This past Sunday, the NYSYBC took a trip to Doodletown, a section of Bear Mountain State Park in NY. Doodletown is one of the best places to see Hooded and Cerulean Warblers within the vicinity of NYC. The trip was a success bird wise, and we easily nailed down our two target birds rather quickly. Both Hooded and Cerulean Warblers were present in large numbers and showed very well throughout the day. Hooded’s were right out in the open, and even the Ceruleans came down to lower branches for us. Besides these two, we had a slew of other highlights (51 species in total) including great looks at Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Louisiana Waterthrush, Worm-eating Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Pileated Woodpecker, and a heard only (so frusterating) Black-billed Cuckoo. I have yet to see one, so for now this bird stays off all my lists. It’s a shame, cuckoos are such awesome birds.
There were also a ton of insects out, including hordes and hordes of cicadas. Their hum was a constant background noise. Here we’re a few of the many others-
Shout out to Eamon Corbett, who helped out with a lot of our insect identifications!
But, I saved the best for last. This may be one of the best wildlife sightings I have ever had. This is a Timber Rattlensnake (!) that we found basking on a ruined stonewall along one of the many Doodletown paths. This elusive snake is endangered and is rapidly declining due to habitat loss and hunting. Seeing one in the wild was truly incredible, for everyone in the group.
Overall, a fantastic morning. I will definitely be coming back here.
Thanks to everyone who put this trip together!