Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Adventures & Observations

My birding blog site


  Shorebirds and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Published: April 22, 2014
Tags: Parks and Preserves, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Dunlin, Killdeer, Pectoral Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Greater Yellowlegs, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Northern Mockingbird, Red-tailed Hawk, Great Blue Heron

I tried a new location after work yesterday. It's called Greenway Trail and is located in the Geneseo region of Livingston County. I read that shorebirds were seen there and I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few at a pond along the trail.

I didn't bring my scope so it was a little difficult ID'ing all of them, but I could easily make out the Dunlin, Pectoral Sandpipers, Killdeer, and Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs.  If there were others mixed in, I couldn't discern them.

Another nice find was a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher busily working the trees on the trail near the pond. He didn't give me great views, but I caught a few photos of this first-of-the-year bird for me as he darted about catching insects.

I enjoyed seeing several Field Sparrows, a common but lovely little sparrow with a very cool call.  A small flock of Cedar Waxwings passed overhead and I saw a Great Blue Heron fly by, a Red-tail Hawk soaring above a field, and many Brown-headed Cowbirds that were concentrated by the pond among the Red-winged Blackbirds. I also heard two Eastern Towhees calling to one another further down the trail - or were they calling to me???

I imagine the path will be insect-infested in a couple of weeks when it gets hot, but for right now, it was a great, well-maintained trail to hike with benches strategically positioned along the way.

I happened to spot a Northern Mockingbird as I was driving home. It was close to the road so I stopped and rolled down my windows to listen to its mimics and songs. It was a little back lit, but I grabbed a few photos anyway.

Did you know the Northern Mockingbird is closely related to the Brown Thrasher?  They both are from the family, Mimidae, indicating the fact that they are mimics. "Mimic Thrush" is a nickname for this group - and it's well deserved. Their tails and bills are longer than a true thrush - with their bills being more decurved as well. If you ever get the opportunity to listen to one of these mimics, do tarry and enjoy them; they're quite entertaining!

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Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

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Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

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Song Sparrow

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Swamp Sparrow

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Field Sparrow

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Field Sparrow

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Northern Mockingbird

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Northern Mockingbird

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A mix of shorebirds

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Shorebirds

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