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Old Thursday 4th April 2013, 16:46   #101
Pinewood
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Hello all,

Another cool day: late crocuses and early daffodils in the Park. My usual walk was blocked by crews trimming the trees, so I went by way of Cherry Hill and bow bridge, to the Point, and then on to the bird feeders, in the Ramble. On the way to the Ramble, I spotted a white crowned sparrow, illustrated in my previous post. At the feeders, I spotted a red winged black bird, illustrated in a painting by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, in Birds of New York, v.2, 1914 which have become scarce in the Park since the Lake's wetlands were dredged. Later I saw a hairy woodpecker and a red bellied woodpecker, both illustrated below, also from The Birds of New York.

Please note that the Fuertes illustrations are out of copyright but that they were provided for educational purposes. I have a copy of the Birds of New York but I have sourced the illustrations from the web at the Open Library. I had been using the BF's gallery for images, but I think Fuertes' illustrations need to be brought to the attention of another generation. Let me know what you think.


Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Friday 5th April 2013, 16:06   #102
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Seasonal firsts

Hello,

Today's walk started off in a disappointing fashion. Then things picked up, after getting to the Lake, I saw my first egret of the season. It was intently looking for fish, but having no luck. I attach an illustration from Birds of New York.
Then I saw my first white breasted nuthatch of the season. The nuthatch goes down a tree head first, which is amusing but its whole appearance is somehow cheerful. "The nuthatch is an extremely useful and industrious bird. He devotes his entire existence to the occupation of scrambling about on the tree trunks, grubbing out insects from their hiding places under the bark"-Mearns, [i]Birds of the Hudson Highlands/i] I am attaching a Fuertes illustration from Birds of New York, which shows nuthatches, a black capped chickadee and a tufted titmouse, all to be seen, currently.
After sighting the nuthatch, I looked for the red bellied woodpecker, which I saw yesterday, still at the hole in a tree. Either it has hit pay dirt on in insect larvae or it is preparing a nest. Looking at that 'pecker I spotted another hairy woodpecker, which took flight passing a northern flicker. See images in my earlier posts.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Friday 5th April 2013, 16:26   #103
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Wonderful photos. My two daughters and I are planning a trip to NYC next spring as we are tired of these endless Canadian winters with so few bird sighting opportunities.
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Old Friday 5th April 2013, 16:38   #104
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Originally Posted by jvic31 View Post
Wonderful photos. My two daughters and I are planning a trip to NYC next spring as we are tired of these endless Canadian winters with so few bird sighting opportunities.
Hello Jvlc32,

This winter has been extended in New York City, as well. Some of the crocuses "croaked" only ten days, ago; others are still in bloom.
I should make clear that those illustrations are from paintings by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, made more than a century, ago.

The warbler season may start, around April fifteenth. Although I have not seen any, both phoebes and kinglets are to be seen in Central Park, now.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Sunday 7th April 2013, 16:21   #105
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Phoebes

Hello,

The trees are still mostly bare. I was told by a bird watcher that there is cold airmass, from Greenland, sitting in the Atlantic, keeping the temperatures cool. It may reach 12C, today and 20C, tomorrow.

Today's highlight was seeing phoebes: a pair of them stayed around the Northern Lobe of the Lake, and more along the stream, at Triplet's Bridge. I am attaching a Fuertes painting of the phoebe fromBirds of New York.

I saw that same red-bellied woodpecker in the Ramble. It is definitely working on a nest. It has enlarged the hole in the tree, making a nice round entry. Again, I spotted a northern flicker but managed to spot a downy 'pecker, as well. I see far more hairy 'peckers than downy.

This a Fuertes study of a downy woodpecker from the Cornell Archive of his drawings. I provide the link because I am uncertain of copyright. However, I am adding an image of a downy, painted by Fuertes from The Woodpeckers by Fannie Hardy Eckstrom, 1901.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Monday 8th April 2013, 17:30   #106
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Warblers!

