Subject: Another Audubon Moment (fwd)
Date: Sep 19 15:29:59 1994
From: Dan Victor - dvictor at u.washington.edu

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From: Dan Victor <dvictor at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Another Audubon Moment (fwd)
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Date: Mon, 19 Sep 1994 15:29:59 -0400
From:DLANE at DREW.EDU

Yesterday, as I was playing videogames on my roommate's Nintendo (as I
am wont to do when the day is slow), I heard the "weet weet" of a
SOLITARY SANDPIPER out the window of my dorm room. On a hunch, I went
to the bathroom with binoculars in hand. Sure enough, I spotted them
out the window of the bathroom...two Solitaries huddled by a puddle
(left by the Saturday night front) on the rooftop of the infirmery
next door. Apparently, they were not interested in living up to their
name. Perhaps they should be renamed "Paired Tilepiper".

Earlier that morning, I went with a fellow mwmber of the
Montclair Bird Club to Overpeck Creek Park in
Ridgefield PK, NJ (off Rt 46 near Teaneck) to see if there were still
Connecticut Warblers there (they had been reported last Monday). After
walking into the park (actually more of an overgrown field- more like
a landfill), we flushed many SAVANNAH SPARROWS, SONGS, a yellow PALM
WARBLER, and some BOBOLINKS. I walked into the field where an infamous
LeConte's Sparrow was two years ago (which I missed of course, despite
four trips there to see it), and flushed out an olive-backed warbler
from under my foot. It perched on a sapling Poplar, and I saw its
complete eyering, olive-brown hood, yellow underparts and long
undertail coverts. The CONNECTICUT! It flew deeper into the weeds
(the weeds being 4' tall, which really impeded walking, let me tell
you!), and I followed after alerting my friend. It flushed a second
time, and allowed us both a rather good, though a little distant,
view. From its plumage, I judged it to be a 1st winter female.

After it dropped into even thicker weeds, we returned to the
place where it originally flushed... only to have a second bird flush!
I got on it and nonce again saw the eyering, yellow underparts, etc.
This bird had a grayish hood (but the throat was buffy), suggesting a
1st winter male/adult female Connecticut. Two in one spot! I can tell
you I was rather happy. after walking down to the other end of the
park and back (having found a small group of "regular warblers") I
decided to check a stand of poplar saplings near where the
Connecticuts were to see if I could relocate them. After a few
minutes, I heard a call note like the "tchip" of a Cardinal, and saw a
large warbler fly up to a branch of on of the poplars. Bold white
eyering, gray hood (with some darker mottling on the central breast at
the bottom of the hood), olive back and flanks, long undertail coverts
and yellow underparts. An adult male CONNECTICUT! I nearly fell over.
Three in one day in 20 sq yards! This doubled my life total for the species.

As we were leaving the park, we saw a Pipit on the road. It
had buffy olive upperparts with very diffuse back streaking, buffy
underparts with thick, dark streaking, and white on the outer
rectrice. The logical conclusion was American Pipit, but the fact that
it had darkish red legs threw me. When it flew, its call was a fast,
thin "sip-pit" like an American. My theory is that it was an American,
but simply had redder legs than usual (or could it have been from the
subspecies _japonicus_?). In any case, it was early.

The fields at Overpeck were mostly ragweed and what I think
was a broom sp. In any case, my allergies haven't let me forget it,
and all my equipment was dusted with yellow pollen.

I spent the rest of the day at the Montclair Hawk Watch where
about 8,000 birds flew over (not as great as the 10,500 on the
previous Thursday, but the second biggest day yet this season).

Good Birding,

Dan Lane
Drew University
Madison, NJ
dlane at drew.drew.edu