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September 9, 2016 [LINK / comment]

Birding in the urban northeast

Birding was not a high priority during my recent quick trip through the northeastern states, but I did come across some interesting birds in various places. Crossing some bridges in the Wilmington, Delaware area, I saw quite a few Greater Black-backed Gulls, as well as Double-crested Cormorants perched on light posts or dock pilings. While I was walking around Philadelphia on Sunday morning (September 4), I saw Canada Geese, Mallards, and Double-crested Cormorants on rocks along the spillway of the Schuylkill River. The biggest surprise came when I was at the Rodin Museum in front of the famous sculpture "The Thinker," as I saw a family of Common Yellowthroats darting around the garden in search of insects. After a few minutes, I managed to get a good photo of one of them.

The next morning at a rest stop near Darien, Connecticut, I saw a few Herring Gulls and Ring-billed Gulls, and took a few photos. The first actual nature area I visited was the cranberry bog (owned by the Ocean Spray Company) in Foxborough, Massachusetts, just south of Gillette Stadium. There is a nice boardwalk trail across a lily pond, and signs that explain how cranberries are grown and harvested. But the only birds I positively identified were a Killdeer and a Blue Jay. Approaching Boston in the early afternoon, I saw more of the above-mentioned Gulls and Cormorants.

On Tuesday (September 6), I decided to take a detour around the New York metropolitan area, which gave me the opportunity to stop at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey. Jacqueline and I were hoping to visit there on our way to New York in 2004, but never could find it. This time, I had no problems with navigation, as there were plenty of signs. I talked to a worker in the visitor center, and based on what he told me, I had high hopes for seeing migratory neotropical birds. Here are the bird highlights:

So, it was a fair but not spectacular outing, about two hours total time spent. That was my last major stop before returning to Virginia that evening.

Birds Montage 06 Sep 2016

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Herring Gull*, Northern Harrier (prob.), Acadian Flycatcher (prob.), Common Yellowthroat (F)*, White-breasted Nuthatch, Double-crested Cormorant, and in center, Black-throated Blue Warbler (F).

* Enlarged images of those birds, along with a juvenile Herring Gull, can be see on the Wild Birds yearly photo gallery page.

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 09 Sep 2016, 9: 19 PM

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Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.


The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

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