Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Mount Loretto: The Jewel of Staten Island

It's taken some time but Mount Loretto is really coming into its own as a wildlife sanctuary. Mature grasslands, deep woods and copious shorelines make this a paradise for all manner of birds and insects. Most obvious are the bald eagles and osprey which crisscross the airspace above the cliffs. Don Vito Along the shoreline are many cormorant, geese, peeps and the always entertaining solitary sandpiper. Solitary Sandpiper In some of the tidal estuaries I had Wood Duck, Great Egret, Belted Kingfisher, Blue-grey gnat catcher, marsh wren and this family of very agitated white-eye vireo. White-eyed vireo Along the grasslands were indigo bunting, yellow warbler, barn swallow, common grackle, rwbb and orchard oriole. As for butterfly I had many monarch, black swallowtail, comma, question mark, red admiral, common buckeye and painted lady. The only herp was a common bullfrog singing somewhere in the marsh. Gorgeous day!