Date: 4/16/17 7:43 am From: Aidan Place <placea...> Subject: Migrant -- Frick Park Area, Allegheny County
Yesterday I spent a good amount of time looking for newly arrived migrants in and around Frick Park. I started at Cowboy Hill where my walk was highlighted by a hermit thrush. Blue-grey gnatcatchers have returned to the park in large number and were present as well. I next decided to go down to Duck Hollow. Besides the recently returned northern rough-winged swallows, I was also able to get on an early warbling vireo which was singing away near the bridge.
In the evening, I took a walk through the Homewood Cemetery as it was in the only spot in "Greater Frick" I hadn't birded over the last couple of days. A yellow-rumped warbler and a field sparrow around the Dump Area where the passerine highlights. While its a good potential spot for field sparrow in migration, the one I had was in fact my personal first for the cemetery and only my second for Greater Frick.
However, the highlight of the evening was the unusual push of migrating waterbirds moving over the cemetery and up the ravines of Frick. The first waterbird I had was a very high up flyover common merganser (a first eBird record for the location). Then I started to notice a number of double-crested cormorants come by. First a flock of seven, then a couple individuals, then a group of two for a total of 11 over the course of time I was watching. All of the cormorants were funneling up the adjacent ravine in Frick Park.