In New York, by the third weekend in April one expects to be awash in wood-warblers, overwhelmed by orioles, and generally boggled by birds newly arrived from the neotropics. Of course, it never works out that way and the steady stream of April arrivals is nothing like the flood of bird-life that courses north in mid-May. Nonetheless, the birding can be good, very good, and there is the lack of foliage to make up for the lack of birds which means that it’s much easier to see what birds are perched up in the trees. This weekend I managed to get into a variety of parks from beaches to bays to forests and fields, all in my home borough of Queens. Here’s hoping you like the images I managed to get as much as I enjoyed taking them.

This Palm Warbler at Forest Park got as close to my digiscoping rig as a bird can get and still be in focus. Then it came closer.

I spent at least fifteen minutes doing my best to get good shots of this Ruby-Crowned Kinglet foraging at Baisley Pond Park. It was time well spent.

I always get excited for the first week or so after Tree Swallows return and then I forget all about them. But they really are awesome little birds. Jamaica Bay is a great place to get good, close looks at them.

Also time well spent was the time I spent at the Forest Park feeders this weekend. Blue Jays are gorgeous birds.

It’s tough to beat a Snowy Egret in nuptial plumage at dawn at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge though.

This is one of twenty-one Hermit Thrush I saw at Forest Park on Saturday. That’s a bunch.

This Common Raven is still hanging out in the Rockaways and the oystercatchers are not happy about that at all.

I might never grow tired of taking pictures of Northern Cardinals. They were singing everywhere all weekend.

I made it my Best Bird of the Weekend and I’ll stand by that. Merlins are amazing!

I can’t wait to get out again next weekend and see what else shows up. What bird are you looking forward to most this spring?

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 and Desmond Shearwater. 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.