Sullivan County

Common and Hooded female Mergansers on the Neversink River.

Common and Hooded female Mergansers on the Neversink River.

A drake Red-breasted Merganser on the Neversink River is a first for me at this location and a first record of the species for January in the county.

A drake Red-breasted Merganser on the Neversink River is a first for me at this location and a first record of the species for January in the county.

This morning Arlene Borko and I birded some of the hot spots in the county. The Bashakill, Rondout Reservoir and Neversink River were all quite birdy. At the Bashakill Deli Fields there were at least 100 American Robins, 20 Bluebirds, 3 Northern Flicker and many of the expected winter passerines. Later we picked up sparrows at Scott’s feeders, including our first Swamp Sparrow of the year. From there we went to the Rondout Reservoir. When we were only about ten minutes away, we got word that there were Redheads at the Reservoir. Glad we were so near, we thought they were in the bag. Unfortunately, there were no Redheads to be found. There were many birds though with Common and Hooded Mergansers, Common Goldeneye, Mallards, Blacks and Canada Geese all present. Eagles and Ring-billed Gulls were also there. When we left the reservoir, we headed to the Neversink River. We just started along the river when I spotted a RED-BREASTED MERGANSER drake. Always uncommon in the county, this (according to our checklist) would be the first record for January! Also present were Common and Hooded Mergansers, Blacks and Mallards and Canada Geese. While the Neversink River is always productive at this time of year, I can’t help but note that I had my first ever Gadwall and now my first ever Red-breasted Merganser on this river in the last week! As we headed back to Wurtsboro, we stopped at Big Valley Trailer Park to check out the feeders. We had our FOS in County Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles there. Good morning!

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