Wolf Brook and the Neversink Gorge, outstanding summer birding!

The falls on Mullet Brook in the Neversink Gorge

The falls on Mullet Brook in the Neversink Gorge


This morning I took a look at the forecast for the next three days and decided I’d better do something today. I headed over to the Wolf Brook Multiple Use Area and the Neversink Gorge. I always like to start my hike right near the kiosk at the entrance to Wolf Brook. There are many birds to see along the dirt road to the upper parking area, and I like to see as many as I can. Eastern Towhee, Gray Catbird, Prairie Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler and the occasional Hooded Warbler are among the many species seen on your way up. Indigo Bunting, Cedar Waxwing and American Goldfinch are all present as well. Once you reach the parking area, take the trail into the Neversink Gorge. It is not really marked, but is right at the back of the parking spot. This is a fabulous trail. Canada Warblers begin to show shortly (today I had a record 14 Canada Warblers here), and Hooded Warbler picks up in numbers. All the species mentioned before increase in abundance. Eastern Towhee, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Ovenbird and Black-throated Blue Warbler are so abundant that it is hard to get an accurate count. Today, Black and White Warbler was nearly as abundant as the first four. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are common here, today I had a total of five of them. Once you reach the first stream crossing ( a nice little bridge under the pines that is quite scenic) you run into your first coniferous forest species. Black-throated Green Warbler and Blue Headed Vireo can both be found here. As you head further down, you won’t believe the shear numbers of some of the species. Today, I had 13 species of wood warblers on the hike. I decided to turn around and come back up once I reached the falls, so I never reached the area for Magnolia and Louisiana Waterthrush. Altogether, I had 39 species of birds on the walk, and great looks at all of them. This was my day to get great photos of the twigs next to the birds, I sometimes run into that problem in dense woods. Some of the other nice birds seen included Black-billed Cuckoo, Scarlet Tanager and Rose-breasted Grosbeak (rare in the gorge). The falls are of course beautiful and it makes for a nice spot to take a rest and cool down on a hot day. Great spot for lunch! I highly recommend this hike to anyone interested in birds or even just a beautiful walk through the woods.

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