Central Westchester Audubon Society
Elmsford, Greenburgh, Harrison, Purchase, Rye, Rye Brook, Port Chester and White Plains
P.O. Box 359, White Plains, NY 10602
email: webmaster@centralwestchesteraudubon.org
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Birdathon 2014
Saturday, May 10, 7 AM (Rain Date Sat., May 17)
Meet at 7 AM at Education House for Carpooling

All birders and potential birders, from beginner to advanced, are invited to enjoy a fabulous day of birding. Our destination will be determined by trail conditions in the refuges. Car-pooling will be arranged at Education House in White Plains with a start time of 7:00 AM and return around 4:00 PM. Contact Jeanne Alpert at jsalpert@outlook.com or 914-946-1780 for questions. Our goal is two-fold: to see, hear and identify as many species as possible (around 100); and to raise money to send eager elementary school students to a week of nature at one of the county ecology camps. Be sure to read the report on page 3 from Autumn, one of last year's campers. Remember that we welcome all contributions in whatever amount you feel you can give. Please fill out the coupon on the back page to pledge either an amount per species or a flat amount.

Central Westchester Audubon 2014 Birdathon Pledge Card

____I am happy to pledge $________ per species in support of the Birdathon
____My tax deductible gift of $________ is enclosed, payable to Central Westchester Audubon
____My employer matches gifts - matching form enclosed

City State Zip
(Area code) Telephone Email

Mail to: Central Westchester Audubon
P.O. Box 359, White Plains, NY. 10602

Thank you for supporting our Birdathon. All contributions are tax deductible and will help support the CWAS scholarship fund and the education activities of our chapter.

click here for a printable version


Birdathon Report – 2013

Birders: Susan Fried, Liz Jamison, Clarence Holmes, Jeanne Alpert, Frank Alpert at Read Sanctuary, Forest Park and Jamaica Bay; Catharine Raffaele and Will Raffaele at Doodletown Road; Chris Mignone at Marshlands; Taro Ietaka at Rye Nature Center; Barbara Hanan at home.

The Tally: 110 species including 22 warblers, and 2 species, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Sanderling, never recorded before on our Birdathons.

The Highlights:
As has been his custom for at least 15 years, Clarence started the count with an early birding trip to Read Sanctuary where he saw several species which we were not to see for the rest of the day. Among them were Belted Kingfisher, Marsh Wren and Spotted Sandpiper. At 7am we set off from Ed House to Forest Park in Queens, eagerly anticipating the action at the famous "water hole." We were not disappointed – the warblers were most cooperative, giving us long looks as they splashed in the water. Among the bathing beauties which allowed us to fix in our memories every field mark were the Magnolia, Northern Parula, Blackpoll and the Chestnut Sided warblers. Other warblers made periodic appearances throughout the 2 hours we spent at the water hole, keeping our eyes and binoculars constantly busy. The water hole area also provided a look at the Red-breasted Nuthatch (also seen later at Jamaica Bay), a first for our Birdathon.

A short ride brought us to our next stop, Jamaica Bay. After a quick lunch we set out to bird the West Pond and the bay midst occasional rain drops which were to follow us for the rest of the afternoon. On the bay side as we watched the female Osprey sitting on the nest, her male partner brought her a fish for lunch. The osprey nest has been there for many years and almost always is occupied. Among the shore birds, we had some really good looks at Black-bellied Plovers sporting various degrees of breeding plumage, American Oystercatchers with their long orange bills, the harlequin-patterned Ruddy Turnstones, and a Red Knot. We also heard, but did not see a Clapper Rail which generally stays hidden among the reeds. We continued along the path for a short distance before we came to the very large breach in the dike – storm damage from "Sandy" - where the bay broke through to the West Pond, causing the water in the pond to become salty. As a result, duck species, which had been diminishing over the years, were completely absent. In addition, the breach meant that we could not walk around the pond without retracing our steps back to the center. In search of more species, we walked the garden paths and spotted a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a fly-over Thrasher, and a Warbling Vireo to add to our list. By this time, the rain was getting more insistent so we sought the warmth of the nature center to tally our day's result – a total of 85 species – a respectable number considering the weather conditions. When Liz reached her home in Kent, NY she added 5 more species, including a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and a Chipping Sparrow.

Meanwhile, Catharine and Will Raffaele were having a good day at Doodletown Road, adding 5 new warblers to our list: Blue Winged, Tennessee, Cerulean, Hooded and Worm-eating. They also reported terrific looks at a Black-billed Cuckoo and an Indigo Bunting. Chris, birding at Marshlands, had the incredible luck of spotting both the Yellow-billed and Black-billed Cuckoos. Among the shore birds he tallied were Greater Yellowlegs, Dunlin, Least Sandpiper, Common Tern and the Sanderling. All told, Chris and the Raffaele's accounted for an additional 20 species, bringing the total for the day to 110.

Our sincere thanks to all of our birders who made Birdathon 2013 one of the most successful in our history. We could not have achieved this success without all of you.
While May 18th was a great day for our birders, to make our efforts pay off for the scholarship fund, which is pretty much depleted, we ask our members to make a fully tax-deductible donation to CWAS. Your support of the camp scholarship program is crucial. Send your checks to Central Westchester Audubon, PO. Box 359, White Plains, NY 10602.

To those who have already made a contribution, thank you for helping to make the ecology camp scholarships a reality for so many eager, young students. If you have not already made your contribution to the scholarship fund, it is not too late to do so. We need your support to help fund our camp scholarship program for next summer.

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