Hello all,

A truly spring day has arrived. One of today's treats was another glimpse at a pair of wood ducks, last seen, a couple of weeks, ago. Please look at an earlier post for a link to an image. Phoebes are still at the lake.
On entering the Park, at Strawberry Fields, I spotted song sparrows [Fuertes image, uppermost bird in first attachment]. Note the "knot on the breast; then a hermit thrush [image attached,] and a fox sparrow [image, attached]. Birding Bob drew my attention to a pair of palm warblers [image, attached], which seem to have arrived early. One hundred years, ago, arrival dates fell between April 14th and April 27th. Near the Lake, I saw a golden crowned kinglet [image, attached].
That red bellied woodpecker, mentioned in previous posts, has made three holes in the same tree. I don't how he finds the energy. Walking in the Ramble I spotted a red breasted nuthatch. An image can be seen in a previous post, along with a white breasted nuthatch, as I have maxed out on images.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Wednesday 10th April 2013, 16:03   #107
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Hyacinths

Hello all,

Today, I entered the Park to the fragrance of the blooming hyacinths. No more phoebes, but plenty of kinglets, song sparrows, morning doves, hermit thrushes and a pair of wood ducks still paddling in the North Lobe of the Lake. That red bellied woodpecker seems to have a mate, as I two, at once.

The best birds of the day were a rufous sided towhee, image by Fuertes from Eaton's Birds of New York , [with the sides a little too red] and a yellow bellied sapsucker, image from The Woodpeckers by Fannie Eckstrom. I saw three other woodpeckers, today: a northern flicker, a downy and the previously mentioned red bellied woodpeckers.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur Pinewood
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Old Friday 12th April 2013, 16:20   #108
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At my window!

Hello all,

Yesterday, was rather disappointing and today was too rainy to even go for an excursion. However, it seems that rainy days may have their benefits. Looking out the window, at the private garden, which is thoroughly soaked, I thought I saw a thrush. Even though it is too early to see a wood thrush, I walked over to the window for a better view, surprised to see a waterthrush, probably a Louisiana waterthrush. This would be the first time I have seen one, at my flat. I attach a Fuertes image of one.
As I am still seeing juncoes and blue jays, I add Fuertes images of each, especially for those who did not live in North America. I have to write that the scan does not bring out the turquoise on the blue jay, as it appears in print and in real life

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Sunday 14th April 2013, 16:42   #109
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Creeper

Hello all,

As usual, I was up before dawn, but after coffee and before my matutinal ablutions, I glanced out the window to see juncoes and a chipping sparrow, shown in the first image.
Later, I was off to Central Park, where I saw many of the usual creatures, including a northern flicker, titmice, mourning doves, white crowned sparrows, hermit thrushes in great number, blue jays and northern cardinals. I attach a picture of both the female and male, for those outside North America, who may be unfamiliar with the bird.
In the Park,I also saw a swamp sparrow and brown creepers, several times. My previous experience was one sighting of the creeper. Finally, I spotted a female yellow warbler.
All images were painted Louis Agassiz Fuertes, from The Birds of New York

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Sunday 14th April 2013, 21:45   #110
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Hello Arthur,

Brown Creepers are not easy to find and I think seeing one from an apartment window in NYC is quite an accomplishment! The few I have seen from my deck were on trees over 50 feet away.

Is the tree close to your window?

Bob
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Old Sunday 14th April 2013, 23:18   #111
Pinewood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceasar View Post
Hello Arthur,

Brown Creepers are not easy to find and I think seeing one from an apartment window in NYC is quite an accomplishment! The few I have seen from my deck were on trees over 50 feet away.

Is the tree close to your window?

Bob
Hello Bob,

The creepers were seen in Central Park, not from my window. I was up close to them, each time I saw one, as close as two metres.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur

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Old Monday 15th April 2013, 14:02   #112
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Hello Bob,

The creepers were seen in Central Park, not from my window. I was up close to them, each time I saw one, as close as two metres.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
Very good nevertheless. I should have picked that up in your original post.

In fact, even better at that distance! You could have taken a picture of it with your cell phone! I don't know if I could have done it with mine because I still don't know how most of it's apps work.

