First real passerine movement at Bashakill this spring!

An adult Broad-winged Hawk hunting on the Nature Trail.

An adult Broad-winged Hawk hunting on the Nature Trail.


I met Karen Miller and Arlene Borko at the Bashakill this morning hoping for some movement overnight. That’s exactly what happened. As we were scanning a small mixed species flock at the Haven Road Parking Lot, we found Yellow-rumped Warblers, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Black and White Warblers, Pine Warblers and an abundance of Ruby-crowned Kinglets. Scott Baldinger called to say there was a good fallout at the Nature Trail. We headed down there where we briefly met Scott who gave us some updates. Before we even got out of the parking lot, we had our FOS AMERICAN REDSTART! Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets were everywhere. When we reached to area to the right of the sand pit, we had our first Eastern Towhee. As we headed to the Observation Tower, everything broke loose. There were so many warblers, we didn’t know which way to look. By far the most abundant were Yellow-rumped Warblers, we must have had thirty at this location alone. Also in good number were PALM WARBLERS! This was the best movement of this species I have seen this year. As we scanned these birds looking for a couple of others Scott had mentioned, I found our FOS YELLOW WARBLER! We finally came upon the BLUE-HEADED VIREO Scott had told us about, but we missed the Northern Parula and Black-throated Green Warbler he had seen. We experienced a good movement of BROAD-WINGED HAWKS at the Nature Trail as well, three in the air and one perched in a tree. There were several Pine Warblers in the area as well. At other locations at the Bashakill, we had one COMMON GALLINULE and one VIRGINIA RAIL! We found continuing good numbers of Ring-necked Ducks and had half a dozen GREEN-WINGED TEAL as well.

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Sullivan County Yellow-throated Warbler……..YES!!!!

Male Yellow-throated Warbler feeding on suet.

Male Yellow-throated Warbler feeding on suet.


On Thursday morning, Rebekah Creshkoff found an adult male YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER feeding on the suet at her feeding station. She reported the bird to ebird, and Richard Guthrie notified me of the potential rarity in our county. I spoke with Rebekah and she was happy to have me come to see the bird. The catch of course is that it was returning, but very sporadically. On Friday morning, Arlene Borko and I headed to Callicoon to try to see the bird. We arrived to find Rebekah giving us the “thumbs up”. She said the bird was just there, and she finally got some great pictures of it. Our enthusiasm soared in hopes of seeing this great bird. Unfortunately, through the course of the day, our hopes were dashed. It did not return during our entire stay. Rebekah told me she would let me know if it did return. Friday evening, Rebekah called to inform me the bird had just returned for the first time since the morning. She was hoping I would come back and try again to see it. We arranged for Arlene and I as well as Scott Baldinger and Lance Verderame to go first thing this morning in hopes the bird would repeat its early morning visits. We were only there ten minutes when the bird flew in at precisely 7:00 am. It stayed, feeding on suet for several minutes before flying off again. We waited, and the bird returned at 7:30 am, repeating its behaviors. The bird flew off, didn’t return and we eventually left. I can’t thank Rebekah and Lenny enough for their hospitality and determination that we get to see the bird. Rebekah is happy to have birders come and try for the warbler, but its visits continue to be sporadic. The location and contact information are available through the ebird report. Please call before you come, Rebekah will let you know when to come and whether or not the bird continues. Please be respectful of the Creshkoff’s home and property.
Yellow-throated Warbler.

Yellow-throated Warbler.

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Miserable Nasty Day!

Eastern Kingbird!  I had to wait for the snow to stop to get a picture!

Eastern Kingbird! I had to wait for the snow to stop to get a picture!


It was a miserable nasty day in Sullivan County today. Snow squalls, sleet, high winds and dark clouds made it seem more like mid winter than spring. That said, someone forgot to tell the birds how terrible it was out. At the Bashakill, ducks continue to make and appearance. Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, Gadwall, Greater Scaup and Ring-necked Ducks were all present among the more common species. Scott Baldinger called to let me know that he and Mary Busky were at Kiamesha Lake and had some nice birds. I went up a while later and found a RED-NECKED GREBE, HORNED GREBES, COMMON LOONS, MUTE SWAN, BUFFLEHEAD and Common Mergansers. Back at the Bashakill this afternoon, I found my FOS EASTERN KINGBIRD flycatching by the bridge on Haven Road through the driven SNOW!! The bird seemed to be successful in its endeavor, hawking insects among the reeds just off the bridge. It will be great when this winter is over!!
Red-necked Grebe on Kiamesha Lake

