Two of the eight Ruddy Ducks on Swan Lake this morning.
I got a call from Lance Verderame informing me that there had been some waterfowl movement in Delaware County overnight. With that in mind I headed to some of the lakes and reservoirs this morning to try for some new species for the year. There definitely was some movement. Most of it was common birds that we have been seeing. The list included Double-crested Cormorant, Mallard, Black Duck, Wood Duck, Common Mergansers and Pied-billed Grebe. The only new birds were my FOS COMMON LOON on the Rondout Reservoir, and my FOS RUDDY DUCKS on Swan Lake. The later were my first in the county this year. With tonights front coming through accompanied by northwest winds, tomorrow should be a great birding day.
Two of the ten Rusty Blackbirds at the Nature Trail.
The Bashakill was quite active this morning. I had my highest counts of sparrows so far this fall with Song, Swamp and White-throated Sparrows in good numbers. The Nature Trail had so many birds that all you could hear and see were the birds flitting through the leaf litter and trees. The best find here were ten RUSTY BLACKBIRDS in an Oak Tree at the intersection by the sand pit. At the Deli Fields, Chipping Sparrows were in good numbers as were Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers. The lone WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW continues. At the back parking area just before the boat launch, there were several thrush in the Concord Grape and Virginia Creeper vines. A Swainson’s and three Hermit Thrush were nice, but I was happiest to see my FOS GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH! Movement went the other way as well. After several days of Ruby-crowned Kinglets being everywhere, today I had only six in the entire Bashakill. Likewise, I had only one Catbird the entire morning.
Two Pectoral Sandpipers with two Lesser Yellowlegs on the mud flats at Morningside.
I was kind of all over the place today, but I decided early that for some reason I wanted to check out Morningside Park. I thought the Kayak was away for the season, but I got it out again. I was surprised at how birdy the place still was. The Great Egret is still there. Its getting late for that one. As I kayaked around, I noticed many shorebird tracks on the mud flats. Since we had had much rain since my last visit, I was sure I had missed something good. Not really. Once I reached the last mud flat, there were the shorebirds. Three Killdeer, two Lesser Yelllowlegs and two Pectoral Sandpipers. An American Pipit was there as well. Great Blue Herons and Double-crested Cormorants rounded out the list. It was kind of nice to be out there again. Maybe the kayaking isn’t over yet.
Juvenile male Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeding at Trumpet Vine.
This past weekend, Scott Baldinger had a late arriving Hummingbird in his yard. The bird initially fed on the flowers only, but eventually started to feed at his feeders. I went down to see the bird on Sunday. The bird seemed quite unique to me and I took a lot of photos. At this late date you always want to rule out a vagrant species of hummingbird. That has apparently been the conclusion. I shared my shots with others, and they all agree its just a late Ruby-throated. Here are a couple of my shots. I didn’t really spend any time this summer trying to get good hummingbird shots, but I thought these turned out pretty well. Thanks Scott for sharing the bird with us. As always, Click on the photo for best viewing size.
The rotund Ruby-throated takes a break from feeding at the Scott’s feeder.
This shot shows 34 of the 46 Blue-winged Teal at the Bashakill today.
It was a beautiful day on the Bashakill today. The temp topped out at just about 70 degrees by noon and birds were very active throughout the morning. The Orchard and Haven Road had many birds, mostly Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Yellow-rumped Warblers. There were also many Song and a few Swamp Sparrows as well as several Common Yellowthroats. The Birch Trail was good again today for waterfowl. Mallard and Wood Ducks were abundant, and so were teal. I had 46 BLUE-WINGED TEAL and 4 GREEN-WINGED TEAL! I’m sure there were more Green-winged, but that was all I could spot (yesterday there were ten). I also had my first HERMIT THRUSH of the fall here today. The Nature Trail was jumping with about 40 White-throated Sparrows and many Song Sparrows present. Ruby-crowned Kinglets were abundant. I had one Indigo Bunting and Black-throated Green Warbler here. The Deli Fields were very active again. About 30 Chipping Sparrows, 30 Song Sparrows, many Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers and a Common Yellowthroat were present. Northern Flickers were everywhere again today. On a couple of non-avian notes, I had an adult WOOD TURTLE crossing Rt. 209 today. I jumped out and moved it to the woods so it wouldn’t get hit. This is my first Wood Turtle this year. Another nice siting, as I was leaving, a mother Black Bear and her two cubs ran across Haven Road about a hundred feet in front of me. Always happy to see those bears!
My first photo op for a White-crowned Sparrow this fall. For anyone unfamiliar, this is a juvenile bird, hence the brown crown.
I thought we had seen the last Great Egret for the season, but the Morningside Park bird continues.
This morning I headed to Morningside Park for perhaps my last kayaking trip of the season. I was hopeful that some shorebirds might have come in on the strong northeast winds overnight. The place was really quite active, though shorebirds were few. Two Killdeer and what was most likely a Pectoral Sandpiper were all that were present. The likely Pec took off from a distant island as the result of a Peregrine Falcon diving on a couple of Belted Kingfishers. The bird flew around several times during which I was able to view it. It appeared to me to be a Pec, but I can’t be certain. The dark skies silhouetted the bird and no color could be detected. It eventually flew off, not to return. Two adult Bald Eagles, an assortment of ducks, a Great Egret and Great Blue Heron were also present. From there, I headed to the Bashakill. Still hopeful that there may have been some new birds. There really weren’t any. On Haven Road, I ran into Mary Buskey and we birded together. The Tree Swallow flock, though still present were down to only a couple of hundred birds. From there we went to the Nature Trail where we had the good fortune of running into Debbie and Wyatt Miller. They are visiting from Ohio and I had birded with them Tuesday morning. They are really enjoying their trip and getting some nice birds. We all birded together, there and then the Deli Fields. We had some good birds. Swainson’s and Wood Thrush, Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and an assortment of sparrows. It was a good raptor day with Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawk, Osprey, Sharp-shinned Hawk and American Kestrel were all seen. It was a nice morning with some really nice people.
Wyatt and Debbie Miller, visiting birders from Ohio.
One of a number of Bald Eagles we saw today.
Just about a third of the swallows present on Haven Road this morning.
The view in the sky opposite from where the swallows remained perched.
This morning upon arriving at the Bashakill, I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were approximately 1,000 Tree Swallows on Haven Road. I counted the birds on the wires as quickly as I could, coming up with approximatelsy 700 birds between numerous sections from the bridge to the woods on the South Road side. It was impossible to get a photo of all the sections at once, so I attached one here. Looking out over the marsh, the numbers were also incredible. Maryallison Farley happened along and I shared the scene with her. It was amazing. I have seen many swallows on the wires here, but this was by far the most. Out of all those swallows, I only found one single Cliff Swallow, no other kinds at all. The rest of the Bashakill was quite busy as well. Many ducks were flying around. Mallard, Black and Wood Ducks were numerous. I met Scott Baldinger and we went to the Nature Trail and Deli Fields. We split up after a short time, and both had great numbers of birds. The Deli Fields was the most productive for me with an abundance of sparrows. Most were Chipping Sparrows which numbered at least 100 birds. Field, Song, White-throated and Licoln’s were all seen. Bluebirds were abundant, I believe there were well over thirty of them. House and American Goldfinches were both present, the later in higher numbers. Yellow-rumped and Palm Warlbers were also plentiful. Other species seen included Robins, Swainson’s Thrush, Catbirds, Phoebes, House Wrens and many Northern Flickers. A very fun, busy morning at the Bashakill.
A Swainson’s Thrush feeding in the Virginia Creeper.