Bob

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Old Monday 15th April 2013, 18:00   #113
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Cherry Blossom Time in Central Park

Hello all,

Spring is moving, along. I was greeted by cherry trees in blossom, today. All the seasonal suspects were in the Park: white throated sparrows, blue jays, chipping sparrow,northern cardinals, red bellied 'peckers, downy 'pecker, cormorants, many hermit thrushes and even another encounter with a brown creeper.

Additionally, I saw a male gadwall, once known as a gray duck, on the Lake, hardly a frequent visitor to Central Park. I attach an image by Fuertes. I also saw a male ruby crowned kinglet with another image by Fuertes

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Thursday 18th April 2013, 19:54   #114
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Hello all,


Hermit thrushes, juncoes, cardials, chipping and white throated sparrows are sill to be seen from my window. After a good clean, I still won't see much more through those windows.
Tuesday was a very slow day, with nothing new, but I did see another brown creeper. Apparently, a few creepers winter in New York, which are joined by the migratory creepers in the middle of the month. Then they are off to the north and west to breed. So the beginning of this week was peak season for sighting them.
Wednesday, I made a quick trip through Central Park to get to the Metropolitan Museum of art, to view the exhibition, Impressionism, Fashion, and modernity. The highlight was Caillebotte's Paris on a Rainy Day borrowed from the Art Institute of Chicago but there were famous painting by others including Woman with a Pearl Necklace by Mary Cassatt from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Today, I got to the Lake, where I was surprised to see several pairs of northern shovellers. I am attaching an image. While looking at the shovellers, I saw a large bird land in a distant tree, and which then flew to a an even more distant post, and faced me. A borrowed 10x glass did not help but I am sure that I saw my first black crowned night heron of the year, so I attach an image. It is rather odd to see both the shovellers and that heron, at the same time.
I then walked to the Ramble, a wooded area, with twisting paths, where a bird was moving on the ground. At first, I thought that it was a hermit thrush, but I noticed a white strip above the eye. What would a waterthrush be doing here? However, it had no stripes on the breast and the color was not right. For sure, I saw a Carolina wren, only the second one for me. I attach an image.
At the Lake's shore I saw a female gadwall, so you will see an image of that.

All the images were painted by Louis Agassiz Fuertes for Birds of New York

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Sunday 21st April 2013, 19:12   #115
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3C, in the morning

Hello all,

Friday, I again saw both shovellers and a night heron. Today, I saw several male shovellers, but no black crowned night heron. It appears that the northern shovellers, formerly known as spoon-bills, in some locations, may be migrating north from more southerly climes, since shovellers are in Central Park, all winter. Night herons, once known as quawks may winter on Long Island but ususally winter from Virginia and south. I was told, by a bird watcher, that seeing shovellers and night herons, simultaneously, is not that unusual.

This morning, even at 7:30, it was not quite 3C, cold enough for April 21st. Among the usual birds spotted, in the Park, were white throated sparrows, maybe a towhee, northern cardinals, mourning doves, one female gadwall and hermit thrushes. The warblers are still high up in the trees and are hard to identify but in a few weeks, there will be insects, at ground level, bringing them down where I need not strain my neck and eyes. However, along with two other bird watchers, I may have seen a female blue gray gnat catcher, images of male and female are attached. Scanning the zone, above the Lake, something few bird watchers seem to do, I spotted swallows, both barn swallows and rough necked, which seemed to be trying to catch insects, I attach images of the barn and of the rough winged.
I have yet to mention the common grackle, which I have seen for a while. I attach an image of the purple race common grackle. I have been told that in parts of Texas, the flocks are so plentiful, that the bird is a health nuisance.

All images are from paintings by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, which appeared in Birds of New York, v. 2, 1914.s

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Tuesday 23rd April 2013, 18:18   #116
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tiptoe through the tulips

Hello all,

White throated sparrows are still coming to the window. One was there at sunrise, this morning, when the temperature was about 6C.

The tulips are blooming in Central. I tried whistling like a male northern cardinal, and one turned up, seemingly to inspect me. I moved several metres, away, whistled and it approached me again. I moved several metres, again, the male approached, as did two females.

