Connetquot River State Park Preserve Bird & Breakfast Program
Article by Lisa Nasta
On Saturday September 16th, 2023, we had our Bird & Breakfast program at Connetquot River State Park Preserve in Oakdale, NY. GSBAS provided the continental breakfast while the NYS Parks representative (Pam) gave a slideshow presentation on the local and migratory birds seen in our area.
After breakfast we split into two groups of ten people for a bird walk led by Jack Carlson and me, Lisa Nasta (filling in for Ken Thompson). Ken had the tough decision to choose between being at Connetquot or Glacier National Park in Montana, obviously picking the latter. I tried to fill his shoes by telling a joke as he often would. “What language do geese speak?” I asked the participants. After some puzzled looks, I said “Portu-geese!”. Needless to say, I was not as successful as Ken would have been on the delivery as there were maybe a couple of laughs after a brief silence. Also, without Ken, no one reminded them to fill the bird feeders as he always would. Luckily, Jack saved the day by pulling out a bag of bird feed he kept in his car.
The weather was okay, with an overcast sky, temperatures in the 60’s, wind from the Northeast and a gentle to strong breeze at times. Upon arrival, some of us were greeted by a couple of Wild Turkeys at the main house and saw a Cooper’s Hawk and a Belted Kingfisher. We started by looking for birds on the main pond where we spotted a group of Wood Ducks, a family of Mute Swans, Canada Geese, a Great Blue Heron, Great Egret and many Mallards. From the main pond we headed towards the West Line trail. On the way we had decent looks at Cedar Waxwings and Eastern Phoebe’s. On the West Line we observed Northern Flickers, Red-bellied, Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, a Gray Catbird, Blue Jay, Mourning Doves and a Brown-headed Cowbird. Heading back, we stopped near the bird feeders in front of the Butterfly Garden where we saw a few Pine Warblers and Chipping Sparrows. Then we headed to the east side of the main pond where we had brief looks at a Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Redstart and White-eyed Vireo.
Finally, as an added bonus, we were offered a tour of the Grist Mill which everyone seemed to enjoy. All in all there were 26 bird species recorded. (Photos: Chris Braut.)
As we approach the colder months and begin to think about our feathered friends, take some time to consider how your plants and leaves can benefit them until spring. While birds rely on seeds and berries as the dominant food source in the winter months there are many ways to feed them naturally.
Hello my little birding friends! Hope you are all well and enjoying the birds. I’ve had a nice mixture this summer. I know people say you don’t have to feed the birds in the summer but I do.
Hidden beneath the forest floor lies an extraordinary network of interconnected fungal threads known as mycelium.