For several years running, the education staff at Jamestown Audubon, along with some stalwart and dedicated friends, has gone out birding for bucks.  Early in April, we begin begging friends, acquaintances, and strangers for pledges.  They can give a set amount, or they can be brave and pledge per species.

We pick a day early in May, late enough to include warbler migration, but early enough that the trees aren’t too thick with leaves, and we go out birding, checking off each species we see.  We pride ourselves in seeing over 60 species every year while doing very little driving.  This year, as in most years, we birded at the Audubon Sanctuary, Akeley Swamp, Chautauqua Lake Outlet, and the roads in between.

Our team, which varies slightly from year to year, consisted of Sarah Hatfield, Jeff Tome, Dave and Anita Cooney, Ann Beebe, and yours truly.  We worked to raise money for a scholarship for one of our college-bound volunteers, Tricia Bergstue.

I’m not much of a birder, as you may have gathered from previous posts.  So I always learn a great deal when I go out on these walks.  This year, I added a lifer!  (I don’t actually keep a life list, mind you.  But I never saw this bird before, I know that!  In fact, many of the birds on the list below were lifers from past birdathons…)

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher.  I had to borrow this picture from the AMAZING photostream of the INCREDIBLE Jim Gilbert.  Please click on the photo to go look at his FANTASTIC photos.

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher by Jim Gilbert at Flickr

Here is a list of the birds we saw (or in some cases only heard) on Saturday, May 3, 2008, a warm but rainy day:

  1. Great Blue Heron
  2. Green Heron
  3. Canada Goose
  4. Wood Duck
  5. Gadwall
  6. Mallard
  7. Green-winged Teal
  8. Hooded Merganser
  9. Common Merganser
  10. Red-shouldered Hawk
  11. American Kestrel
  12. Wild Turkey
  13. Sora
  14. Killdeer
  15. Lesser Yellowlegs
  16. Solitary Sandpiper
  17. Spotted Sandpiper
  18. Ring-billed Gull
  19. Rock Pigeon
  20. Mourning Dove
  21. Belted Kingfisher
  22. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  23. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  24. Hairy Woodpecker
  25. Northern Flicker
  26. Least Flycatcher
  27. Eastern Phoebe
  28. Great Crested Flycatcher
  29. Eastern Kingbird
  30. Blue-headed Vireo
  31. Yellow-throated Vireo
  32. Blue Jay
  33. American Crow
  34. Tree Swallow
  35. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  36. Black-capped Chickadee
  37. Tufted Titmouse
  38. White-breasted Nuthatch
  39. Brown Creeper
  40. House Wren
  41. Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
  42. Eastern Bluebird
  43. Veery
  44. Wood Thrush
  45. American Robin
  46. Gray Catbird
  47. European Starling
  48. Yellow Warbler
  49. Chestnut-sided Warbler
  50. Magnolia Warbler
  51. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  52. Black-throated Green Warbler
  53. American Redstart
  54. Ovenbird
  55. Common Yellowthroat
  56. Chipping Sparrow
  57. Field Sparrow
  58. Song Sparrow
  59. Swamp Sparrow
  60. White-throated Sparrow
  61. White-crowned Sparrow
  62. Dark-eyed Junco
  63. Northern Cardinal
  64. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  65. Bobolink
  66. Red-winged Blackbird
  67. Common Grackle
  68. Brown-headed Cowbird
  69. Baltimore Oriole
  70. American Goldfinch
  71. House Sparrow

It was a warm, but rainy day.  We have seen more birds in other years… But we were pretty pleased with this list, given the weather conditions!

Many thanks to all who pledged.  Your dollars are going to a good cause!

11 thoughts on “Birdathon

  1. What a beautiful bird that is! I was thinking today that I wish I had a good birder to hike with sometimes. I heard two birds that had incredibly beautiful songs that I couldn’t recognize (I had never heard them before) and for the life of me I couldn’t even spot the birds!

  2. I think that’s an impressive list — I was out this weekend and I saw lots of birds, although I couldn’t identify that many — but I also saw lots of muskrats!

  3. You had “good” day!
    We’ve recently had blue-gray gnatcatchers here, too–flitting around in the locust just off the porch. I’m glad to see they’re so BLUE.
    I didn’t notice them as much so here–ours look like mini mockingbirds.

    I like your new “blogs I read” page! 🙂
    Thanks for all the kind words.

  4. Believe me… If I went by myself there is no way I would get this many birds. When you go with Real Birders, though, they point stuff out and then I can say, “Oh yeah… You’re right.” Ha ha! At least I can say that for some of the birds. Others, I just have to trust them!

    Last year was a gorgeous day and we got 83 species.

    Good luck when you go out, Tom! If wouldn’t mind a tag-along, let me know when you’re going. I could learn a lot from you (if I can even go that day…)

    PS… Hope I didn’t mislead you… that picture wasn’t taken on our Birdathon… but way over in NJ by the incredible Jim Gilbert. I looked for one on Monarch’s Flickr site, but he doesn’t have a picture of one… yet…

  5. I am always amazed when I get a chance to out birding with real birders. My husband and I got a chance to go with Tom (mon@rch) and we were blown away with what he pointed out.
    Beautiful photo and that is quite a list.

  6. Marvelous list. Around these parts,eastern NY, the House Finch is a common bird that sings its head off most of the time — but I note that it is missing from your list. Is it that rare ?? or does it prefer living in the suburbs ??

  7. cestoady – we were amazed at several birds we didn’t get: house finch, downy woodpecker, red-tailed hawk, turkey vulture… guess none of them wanted to brave the weather.

    scienceguy – i may not be much of a birder, but thankfully, the rest of the people on my team are!

  8. Holy Moly Jennifer, that’s a whole bunch of birds! Good for you and your group. I’ve never seen a blue-gray gnatcatcher–what a gorgeous little bird.

  9. Pingback: A Thank You From Tricia « Audubon Center & Sanctuary

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