It was overcast and cool and sighting birds was difficult. In additon to the cardinal, there were still shovellers, mourning doves, and purple raced grackles. Even without sunshine, there were still swallows above the Lake, both tree swallows and rough winged swallows.

I did see one new bird, maybe. It looked like a blue headed vireos turned up, near where one was sighted, earlier.

I enclose a Fuertes image of one.

No visit to Central Park, tomorrow.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Thursday 25th April 2013, 16:24   #117
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Hello all,

Yesterday, I awoke to an odd sparrow, outside my window. After much consideration, I believe that it may have been a savannah sparrow, image attached.
As I wrote, I did not visit Central Park, yesterday. Rather I went east to a near suburb, For the first time in two months, I was on the mainland, for a short while, but my destination was near Belmont Race Track, on Long Island. The trip was slightly circuitous but I just followed the Google directions. There, I observed a northern mockingbird and what must have been turkey vultures, images attached.

Today’s trip to the Park was marked by the usual suspects: cardinals, blue jays, white throated sparrows, hermit thrushes, grackles, that blue headed vireo, a palm warbler and downy woodpeckers. I also had the pleasure of seeing an egret trying to swallow a fish, at the Northern Lobe of the Laka, also known as Bank Rock Pool. While looking at the egret, some other bird watchers drew my attention to a northern waterthrush, image attached. Eaton in his Birds of New York called this bird just a waterthrush.

I also managed to a prairie warbler, image attached.

All images were painted Louis Agassiz Fuertes in Birds of New York

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Friday 26th April 2013, 20:45   #118
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Hello all,


A white throated sparrow was seen at my window this morning. This is the time of the year when the white stripes and white throat become more intensely white.

At Central Park, the usual birds are seen in abundance: hermit thrushes, grackles, blue jays, mourning doves, northern flickers and plenty of seasonal birds like ruby crowned kinglets, blue gray gnatcatchers, palm warblers and yellow warblers.

The only new bird to report is a black and white warbler which flittered by. I attach an image by Fuertes.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Sunday 28th April 2013, 20:37   #119
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Hello,

Yesterday morning, I awoke to my morning coffee and to the sight of mourning doves in the garden and a towhee in towhee in the bushes, at my window, as well as white throated sparrows.

In Central Park, I have seen two creatures of some interest. Two weeks, ago, I was looking at Oak Bridge, which separate the northern lobe of the Lake, also known as Bank Rock Pool, from the main body. Under the bridge are rocks to keep rowboats from entering the pool. On a rainy day, I saw a huge mass moving over the rocks: a snapping turtle. It was probably introduced to the Park by someone who took a young one home, then it became too large, it was dumped in the Park, as it is not native to this area. The Park has painted turtles, a much smaller variety. These snapping turtles have been known to injure egrets.
Last Thursday, I was looking for water thrushes when a raccoon appeared. A raccoon in the middle of the day must be avoided, as it may be rabid. This raccoon ran from a culvert, which was soon gushing a torrent of water. Someone had opened a main and the running water had disturbed the raccoon, which ran under the bridge and into another culvert, across the pool.
The usual suspects were seen in the park: mourning doves, blue jays, blue headed vireos, white throated sparrows, a chipping sparrow, and grackles. As on previous occasions, I have seen a red-tailed hawk above me, so I attach an image of one. The best bird of the day was an American redstart, so I attach an image of one. Both images are by Fuertes from Birds of New York

My Zeiss 8x32 FL is giving me trouble: the left eyecup is frozen down. It is no big deal, as I usually keep it down, but I like things to work, properly. Tomorrow, I will 'phone Zeiss USA about service.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Friday 3rd May 2013, 15:15   #120
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In the doldrums

