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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Bashakill

This morning many birders were present at the Bashakill. Joyce Depew was leading the Bashakill Field Trip for the Mearn’s Bird Club. At least 40 people were birding either independently or part of her group. It was a cold windy morning, but quite productive. A pair of NORHTERN SHOVELERS were the best of the new birds present. Tremendous numbers of swallows were present by late morning, with a couple of Barn and Northern Rough-wings among the hundreds of Tree Swallows. Bald Eagles are still plentiful. Ring-necked Ducks, American Wigeon (at least 20), Hooded Mergansers, Green-winged and Blue-winged Teal, Redheads, Wood, Mallard and Black Ducks. A lot of Bufflehead and a single Common Goldeneye were all present. I didn’t find and Red-necked Grebe this morning, but both Horned and Pied-billed were common. Passerines were in short supply, probably due to the high winds. The Osprey continue as well.

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Orange County Crested Caracara

Crested Caracara

Crested Caracara


This morning, Curt McDermott found an adult CRESTED CARACARA on River Road in Montgomery! This is a fabulous find and I can’t thank Curt enough for calling me so I could shoot right over to try for the bird. Upon my arrival, Curt, Bruce Nott, Ken McDermott and I drove around trying to relocate the bird which had flown off somewhere behind the farm house. I shortly got a call from Curt informing me that the bird had returned. I shot back to find several people viewing the bird. Many people arrived over the next couple of hours. The bird was still present when I left. Though I took many photos of the bird, they are distant and the drizzle and dark skies didn’t help much either. At least the bird is identifiable. Thanks again Curt! The bird is on the Brock Farm on River Road if you would like to try for it!
Crested Caracara found by Curt McDermott on River Road in Montgomery this morning.

Crested Caracara found by Curt McDermott on River Road in Montgomery this morning.

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Bashakill Followup

Redhead Drake from the Pine Boat Launch Tower.

Redhead Drake from the Pine Boat Launch Tower.


This afternoon I headed back to the Bashakill after being alerted to a drake REDHEAD that Scott Baldinger found out from the tower at the Pine Boat Launch. I easily found the bird and got some distant shots. Thanks Scott! Other birds I saw this afternoon that I missed this morning were some Tree Swallows and a few RUSTY BLACKBIRDS at the Main Boat Launch. The Horned Grebes continued their afternoon visit right near the ramp at the launch. Of note were 8 Bald Eagles at the MBL as well. All the other birds mentioned this morning continued.
Horned Grebe - Main Boat Launch.

Horned Grebe – Main Boat Launch.

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Bashakill still active.

Female Belted Kingfisher on the Birch Trail

Female Belted Kingfisher on the Birch Trail


The Bashakill was still active this morning, though some species numbers were down sowewhat. Ring-necked Ducks are still abundant, American Wigeon numbers increased to 18 individuals. Horned Grebe are probably about the same, I saw at least 10 this morning. Pied-billed Grebe are numerous as well. The pair of Blue-winged Teal continue off the Birch Trail, and Wood Duck numbers are very high. There was still a large mixed species flock at the parking lot on Haven Road that Bill Fiero and Pete Schyler had before I arrived. One Red-necked Grebe continues out from the Main Boat Launch with the near resident Common Loon, but the Red-throated Loon was not seen this morning. Belted Kingfishers were seen and heard in a number of locations. Scott Baldinger informs me he found a drake Redhead off the Pine boat Launch Tower after I had gone home. Still lots of great birds around.

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