Sullivan County

This morning had to be one of the most miserable birding mornings this spring. The temp started out at 20 degrees with 25 mph winds. By 11am it got just above freezing and the winds never abated. That said, it was a decent birding day. Acting on a tip from Lance Verderame, I headed to Neversink Reservoir after I completed some errands. There were quite a few birds there, and I found the Common Loon within a few minutes. From there, I headed down to the Bashakill. I didn’t expect to stay long, as the extreme north winds and cold probably had negated the possibility that anything new had come in. I was mistaken. The first thing I noticed was that there were many more ducks than the last two days. Also of note were the second pair of adult Bald Eagles that have been frequenting the Bashakill the last couple of weeks. (not sure if this is a good thing, they’ve been hanging out at the Heron Rookery, causing some disruption there) The eagles were diving on the ducks, putting up many hundreds of ducks at a time. As they made a pass, I noticed a pair of NORTHERN SHOVELERS flying around and ultimately landing near the tower at the Pine Boat Launch. I called Scott and Arlene, both of whom came over. The shovelers had moved again, but we were able to find them from Haven Road. As we searched for the ducks, a pair of Blue-winged Teal took off as well. Most notably was a single BARN SWALLOW flying around the cove out from the tower. This happens to be the exact date of our first arrival Barn Swallow last year. All the other commonly expected water fowl was present as well. A few Rusty Blackbirds and 3 Eastern Phoebes were also near the tower. Great birding on a frigid day.

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