Bashakill Floods! Timing isn’t that bad.

A Gallinule family swims along Haven Road.

A Gallinule family swims along Haven Road.


I never got to the Bashakill yesterday to see if the waters had continued to rise. I spent much of the day hiking into the Neversink Gorge with Bill and Jayne Fiero and June Fisher. Last evening, I heard from Karen Miller that she was at the Bashakill, and the water had reached flood stage. She said that like earlier in the week, Common Gallinules were easily seen, only now there were more of them. She said she had a total of 4 adults and 14 chicks! Thanks for the heads up Karen! This morning I headed right to the Bashakill with my kayak. I was able to launch right on the road near the parking area on the 209 side of the bridge. It hasn’t been this flooded in about two years. The timing however was better than in previous years. This time, all the marsh birds have had a chance to hatch at least one clutch of chicks. Once hatched, flooding is not a problem for the marsh bird chicks. I headed out from Haven Road toward the Pine Boat Launch. On this side of the kill I had six adult Gallinules and eight chicks. I then crossed Haven and headed toward Westbrookville. In fact, I kayaked all the way to just before the Deli Fields in Westbrookville. I encountered many families of gallinules along the way. In total I had 40 Common Gallinules. Six families with the following clutches – 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5. The pair with one chick, the largest chick seen and already flighted almost certainly had more, but I wasn’t able to see them due to the dense vegetation at the south end of the kill. I also saw another pair that had no chicks that I could see. Additionally, eight birds were heard that I never saw. These birds could have had chicks as well. I had four Great Blue Herons, but no other waders. I can usually find both bitterns after a flood, but this flood was not as extreme and I couldn’t find any. If your interested in seeing gallinules, either by land or kayak, the next couple of days should prove productive before the waters start t recede. FYI Haven Road is not passable in a regular car at this time. Stick to South Road, The Orchard and that side of Haven Road. If you don’t see gallinules there, they should be visible form the Main Boat Launch.
If you proceed slowly, either walking Haven Road or in a kayak, you can get some half way decent shots.

If you proceed slowly, either walking Haven Road or in a kayak, you can get some half way decent shots.

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One Response to Bashakill Floods! Timing isn’t that bad.

  1. Karen C M says:

    Nice picture, John.

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