them out in nature parks, especially six year old, Alex, who seems to really enjoy it! Alex has a million questions and some very unique perspectives!  Right now, his favorite bird is the handsome male American Goldfinch.  He simply states that he loves the way those two colors, yellow and black, look together on that bird.  Well, who can argue with that?!

A Garganey was found by Eric Miller the first week of June, so that was a life bird worth pursuing!  I went with Willie D'Anna and Bernie Kester to Montezuma to see this unique duck.  The duck was not the most cooperative bird and we eventually did get some decent scoped looks at it but photos would have been just too distant and the little guy was tucked in the reeds most of the time.

The very next week, I found myself right back out at Montzeuma looking at a NYS bird found by my good friend, Stacy Robinson.  Stacy was out there looking for the Garganey when she found a Black-necked Stilt!  Wow!  Again, that guy was too far for decent photos, so I won't even post what I did get of that beauty.

Other than the Garganey, the stilt, and a couple of Sedge Wrens, there weren't many - or maybe not even any - other rarities to chase during the month.  June was pretty quiet, relaxed, and very enjoyable.  Here are a few photos from the month below...
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A backlit photo of a Vesper Sparrow
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Brown Thrasher
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Prairie Warbler
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Sedge Wren
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Northern Mockingbird
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Black Vulture
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Green Heron
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Red-winged Blackbird (female)
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American Redstart
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Tree Swallow
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Great Egret
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Great Blue Heron with fish
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Eared Grebe
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Hairy Woodpeckers - mom feeding her young one in our backyard
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Two of my grandkids looking at the baby ducks
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Momma Mallard and her ducklings
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Carolina Wren
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Northern Waterthrush
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Tree Swallow feeding his young
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Osprey
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Savannah Sparrow
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A terrible quality photo of a Warbling Vireo getting fed
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Female Bobolink
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Male Bobolink
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American Kestrel hovering over prey
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Blue-headed Vireo


May Birding

Published October 28, 2016
Tags: General Observations, Brant, American Avocet, Willet, Golden-winged Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Yellow-throated Vireo, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Summer Tanager, Western Tanager, Mississippi Kite, Common Nighthawk, Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstone, Eared Grebe, Cerulean Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Clay-colored Sparrow, Black-billed Cuckoo, Red-headed Woodpecker, Least Flycatcher

The month of May started out with some great rarities. A stop at the Batavia Wastewater Treatment Plant brought a few surprises: Brant (first noticed by Greg Lawrence), 7 Willet, and both a Forster's Tern and Black Tern.  More Willet and Brant were reported throughout the day - plus a couple of American Avocets were found in Canandaigua.  There were fallouts all over the region!

The rest of the month brought the beautiful warblers that we all look so forward to in Western New York. I got to see a male Cerulean Warbler practically in my own back yard! Between those little jewels and a few more rarities, the month was one of the best birding months I think I've enjoyed so far.

Some of the rarities I got to see included: a Harris's Sparrow in Kendall, a Golden-winged Warbler found by Matt Nusstein at Forest Lawn, a Worm-eating Warbler that Alec Humann and I found at Forest Lawn, a Yellow-throated Warbler I refound at Forest Lawn, an Eastern Whip-poor-will found by Garner Light and Nate Johnson at Forest Lawn, a Summer Tanager down in Chautauqua County, a Gray Kingbird found by Greg Lawrence, a Western Tanager found by Alan Baczkiewicz, a dozen Whimbrel at Canandaigua, and a Mississippi Kite up in Port Colbourne, Ontario.  The kite and kingbird were both life birds!

The Common Nighthawk became a yard bird towards the end of the month as I discovered from a post by Mike Zebehazy that they were flying over Orchard Park for a few nights.  Sure enough, another stakeout on my deck proved fruitful - I had six fly over one night!

May is certainly a magical month here in Western New York and below are some of those magical moments captured as best as I was able...
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Brant at the Batavia Wastewater Treatment Plant
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Willet at the Canandaigua City Pier
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American Avocets at the Canandaigua City Pier
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Yellow-throated Vireo
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Cerulean Warbler
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Black-throated Green Warbler
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Eastern Whip-poor-will
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Western Tanager
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Blue-winged Warbler
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Blackburnian Warbler
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Golden-winged Warbler
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Orange-crowned Warbler
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Worm-eating Warbler
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A terrible shot of the elusive Yellow-throated Warbler Peter Yoerg found at Forest Lawn. This was taken later that same night in light rain and just about dark. He was very high up in a tree with some other warblers; I can't believe I refound the guy in those conditions!
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Cape May Warbler
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Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
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Black-throated Blue Warbler
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Summer Tanager in Chautauqua
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Ruddy Turnstone
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Clay-colored Sparrow
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Mississippi Kite in Port Colbourne
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Mississippi Kite in Port Colbourne
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Whimbrel in Canandaigua
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Black-billed Cuckoo at Tifft
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Common Nighthawk as seen from my deck
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Common Nighthawks - a new yard bird!
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Red-headed Woodpecker
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Red-headed Woodpeckers mating
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Eared Grebe at BWWTP
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Least Flycatcher at Forest Lawn