Around the County

a few of the many Rusty Blackbirds at the Bashakill 10/23/12

This morning I started out at the Bashakill and ended up covering much of the county once it began to rain heavily. At the Bashakill the most notable influx of birds included many RUSTY BLACKBIRDS and FOX SPARROWS. The Rusties could be found just off Haven Road at the parking area for the “Stop Sign Trail” with at least ten seen there. Three Fox Sparrows were seen on the entrance road in mixed species flocks including White-throated, Song, Swamp and both adult and juvenile White-crowned Sparrows. Further down the Bash at the Birch Trail and Main Boat Launch, at least 40 Rusties and 5 Fox Sparrows were seen. At Scott Baldinger’s feeders, four finch species were seen, including at least two hundred Pine Siskins. I moved up-county to check the water after the rain began. The nicest bird I found was a breeding plumage drake LONG-TAILED DUCK at Kiamesha Lake with Ruddy Ducks, Mallards and Black Ducks. Morningside Park had at least three WILSON’S SNIPE and a mystery shore bird. With distant views, the bird seemed somewhere between a Pectoral Sandpiper and a Upland Sandpiper. I returned later with my kayak, but all the birds were gone. At Swan Lake, more waterfowl than anywhere else. Mallards and Blacks numbered over fifty of each species. Common Mergansers (41) Hooded Mergansers (3) Ruddy Ducks (9) Pie-billed Grebes (2) Wood Ducks (35) and many Canada Geese were seen. We should be getting more scoters any time now.

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