Note: This field trip was sponsored by the Edgar A. Mearns Bird Club, a NYSYBC Partner Club. Many thanks especially to Gerhard Patsch and Bob Schlecta, who led us to some great birds while telling us stories about the ghost town of Doodletown.
along - which belongs to Lang Elliott
On Saturday, June 27th, the New York State Young Birders Club held a field trip to Doodletown, hosted by the Edgar A. Mearns Bird Club. Doodletown is actually the former site of a small village of the same name, located in what is now Bear Mountain State Park. Inhabited until the mid-20th century, many of the former buildings and sites offer landmarks for the various microhabitats of the area.
At 7:30 the participants met leader Gerhard Patsch and fellow Mearns Bird Club member Bob Schlecta along the Hudson River at the base of the mountain on which Doodletown sits. Also present was Rob Meyer, a filmmaker who had previously been involved with documentaries on such channels as PBS, National Geographic, and HBO. Rob is currently working on his first feature length film which will involve young birders as the focus of the plot.
photo by Hope Batcheller
Our first birds of the trip were Turkey and Black Vultures, which were using a nearby tree as a roost site. Excellent views were had of both species, an uncommon occurrence, especially for the Black Vulture which has only recently colonized New York. On the way up various other species were sighted or heard, including Indigo Bunting, Worm-eating Warbler, Eastern Wood-peewee, and Hooded Warbler. Our first Cerulean Warbler of the day sang and was eventually located.
Once the group reached the former reservoir the activity increased dramatically. A Broad-winged Hawk and sub-adult Bald Eagle flew over, and almost everyone was afforded excellent looks at a Worm-eating Warbler. As we continued up the trail, a Louisiana Waterthrush perched in a tree along the trail allowing several participants to get a glimpse. A male Ruby-throated Hummingbird was performing its incredible U-shaped display flight, and another was perched in full sunlight on a nearby snag. In the second June cemetery, more Cerulean Warblers were found, as was a Yellow-throated Vireo.
On the way back to the parking area, we tried for a Kentucky Warbler which had spent most of the spring in an area of dense ground cover on a side trail. Unfortunately we could not locate the bird, and the only new species seen was a single towhee. The walk back was uneventful besides a few more Indigo Buntings. Overall it was an excellent trip and provided many participants with either life of state birds to add to their lists. Thanks to the Edgar A. Mearns Bird Club for sponsoring it and Gerhard Patsch and Bob Schlecta for leading it.
List of Birds Seen on this Trip
by Erich Lehner
|Great Blue Heron
Species Total: 48