We were treated to incredibly beautiful weather and over fifty species of birds along the 7+ mile Wildlife Drive. A number of the ducks we observed will soon be on their way north to their breeding grounds, and a variety of birds were beginning to show up from points south. It was very interesting to see the end of one phase of migration and the beginning of another. From my particular vantage point, I was happy and excited to see signs of passerine migration as indicated by sightings of Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Purple Martin.
After lunch, we began our journey back toward Westchester. Along the way we made a birding detour at Sandy Hook National Recreation Area. We observed a good variety of birds along the roadways, in the waters around the park, and from the observation platform at the very tip of the park.
From the observation platform, we had a great view of Coney Island and the Mahattan skyline. This same vantage point is where thousands of migrating birds pass overhead toward the city and points north during their spring migration. The Palm Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Towhee, and other birds we observed will likely continue their journey north from that spit of sand jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean.
Here are some photos from Sunday's birding excursion:
Brant flying at E.B. Forsythe NWR
Green-winged Teal at E.B. Forsythe NWR
Northern Shovelers at E.B. Forsythe NWR
Snowy Egret at E.B. Forsythe NWR
Little Blue Heron at E.B. Forsythe NWR
Osprey at Sandy Hook NRA
Red-tailed Hawk at Sandy Hook NRA
Killdeer at Sandy Hook NRA
-Adam Zorn, Naturalist