On Wednesday morning I had a meeting in Bayonne, New Jersey for my job and as is my wont I left my house in Queens early to beat the traffic and therefore found myself with a little over an hour to kill before my meeting. Rather than do my usual stroll on the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway by the Bayonne Golf Club I thought I would try someplace new that John had recommended and made my way to Bayonne Park on the west side of Bayonne, on the edge of Newark Bay. Though the boardwalk over the marsh there is supposed to be open from 8 AM it was still locked up tight when I arrived at 8:15 so instead I drove on, keeping an eye out for birds. Then a flock of flickers foraging in a field got my attention and I parked and went over to investigate. The flickers flew but a host of sparrows attracted my attention and I gradually made my way up to the area between Park Drive and JFK Boulevard and was amazed at the sheer number of birds. Chipping Sparrows were the most common species but there were Dark-eyed Juncos, Palm Warblers, Pine Warblers, Eastern Phoebes, more Northern Flickers, Hermit Thrushes, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Brown-headed Cowbirds and a bunch of other birds as well. It was a bird bonanza!

Pine Warbler Setophaga pinus (click to make it bigger)

Though the number of birds was great I was just as impressed by their willingness to approach closely so long as I was still. My digiscoping rig got a workout as I took over 500 pictures in the short time I was there. Please enjoy some of the highlights and check back in the coming week for galleries of Chipping Sparrows and Pine Warblers.

Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater displaying

Northern Flickers Colaptes auratus

Palm Warbler Setophaga palmarum

Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula

Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus

Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina (click to make it bigger)

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy, their son, Desmond Shearwater, and their indoor cat, B.B. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.