Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Adventures & Observations

My birding blog site


  Recent June Outings

Published: June 22, 2014
Tags: General Observations, American Bittern, Acadian Flycatcher, Louisiana Waterthrush, Cliff Swallow, Black Tern, Purple Martin

I've done a bunch of birding the last several days since returning from Long Island - but at a much slower pace! Some of the places I birded were: Hunter's Creek, Chestnut Ridge, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, and Tonawanda Island. I haven't added any life birds since my trip, but I have seen a couple of  FOY's (First of Years).

I really enjoyed my time at Hunter's Creek. It was the first time I've hiked there and I loved the cool and silence of the woods. I was hoping to find an Acadian Flycatcher there - and was fooled a few times but the truncated songs of some Red-eyed Vireos, but alas, no true Acadian made itself known to me.  In addition to a Pileated Woodpecker, 2 Hairy Woodpeckers, and a couple of Eastern Wood-Pewees, I saw some Ovenbirds, American-Redstarts, a Hooded Warbler, and, surprisingly, 3 Blackburnian Warblers.  That was very nice!

The next day, Chestnut Ridge produced the Acadian, a relatively larger and more olive flycatcher than a Willow or Alder. I had stopped along the creek to watch and photograph a pair of Louisiana Waterthrushes I had come upon, when, a few minutes later, I heard the unmistakeable "PEET!" of the Acadian Flycatcher further down the creek.  I slowly made my way towards it and was rewarded with the sight of this year bird - and eventually his two-syllable "PEET-SAH!" call a few times.  He was quite vociferous, calling on and off as I watched him dive for insects, which was a real treat too!

Later in the week, a couple of trips to Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge brought some wonderful views of 5 different American Bitterns, several Black Terns, Purple Martins, and some nice sights of nesting birds.

I found one more year bird at Tonawanda Island, where I was told Cliff Swallows are nesting for the first time. It was a real sight to watch these swift-moving swallows swoop in and dab more mud onto their growing gourd-shaped nests on the underside of the bridge. And I heard it takes about 1,000 dabs of mud to complete one of these nests!  I really enjoyed getting a chance to study them at close range. This stocky swallow is easily identified by its short, straight tail and the adult's bright white forehead. It was a very educational stop for me and I highly recommend it!

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Louisiana Waterthrush

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Louisiana Waterthrush

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Louisiana Waterthrush

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Acadian Flycatcher - "PEET!"

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Yellow Warbler with a fresh catch

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Yellow Warbler

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Cedar Waxwings are showing up all over these days!

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2 American Bitterns (one is an immature, most likely)

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American Bittern

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American Bittern

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It's hard to see but there's a young Downy Woodpecker peeking out from its nest cavity

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A parent White-breasted Nuthatch removes a fecal sac from its nest cavity

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A female American Redstart sitting on her nest

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Eastern Phoebe giving me a nice close-up

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A rare good view of a Yellow-billed Cuckoo

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Purple Martin hawking a dragonfly

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Carrying it to its young

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And the delivery!

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Black Tern

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Black Tern

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Osprey at nest - there was at least 1 young one up there, but it wouldn't pop its head out again!

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Osprey

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A view of the whole mud nest of one of the swallows as it's peeking out

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Cliff Swallow

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Hard at work

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Back out for more mud!

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