Sullivan County

An immature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in the Orchard at the Rondout Reservoir.

An immature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in the Orchard at the Rondout Reservoir.


I thought yesterday was cold. This morning I awoke to 3 degrees! I took a long time getting around because it was just to cold to do much. That said, I covered the northeastern portion of the county from about 9:30 to 1PM. It was a surprisingly good morning for such a deep freeze. Most of the water in the county had frozen overnight with the exception of Kiamesha Lake and Rondout and Neversink Reservoirs. The Neversink River also continued to flow even though there was a lot of ice in it. The hot spot this morning was the Rondout Reservoir. Highlights included a couple of dozen PURPLE FINCHES, three GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER and a RING-NECKED DUCK. There were also Robins, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks etc. The second hot spot of the day was Hunter Road. I had covered almost the length of the field at the top when I came upon a flock of SNOW BUNTINGS! I tried getting a photo, but they flushed almost immediately. As they flew in front of my car I immediately saw that there was a LAPLAND LONGSPUR in with them. They are easy to pick out as they are smaller and appear entirely brown in flight. I followed the birds for the next twenty minutes, getting a few really poor shots. They ultimately took off, flying high over a vast expanse of forest that goes behind the Neversink Reservoir. I quipped to myself that I might see them on the other side. I birded quite a few areas, eventually reaching Aden Hill Road. As I went down the hill, there they were again, five miles from where I had initially found them. They were the same birds, 16 Snow Buntings and 1 Lapland Longspur. I managed a few more poor shots (at least one is identifiable) before they flew off again. I then stopped by Huson Road where I quickly picked up my first RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH of the year. As I headed home, I passed Morningside Park. Just past the park I saw 30 CEDAR WAXWINGS, also new for the year. Another great morning!
Snow Buntings, here on Aden Hill Road.

Snow Buntings, here on Aden Hill Road.


The best shot I could get of the Lapland Longspur, the bird in the middle.

The best shot I could get of the Lapland Longspur, the bird in the middle.

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2 Responses to Sullivan County

  1. Kyle says:

    Nice seeing you today John. Thanks again for the tips on locations, as it led to that beautiful Golden Eagle!! Good to see you got your waxwings. Nice on the red-breasted nuthatch too! I had my eyes peeled for those today with no luck!

    Kyle

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