Hello all,

The last few days have been remarkably dull. Aside from one outside my window, I have seen hardly any white throated sparrows. My best birds were a northern waterthrush in Central Park and a towhee out my window. Yesterday, I might have heard a parula and black throated blue winged warbler. I did witness an all out fight between two Canada geese, a common bird with such a low reputation, that I was hoping for a fight to the finish. After a lot of wing slapping and intertwining of throats, one retreated. Since the Canada geese have wintered in New York, and since they have prospered, they are regarded as a nuisance which fouls lawns and displaces other birds

This morning, nothing seemed to be happening. There were some double crested cormorants, on the Lake, mourning doves, blue jays and jackals. Since I had arrived a few earlier than usual, I walked to the Loeb Boathouse, with a detour through the Point, across the Lake from Bethesda Fountain, What had been a dirt path had become a laid out path with new fencing. There I saw a downy woodpecker and a red bellied woodpecker and a warbling vireo. I attach a Fuertes image of the vireo.

My Zeiss FL is in the shop, so I have been using a Zeiss 8x30 ClassiC. It is a good glass but the FL is better.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Last edited by Pinewood : Friday 3rd May 2013 at 16:55. Reason: spellimg
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Old Sunday 5th May 2013, 15:11   #121
Pinewood
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Hello,

I wrote "jackals" in my last post when I meant grackles.

Today, I saw nothing new, but I did get a good view of a prairie warbler. After a long wait, I also spotted a northern flicker and a red bellied woodpecker. Warblers are interesting but for some reason I like creepers, nuthatches and woodpeckers.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Sunday 5th May 2013, 16:10   #122
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Flycatcher

Hello all,

There was another bird, today, which I neglected to mention. I think that i may
have seen a least flycatcher, so I attach a Fuertes image of one.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Friday 10th May 2013, 17:39   #123
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The carp were spawning

Hello all,

In some respects, this week's best sight, was the spawning carp in Central Park Lake. The shallows had bunches of these big fish splashing and jumping around. One could even smell them: not a fishy smell but the smell of fresh lake fish.

This week has been relatively fallow. Monday was occupied with a lengthy visit to my ophthalmologist. Tuesday morning had to be otherwise occupied. Wednesday was terribly rainy. Yesterday, was very overcast and I was caught in a shower in the middle of my usual walk. However, the rain was part of a warm front, which has brought more birds to the Park. As in the past, your faithful New York correspondent tends to confound black and white warblers with downy woodpeckers.
This morning I spotted a red-eyed vireo, baltimore oriole, black throated green winged warbler, yellow rumped and common yellow throat, the latter is called a [/i]Maryland warbler[/i] in the 1914 Birds of New York by Eaton. The attached images are by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, from The Birds of New York.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Sunday 12th May 2013, 17:18   #124
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After the rains, clear and 16C

Hello,

More rain and more birds. I am still seeing orioles, common yellowthroats, ruby crowned kinglets and there was a double crested cormorant on the Lake.

However, birds have been moving into the Park. Today, I saw a blackpoll warbler after first confusing it with a black and white warbler. The I saw my first gray catbird of the year. The catbirds will be around for the warm weather. A little later, just north of the Lake, off the Drive I saw a chestnut sided warbler, whose cap is quite yellow and a magnolia warbler. Then my luck and time ran out.

Happy bird watching,
Arthur
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Old Monday 13th May 2013, 18:21   #125
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8C, this morning

Hello all,

It was a cold morning, and my block of flats had no heat, which might have been required, by law, as the heating season ends on Wed. At the Lake, I met a Scotsman who complained of the cold, but I said, "This would be a fine summer's day in Scotland." He responded , "I know, but I was unprepared for the change in weather." You may feel free to add his accent. He had just seen a northern waterthrush by Oak Bridge, so he was a cold but happy bird watcher. I was wearing my tweed sports coat, and a bow tie, at my throat, so I was comfortable.

The gray catbirds are all about, as are the common yellowthroats, black capped night herons and the above mentioned norther waterthrush. I am fairly certain that I saw a female prothonotary warbler as well as an [b]eastern wood peewee[i/b]. Eaton in Birds of New York refers to the bird as a wood pewee. Over the Lake, I am still seeing swallows, maybe even a tree swallow.
Images from paintings by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

Happy bird watching,
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