Trip Reports
Croton Point — October 28, 2017

Many thanks to our good friend Tait Johansson for leading this great trip. As he always does, he helped us see many species of birds. Tait is the resident naturalist at Bedford Audubon's Bylane Farm.

Birding the Hudson River at our first stop - photo by Carena Pooth
Birding the Hudson River at our first stop - photo by Carena Pooth

The first place we went to was the shoreline right by the park office where we met. On the shore, a female mallard had a mutation of white on the throat (leucism or hybrid). A kingfisher zipped over the water about 25 feet away from the shoreline, but it didn’t stop to pose for us. 2 bald eagles were seen on the adjacent shore, one on the shoreline and one in a tree above it. The one on the shoreline appeared to be eating something, but we couldn’t make it out. It was a large fish, but the eagle blocked it with its body.

We drove to the larger parking lot and headed down the tent camping route. I couldn’t help noticing 2 chickadees fighting while slowly spiraling to the ground near some conifers. Another one (probably the female) flew onto a bush and watched them. Both chickadees were blocked by another bush when falling towards the ground, so I couldn’t see the rest of the fight.

Digiscoping with a phone - photo by Carena Pooth
Digiscoping with a phone - photo by Carena Pooth

Our trip leader, naturalist Tait Johansson, tried repeatedly to find a Yellow-breasted Chat, a bird that had been seen down the same route a couple days prior. To see secretive birds like these, it requires the use of pishing, the act of sounding like a small bird, to attract birds into view. Little did I know, Tate would do the best pishing I’d ever heard. Although there was no Yellow-breasted Chat, he certainly astonished me with his talent.

On our way up the nearby grassland hill (formerly a landfill), we saw a Vesper Sparrow fly into a maple tree, then onto the ground in front of the hill. We moved in a crescent formation around the landing site and saw the bird foraging on gravel while peeking in and out of adjacent weeds. It foraged for 10 minutes before flying off.

Northern Harrier (female) - photo by Rion Yoshimura
Northern Harrier (female) - photo by Rion Yoshimura

As we traveled on the path around the hill, we saw 2 Northern Harriers flying closely together. We were ready to go to the boat ramp near the Croton railroad station, but first Tait was looking up in pine trees at the parking lot. What he was looking at was a Blue-headed Vireo.

When we arrived at the boat ramp, a flock of Fish Crows surrounded the parking lot. They stayed behind as we were leaving for the Croton Colonial Diner nearby.

Thanks, Tait for a great trip!


                                                                                                               — Mike Malone, Age 16

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List of Birds Seen on this Trip  by Aidan Perkins and Jordan Spindel

Canada Goose
American Black Duck
Common Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Sharp-Shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull

Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
American Kestrel
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
American Pipit

Cedar Waxwing
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Field Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

        Species Total: 46