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

Sue's Bird Blog Archives

Another Nemesis Cuckoo Conquered

Published September 14, 2013
Tags: Life List Happenings, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Black Vulture, Cape May Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Black and White Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler, American Redstart, Chestnut-sided Warbler

After a few days of rain and cold, today's change in weather was welcome! And it seemed fitting to change up my birding adventures by heading out to some new territory.  With Black Vultures as my target, Doug Happ and I birded through the Lewiston and Niagara Falls areas.

Three Sisters Islands in Niagara Falls was powerful and scenic - and very birdy. We ran into Jim Pawlicki who gave us a tip on where to find some warblers and for later on, Black Vultures. We did well with the warblers, finding at least 12 identifiable species in the park, a Warbling Vireo, a Greater Black-backed Gull, and... and something I never expected, one of my two nemesis birds: a YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO!  As we were in the park area enjoying all the warblers, I noticed a larger, light breasted bird fly into a tree up ahead. I nearly dismissed it, as I was totally wrapped up with all the little jewels flitting all around us. Thankfully, I raised my binoculars and nearly fell over - a Yellow-billed Cuckoo was sitting there big as life!  Stunned, I somehow managed to get a few photos of him before he flew off.  Shortly after that, Doug spotted a Black-billed Cuckoo.  How often does THAT happen?!

Finally, pulling ourselves away from all the warblers, we set out in search of a Black Vulture, stopping at a few places that had been recommended to us. It wasn't until we got to our last spot that we found not only saw one but FIVE Black Vultures.  I honestly can't say I was enamored with these birds, their black, featherless face looked downright ugly to me.  But that's just my humble opinion - and beauty IS in the eye of the beholder; right?!
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Yellow-billed Cuckoo - a life bird!
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Yellow-billed Cuckoo
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Cape May Warbler
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Cape May Warbler
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Blackpoll Warbler
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Blackpoll Warbler
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Blackpoll Warbler
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Yellow-rumped Warbler
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Chestnut-sided Warbler
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Chestnut-sided Warbler
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Black and White Warbler
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Black Vulture - my second life bird of the day
Reply from: Lynn on 9/15/2013 6:28 AM
 Sounds like a very satisfying and fun day. The Warblers look very similar to me. I'm impressed that you can identify them so easily. It was a beautiful day yesterday. Good that you're taking advantage of Fall migration on these pleasant days.