Today the Connecticut Young Birders Club (CTYBC) journeyed to New York State in search of a few birds that are difficult to see in Connecticut. Our first stop was the Sterling Forest in Tuxedo Park, NY which you might remember me visiting last year.
A Louisiana Waterthrush greeted us on our way in and we soon arrived at our first stop: the Ironwood Drive powerline cut. Once on the trail, we were able to nail one of our big targets fairly quickly in the form of a female Golden-winged Warbler. A male soon appeared nearby and gave great looks for all the members before disappearing into a nearby bush. A walk up that section of powerline cut yielded: numerous Prairie Warblers, Indigo Buntings, Black-and-white Warblers, American Redstarts, Eastern Towhees, Scarlet Tanagers and more.
We then retraced our steps and started up the other slope when we noted a Wood Duck in a reedy pool nearby. Upon entrance to the woods, we were surprised by a burst of Yellow-throated Vireo song coming from the canopy. “A Scarlet Tanager in slow motion,” James Purcell often remarks. A Chestnut-sided Warbler and more Indigo Buntings showed well here. On our way back to the van, we were able to nail a calling Barred Owl. Back at the parking area we were caught up to a singing Cerulean Warbler, although we never did see it.
Still missing a few targets and a look at Cerulean, we moved on to other sections of the park including the Blue Lake area where we missed Cerulean and Hooded but still picked up a nice singing Scarlet Tanager. The visitor’s center held a perched Black Vulture, giving great looks on a dead snag. Another Cerulean was again heard (urgh) but a few nice Indigo Buntings provided nice consolation for our missed look.
After the buntings, we began to make our way out towards our next spot: Rockefeller State Park.
This year, Rockefeller has been the home of two (and possibly three) male Kentucky Warblers on territory that have proven to be pretty reliable throughout the day. After enjoying a few resident birds including multiple Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Indigo Bunting we were able to get terrific looks at a singing male, perched out in the open! The highlight of the trip for me.
Also present was a tame Eastern Chipmunk that caught the members’ attention: