Apollo Plaza

Lesser Yellowlegs at the Apollo Plaza

Lesser Yellowlegs at the Apollo Plaza

When I went to Apollo Plaza this morning I found an adult LESSER YELLOWLEGS feeding among the Least Sandpipers (9) and Killdeer (8). This is the first yellowlegs of the fall season here in the county, bringing to 8 the number of species that have been present here so far this fall.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bashakill

Belted Kingfisher at the Pine Boat Launch.

Belted Kingfisher at the Pine Boat Launch.


In recent weeks its been so quiet at the Bash that other than an occasional quick drive through to see if anything might be around, I have spent very little time there. Speaking with Scott Baldinger the other evening he assured me it is actually quite birdy. Yesterday, Tuesday, I was looking for something to do in the afternoon. It was hot and humid, not the best time. I gave it a shot anyway. It was actually quite birdy. The best spot was the Pine Boat Launch. A couple of Belted Kingfishers and a family of Common Gallinule were all actively feeding. There was also quite a bit of passerine activity with things like Chickadees and White-breasted Nuthatches leading their chicks around. It was an interesting afternoon.
Two of the Common Gallinule chicks that were part of a family of five.

Two of the Common Gallinule chicks that were part of a family of five.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Apollo and Morningside Park

One of possibly three Green Herons at Morningside Park today.

One of possibly three Green Herons at Morningside Park today.


This morning I returned to the Apollo Plaza hoping to find the Stilt Sandpiper. Lance had already called me early to say it wasn’t present at that time. The thing with the shore birds at Apollo is that they go back and forth between the settling ponds at the landfill (no access). So they may return at any time. All I found were six Least Sandpipers and six Killdeer chicks (nearly grown). From there I went to Morningside. With the decent showing of birds there Saturday, I can only guess what might have been present yesterday, but no one was able to check there. Today, there were five Spotted Sandpipers including two of this years chicks, and a Least Sandpiper. Swallows, Kingbirds and Blackbirds were all in good numbers. Herons have been few and far between at Morningside this year, so I decided to devote some time to see if any were in the island mazes. I easily found two and possibly three Green Herons and three Great Blue Herons. Still no Great Egrets yet.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Apollo Plaza – Stilt Sandpiper

Stilt Sandpiper at Apollo Plaza found by Karen Miller this morning.

Stilt Sandpiper at Apollo Plaza found by Karen Miller this morning.


This morning I headed out early to central New Jersey to try for the European Golden Plover found there yesterday. I missed the bird by half an hour. (eeeeeeesh!) Upon my return home this evening, I got an email from Karen Miller informing me she had gone to Apollo Plaza this morning to try for shore birds. She sent me a photo of a bird she wasn’t sure of. When I pulled up the shot, I was thrilled to see a near breeding plumage STILT SANDPIPER!! I called and informed her of her great find and immediately headed up to Apollo hoping beyond hope that the bird remained. As I pulled up to the main pond, I immediately saw the bird. I made all the appropriate calls to my birding friends to alert them to its presence. I then got many shots of this very cooperative bird. Throughout the course of the evening, Arlene Borko, Scott Baldinger and Lance Verderame were all able to come see the bird. A surprise visit from Carena Pooth and Herb Thompson on their way home from the Young Birders Meeting netted them a neat find. This is only the 5th record of this species for Sullivan County! What a hobby! You never know what is going to happen next. Congratulations to Karen Miller on a great life bird and the first rarity she has found on her own!
Stilt Sandpiper at Apollo Plaza

Stilt Sandpiper at Apollo Plaza

\
PS: in keeping with this years trend, this bird is a full five weeks earlier than our previous early record.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Apollo and Morningside Park

Breeding plumage Spotted Sandpiper at Morningside Park

Breeding plumage Spotted Sandpiper at Morningside Park


It appears that the north winds took more birds out than they brought in. Numbers were down at both locations. Apollo had six Killdeer and four Least Sandpipers. Morningside Park had two Killdeer and one each of Least, Semipalmated and Spotted Sandpipers. Hopefully more birds will come in in the coming days.
Semipalmated Sandpiper at Morningside Park (Least SP in background)

Semipalmated Sandpiper at Morningside Park (Least SP in background)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Manhattan Eurasian Collared Dove

The Eurasian Collared Dove on top of an old lamp post just across 12th ave. from the Dog Run area.

The Eurasian Collared Dove on top of an old lamp post just across 12th ave. from the Dog Run area.


This morning, Bill Fiero and I traveled to Manhattan to try to find the EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE. We arrived at the Hudson Greenway Park at Chelsea Piers at 10:30, having parked our car in the 24th St. Parking Garage. We walked to the park, entering right off 11th Ave. We checked the area near the Astro Turf and saw many Rock Pigeons. We walked over to the Sycamores near the Dog Walk area and checked there, having only Starlings and House Sparrows. We met a man asking if we were there to try for the dove. He works in the park and recommended we go to the back closer to the river where he said it is being seen often as well. We headed just a short way south and were about to cross 12th Ave when I saw the bird fly in from the south and land on an old lamp post. It gave great views and posed for a couple of pictures before flying off in the direction the man had originally suggested we go. Only 15 minutes to find our target. Since we had told the garage we would be a couple of hours, we walked to 18th street and walked the “High Line” an elevated linear park on the old rail road trestle. The park is beautiful, and I had never seen it before. We also had some nice views of the “Freedom Tower”, the closest I’ve been to that area in many years. We stopped for lunch and then headed back up state. A very nice morning in deed!
A view of the Freedom Tower from 11th Ave.

A view of the Freedom Tower from 11th Ave.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Apollo Plaza

Semipalmated Sandpipers at Apollo Plaza

Semipalmated Sandpipers at Apollo Plaza


This morning I got a call from Lance Verderame that he was at the Apollo with Steve Davis and they had just had six SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS fly in. This is also an early date by four days. I went up and met Steve, and we got many photos and views of the birds. There were still six Least Sandpipers present as well. Arlene Borko was able to come and see them too. As I viewed the birds, a Solitary Sandpiper flew through, but did not land. Two of the Least Sandpipers took off and flew directly up to and over the mound at the landfill, further enforcing my belief that all of the birds at the Apollo come and go to the landfill regularly. The Osprey are still on the pole, feeding chicks in the nest. A couple of pairs of Cliff Swallows continue as well. After everyone had left and I had been there for about an hour, I was just about to leave, when the Semipalmated Plover flew in and began to feed. It is still here, so keep an eye for it if you go. A note of caution. As I walked around the upper side of the ponds (opposite from the buildings) I found and discarded at least 75 nails and screws. While I picked up all I could see at the time, the debris and vegetation no doubt hide more. Be cautious driving on that side of the ponds. The Killdeer numbers had increased to 15. With the current air flow and predicted heavy storms today, more birds could put down.

Killdeer – 1
Semipalmated Plover – 1
Least Sandpiper – 6
Semipalmated Sandpiper – 6
Solitary Sandpiper – 1

A closer look at the Semipalmated Sandpipers.  Note the stout bill, pale overall coloration and black legs.

A closer look at the Semipalmated Sandpipers. Note the stout bill, pale overall coloration and black legs.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments