They were everywhere, moving through the green leaves, appearing and disappearing . . . with identification (and photographing) so much more difficult than in the spring. No longer in breeding colors . . . the fall yellow and grays present some real challenges.
Still, I had good ids on American Redstarts, Black-throated Greens, Chestnut-sided, Common Yellow-throats and a Wilson’s Warbler. Throw in a Red-eyed Vireo, a few perching birds and woodpeckers . . . it was a successful morning.
But then came the surprise:
While walking back to the car, I ran into another birder in the Green Point orchard. We were chatting a bit when I spotted a large gray bird in one of the apple trees. We pulled out our binoculars . . . and it was a Cuckoo. After 10 minutes of viewing and photographing, we were both comfortable that we were seeing a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, rare in these parts . . . and a lifer for me.
The Black-billed Cuckoo that we saw back in June . . . note the red eye ring, compared to the yellow eye ring on the YBC.
To paraphrase Forest Gump’s mom: “You never know what you’re going to get!!!”