Orange County Black Dirt Region

A few of the abundant Horned Larks.

A few of the abundant Horned Larks.


This morning I headed to the Black Dirt Region with some specific targets in mind. Luckily, I was able to get all four, though a couple were close. I was surprised at how few birds there were overall in that area. No blackbirds, few geese (no snows), and only two species of hawks. Red-tailed Hawk and Northern Harriers were all I saw. That said, I got my first target on Turtle Bay Road. A juvenile WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW. There was just one in a flock of House and Song Sparrows. My next target was easy. HORNED LARK. They were everywhere. I had at least 270 of these birds between three locations. On Indiana Road, there was a single Snow Bunting with a small flock. I was then trying for vultures. It took much longer than I thought it would. I finally saw my first TURKEY VULTURE in the afternoon over the golf course in Pine Island. The next was over near Florida, on a tower with a single BLACK VULTURE. I had a modest 26 species for the entire area. I then headed over to the Bashakill where there were also few birds overall. I was able to add BROWN CREEPER for the year and HERMIT THRUSH for the county. A good day overall.
A Black Vulture on a tower just outside of Florida.

A Black Vulture on a tower just outside of Florida.


My only White-crowned Sparrow of the day.

My only White-crowned Sparrow of the day.

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