Red-necked Grebe on Kiamesha Lake

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Bashakill

This morning I finally got to spend a decent amount of time at the Bashakill. Things still seem relatively quiet to me, but there was some movement noted overnight. I had my first Blue-gray Gnatcatchers this week in several spots, at least six seen. Waterfowl numbers continue to decrease, but Ring-necked Ducks still numbered well over 100. A couple of new Savannah Sparrows on Haven Road had me hoping there might have been a sparrow influx, but they were the only new ones noted. When I reached the Birch Trail I had my first new bird of the year. I walked right up on a COMMON GALLINULE! It flew off into a brushy thicket in the water, but not far away at all. Scott Baldinger texted me that he had his FOS Virginia Rail on the Stop Sign Trail. He came down to try for the gallinule, and found a second VIRGINIA RAIL! My FOS bird! We then relocated the Common Gallinule for Scott! Yesterday, I was out around the county during the rain. Notables at Kiamesha Lake were my FOS SPOTTED SANDPIPER, a Common Loon and a couple of Bonaparte’s Gulls. The Double-crested Cormorant continues on Yankee Lake. Up county, I found my FOS WILSON’S SNIPE on Clemments Road, followed a short time later by a second on Rubin Road. My County FOS EASTERN MEADOWLARK was also on Rubin Road. Things seem to be picking up a little bit at least.

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Bashakill rather quiet.

A rather distant Bonaparte's Gull on Haven Road  this morning.

A rather distant Bonaparte’s Gull on Haven Road this morning.


I have been unable to bird for the last week due to having some kind of bug that took me out for a while. Feeling better, Arlene Borko and I were finally able to get out to do some birding today. We had heard of quite a few good things that had come in over the course of the week. Unfortunately, it seems most of the birds had moved on and it was really rather quiet at the Bashakill today. The only bird of note was a migrating BONAPARTE’S GULL seen from Haven Road. Hopefully the front coming through tomorrow will bring some new birds and this week will pick up overall.

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Bashakill 4/13/15

The pair of Northern Shovelers from Haven Road.

The pair of Northern Shovelers from Haven Road.


This morning I headed to the Bashakill again. There was some noticeable movement overnight. Lance Verderame called to inform me he had some good passerines at the Deli Fields. He had a lot of Savannah Sparrows, Song Sparrows and an Eastern Meadowlark! I didn’t get there until much later, but was unable to locate the Meadowlark. Ducks continue in good numbers, especially Ring-necked Duck, Wood Duck, Black and Mallards. I didn’t see any Mergansers this morning (though I may have just missed them) and most of the grebes are now gone. I had four Pied-billed which will likely stay and breed and one Horned Grebe. The Nature Trail was my most active spot. There were many Song and Swamp Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a male EASTERN TOWHEE and a beautiful BROWN THRASHER! Other spots around the kill that were good included the Pine Boat Launch, where I found a couple of PINE SISKISNS, and the continuing two drake Redheads. After hearing my FOS LOUSIANNA WATERTHRUSH near the fisherman’s platform on Indianna Road, I easily found two singing males (fighting more than singing) on the Stone Fields Trail. Back at Haven Road, I found four Savannah Sparrows.
A drake Blue-winged Teal on the Birch Trail.  I had a total of 9 Blue-winged Teal this morning, 2 on Haven Road and 7 on the Birch Trail.

A drake Blue-winged Teal on the Birch Trail. I had a total of 9 Blue-winged Teal this morning, 2 on Haven Road and 7 on the Birch Trail.

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Crested Caracara

Crested Caracara showing well today at the Scott's Corners Golf Course.

Crested Caracara showing well today at the Scott’s Corners Golf Course.


Following a brief visit to the Bashakill where my only new year bird this morning was a BROAD-WINGED HAWK, Arlene Borko and Lance Verderame and I all headed to the Scott’s Corners Golf Course to try to find them the CRESTED CARACARA! They were not disappointed. Congratulations to them both, it was not only a state bird, but a lifer for both of them. It gave me a chance to try for some new photos, which turned out better than Friday’s shots.
Crested Caracara

Crested Caracara

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