Sullivan Birding and Butterflies

One of two Giant Swallowtailed Butterflies at the Bashakill today, 8/24/12

I have covered many of the usual areas over the last several days. The most significant event of those days has been the continued encounters with large mixed species flocks of passerines. Shore birds had continued about the same from the past weekend through Wednesday. As of Thursday, numbers dropped considerably. This morning, many birds were seen at the Bashakill, including 8 Great Egrets. Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Canada Warblers, Ovenbirds, Chestnut-sided Warblers, Red-eyed and Warbling Vireos were all seen at the Horseshoe Parking area. People who birded the Nature Trail had many warblers including multiple Hooded and Blackburnian Warblers. For me, the best find this week was a Butterfly. I had heard that GIANT SWALLOWTAILED BUTTERFLY had moved into the county during the last year with at least a few reports of this more southern butterfly. On Wednesday, I finally found one of these great butterflies at the Horseshoe Parking Area at the Bashakill. Attempts to photograph it were unsuccessful and the butterfly disappeared before I could get a shot. Thinking that I might not see this species here again, I was disappointed. Today, I found not one, but two GSTBs at the Bashakill. One got away, but the other was quite cooperative and posed for several pics. This is the first time I have seen this species in Sullivan County and in New York. With the previous reports, this is a good sign that the species may be colonizing the county.

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7 Responses to Sullivan Birding and Butterflies

  1. scott says:

    We had a Giant Swallowtail here at the base of our driveway (I believe it was wed). Valerie Freer was here that day looking for the Siskin and got to see the butterfly too. Also, Paula and I saw one on Haven Rd today. The 2 siskins continue. Had a nice day on bash. At nature trail 7 species of warbler,all the woodpeckers incl YB Sap, 4 tanagers, 3 orioles, 2 grosbeaks, 3 Vireo species. My big surprise was at Linear Park. I had a small flurry of birds by the large Pines just before the rust colored bridge when I turned around heading up the trail towards me a Black Bear! It was young maybe 110-125lbs about 1500ft from me. I was scared and excited at same time. As I went to try to photo with camera phone it ran off the trail to the right near we you found that Chat. Wow!

    • Scott, Sounds exciting to me! Always like to see the bears. I saw Charlie West on Haven Road Tuesday, and he told me he just had a bear at the Orchard Parking lot. Guess they are moving. I think thats something about all these Giant Swallowtails! Glad you got to see them. Hope the weekend will be good, see you out there, John


  2. BOB WEXLER says:


    • I was out with freinds for a while and had basically nothing. We are supposed to get north winds tomorrow night, that should make a change. Glad you’re getting out there. John


  3. Hi John – I see you’ve been kayaking at the Bashakill. How is the water level/vegetation right now? I’ve been out there many times, but I am thinking about trying it for the first time with my kayak. Thanks!

    • Charles,
      I responded with an e-mail, but in case you didn’t get it, yes you can kayak at the Bash at this time. I would stay in the channel to the left of the main boat launch once you get out there. Many are still going to the right, but it is thicker with weeds than the left. Once you go left, around several turns, the rest of the channel is open and easily navigated. John

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