Trip Reports
Doodletown Road (Rockland County) — June 2, 2013

Note: We are especially grateful to Gerhard Patsch of the Edgar A. Mearns Bird Club, a NYSYBC Partner Club, for taking us on this great field trip. Gerhard has led several NYSYBC trips in the past and always works hard to make the birding as good as it can be for us!

A Yellow-billed Cuckoo was spotted up above, photo by Carena Pooth
A Yellow-billed Cuckoo was spotted up above.
photo by Carena Pooth

On one of the hottest days of the year, the NYSYBC went to Doodletown Road for a bird walk. The club was here last in late June back in 2009. The humidity was through the roof, and the birds decided to keep cool by staying hidden.

As people arrived by the shoulder of the road, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo called. 5 minutes later, 2 cuckoos flew overhead and landed on nearby trees; an exciting lifer for many. As more people arrived, Turkey and Black Vultures started climbing thermals above the ridges on the Hudson River.

The trail we hiked on goes straight up at first, and eventually flattens out on a plateau. Going downhill is also pretty steep; it's like going uphill both ways! Many birds were heard but not seen, and we didn't even see many birds that decided to sing. Generally, American Redstarts and Hooded Warblers are seen everywhere, but we only saw a couple. Many Great Crested Flycatchers were calling and appearing at the top of the tallest trees, with the occasional Eastern Phoebe.

As we looped around the top of the trail, Cerulean Warblers were a treat, especially with the cerulean sky in the background! Many other regular birds like Yellow, Blue-winged, Worm-eating, and Black-and-White Warblers were seen. Of interesting note, there was a pair of Yellow-throated Vireos attending their nest.

Timber Rattlesnake, photo by Carena Pooth
A Timber Rattlesnake was spotted on an old stone
wall in the woods. It was lazy and allowed us to
get a good look and good photos (with long zoom
lenses!)...this was a "life critter" for many!
photo by Carena Pooth

The most exciting non-bird was a Timber Rattlesnake spotted by Brendan on a stone wall in the woods!!!! It was about 4 feet long, and we kept our distance!

This year was the year of the 17 year cicadas, and it was hard to hear the birds over their deafening roar. Almost every plant was packed with more than 10 cicadas. At the end of the walk, the heat was too much for all of us (even in mid-morning), so we decided to opt out of going across the road to Iona Island.

Even though the heat & humidity were oppressive, everybody had a great time and the birds, reptiles, and insects were great! Thanks to the Edgar A. Mearns Bird Club for sponsoring it and Gerhard Patsch for leading it!

                                           — Eamon Freiburger, age 14


      View photo gallery

         List of Birds Seen on this Trip
          by Eamon Corbett, Marc Katz, and Brendan Murtha

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Double-crested Cormorant
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Yellow-throated Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Worm-eating Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Blue-winged Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Hooded Warbler
American Redstart
Cerulean Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole - NYSYBC lifer!
Baltimore Oriole

Species Total: 55