Orange County Black Dirt Region

basic plumage Black Tern flies past us on Skinner Lane

basic plumage Black Tern flies past us on Skinner Lane

the basic plumage BLACK TERN on Skinner Lane dips down to the water to catch an insect.

the basic plumage BLACK TERN on Skinner Lane dips down to the water to catch an insect.

This morning I birded the black dirt region of Orange County. I started at Turtle Bay and worked my way around the Wallkill River Valley. At Turtle Bay I had a large flock of American Golden-plover which were flushed by a Peregrine Falcon. They were in the flooded field that is actually on Butryn Road just off Turtle Bay. Also present were Least and Spotted Sandpiper, Killdeer and a Lesser Yellowlegs. On to the Pine Island Turf Nursery. I found about 74 Killdeer, 10 Least Sandpipers, 1 Spotted Sandpiper and 1 Pectoral Sandpiper. Bobolink could be heard and coincidentally, my second Peregrine Falcon of the morning. At Oil City Road the only birds of note were more bobolink, two Greater Yellowlegs and several Great Egrets. On to Skinner Lane. Here I had the bird of the day. As I pulled up I ran into Jim Schlickenrider who was scanning the birds. He immediately informed me that he was viewing a BLACK TERN. The bird was already in basic/winter plumage. I got on the bird right away, a new county bird for me. Thanks Jim for spotting this one! Also present were 1 Greater Yellowlegs, 2 Lesser Yellowlegs, many Least Sandpipers and Killdeer.

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