Around the County

One of six Black Vultures I have seen in the last two days.

One of six Black Vultures I have seen in the last two days.

I went out the last two mornings with the intent of getting some counts of specific species to improve the data on them in ebird. I had a good morning both days with a few unexpected surprises. This year, BLACK VULTURE has been a bit scarce in the county. Never abundant here, it seemed there were even fewer this year. Yesterday, on my way up county I had to stop at the transfer station to drop off my recyclables. There were about ten Turkey Vultures still roosting and among them was a Black Vulture. From there I went on to Rubin Farm. I was counting Bobolink and Savannah Sparrows. I immediately found, on their refuse pile, five Turkey Vultures and my second Black Vulture of the day. I then headed to Beechwoods for a further grassland bird count. I had quite a few EASTERN MEADOWLARKS, my target speices, and only one Bobolink! Can they be gone already? I had none in most of the fields I checked this morning, and only a total of six. I had a couple of hundred last month! As I was counting meadowlarks, I spotted a pair bringing food to an obvious nest site in a large field. I stopped to see if I might get a photo. As soon as I stepped out of the jeep, I heard a NORHTERN BOBWHITE calling in the field very near the meadowlarks. I haven’t had a Bobwhite in the county in a couple of years, so it was especially nice to hear it. As it called a number of times, suddenly in the gully at the far side of the fields, a second Bobwhite answered him! It is really nice to know there are some around. Many years ago, I had one in this exact spot. On to today. This morning I headed to Forestburgh to try for some deeper woods species there. It was pretty successful, with many Dark-eyed Juncos, Black-throated Green Warlbers and a Blue Headed Vireo all seen among many species. When I got out of my jeep at Plank Road, I heard Ravens overhead. I looked up, and to may surprise a couple of Ravens were soaring with four Turkey Vultures and three Black Vultures! Six Black Vultures in two days! Another highlight, was a pair of Indigo Buntings feeding several recently fledged chicks. On Hartwood Road, I had my first Yellow-rumped Warblers in some time. I had ten species of warbler this morning.
Male Indigo Bunting.

Male Indigo Bunting.

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