Trip Reports
Doodletown (Rockland County)— June 19, 2016

Note:  We are especially grateful to Gerhard Patsch and Bob Slechta 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!

Louisiana Waterthrush, photo by Carena Pooth
Louisiana Waterthrush, photo by Carena Pooth

Our field trip in search of Cerulean and Hooded Warblers (Setophaga cerulea and S.citrina) amidst the ruins of Doodletown at Bear Mountain State Park was off to a good start even before setting out for the trail. Just shortly after arriving at the trailhead, I had found a Red­eyed Vireo singing in the canopy, a Rose­breasted Grosbeak thanks to the grosbeak’s “eek” call, and several good views of an Eastern Kingbird at its nest! Luckily for the other birders, the kingbird and vireo stuck around for good views…

Starting on the trail, we were quick to find an Indigo Bunting singing on an electrical wire, a Great Blue Heron and an unidentified duck (later revealed to be just a log), and an Orchard Oriole spotted by Silas.

Finding both of our target species was much easier than we thought as within a few minutes of spotting the bunting we heard both the Cerulean’s rising “zee zeezeezizizizieeet” and the Hooded Warbler’s “ta­weeta­wee ta­weeTEE­too” songs, along with some other interesting discoveries: Devil’s Walking­Stick, a Great Spangled Fritillary, and (according to Garrett), fox droppings (whether they were from Red or Gray Fox is open for debate). At the lake we had spotted another Eastern Kingbird, a beaver hut, several shiners and a young bullfrog, and either a Northern or a Louisiana Waterthrush. Unfortunately, the sun was in our eyes, which made identification difficult, though we were able to confirm it was a Louisiana Waterthrush.

Later, we found several other interesting types of wildlife such as various insects, a Milk Snake, Creek Chubs, a Brook Trout, an Eastern Phoebe, and we heard a Pileated Woodpecker drumming. The bird that had excited everyone, young and old alike, was also the least unexpected; Etan had flushed an American Woodcock! Several of the older members of our birding group were skeptical, but many of us had seen the bird. On the way back, we found even more birds: Common Yellowthroats, a Wood Thrush, Cedar Waxwings, Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, Blue­winged Warbler, Black Vulture, Green Herons, and a Mute Swan.

After we ate lunch, discussed our species total (56(!)), said our goodbyes, and left, I think we were all satisfied with our birding trip at Doodletown!

                                                                              — Josh Cantor, Age 17

View field trip photo gallery

             List of Birds Seen on this Trip 
             by Silas Hernandez

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
American Woodcock
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy 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
Tree Swallow
N. Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing
Ovenbird
Worm-eating Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Blue-winged Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
American Redstart
Cerulean Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch

      Species Total: 56