Two Hours at the Forest Park Waterhole
Being a birder and living in Queens as I do I can’t help but be drawn to the waterhole at Forest Park during spring migration. The waterhole, an unassuming little vernal pool, is often the only water in the eastern half of Forest Park which means that any bird that wants a bath or a drink has to visit. This is advantageous for birders because instead of suffering warbler neck trying to identify birds high up in the treetops you can just bring a lawn chair and sit and wait for the birds to come to you. And on this past Saturday were the birds ever coming! I had to work for the morning so by the time I got to the waterhole at 1 PM there were already tales of Cape May Warblers, Bay-breasted Warblers, and twenty other species spreading among the birding crowd.
I stayed for two hours during which I logged an even twenty species of warbler, many of which I managed to digiscope despite the light being against me. Add those twenty to the species I saw before work and I totaled 23 species of wood-warbler for the day! Not bad!
During the peak of spring migration the Forest Park waterhole is one of the best places to see a whole pile of birds. Get there before the season is over so you can see twenty species of wood-warbler in two hours!
All of the images in this post were taken in that two-hour period on Saturday – and I left out several species of wood-warbler, to say nothing of the Scarlet Tanager, Red-eyed Vireo, and Baltimore Oriole…
Chestnut-sided Warbler wanting a Worm-eating Warbler to give up the bath
Black-throated Green Warbler