Lippencott Road and Newburgh Waterfront

A pair of Northern Pintail on the Wallkill River at Lippencott Road.

A pair of Northern Pintail on the Wallkill River at Lippencott Road.


On Tuesday I birded Ulster County. I covered the grasslands and Blue Chip Farms with little success. A couple of Red-tails and Northern Harriers were all I found at the grasslands. I was hoping for a Meadowlark, but no luck. At Blue Chip, the geese were the farthest away I have ever seen them. They were piled up as far back as possible along the boundary with the grasslands. They were so bunched up it was impossible to discern anything good among them. At Lippencott Road, it was very birdy. Bruce Nott had alerted me to a NORTHERN PINTAIL he had seen on Monday, so that was my target bird. I had over 80 Mallards, 2 Bald Eagles, 1 Belted Kingfisher, 6 Common Goldeneye, 14 Common Mergs and 3 Hooded Mergs. Bruce had also mention an American Coot. I didn’t initially find it, but after about twenty minutes I found it swimming with the three Hooded Mergansers. It was an extra special sighting, as I had never (how did that happen?) had a Coot in Ulster County before. Thanks Bruce for all the intel! I headed home from there only to see a post from Ajit that the Iceland Gulls were back at the Newburgh Waterfront. I headed over there after lunch where I found an abundance of birds. I spent a couple of hours sifting through the gulls and other birds, but found no Icelands. I was on the phone with Bruce, about to call it a day. He encouraged me to stay a bit longer as he has had the Iceland Gulls right at the end of the day. As we spoke I noticed a lot more gulls coming in, so I knew he was right and I should wait it out. More and more gulls came downriver on ice flows. As a mid river flow came down, I realized that even though there were extensive heat rays, it was finally close enough for me to scan with the scope and identify the birds. As I scanned for an Iceland, I came across a black-backed gull. Initially obscured, it moved into full view. It was the same size as the Herring Gulls, smaller than the Great Black-Backed Gulls and had heavy streaking on the head and nape. A basic LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL! I tried to get photos, but they came out really poor due to the heat rays. I hadn’t really thought about this bird today, as I haven’t seen any recent reports of this species. It was a very pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, I never did find an Iceland Gull. Thanks for your help again Bruce!
A poor shot of my first ever Coot in Ulster County.

A poor shot of my first ever Coot in Ulster County.

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2 Responses to Lippencott Road and Newburgh Waterfront

  1. mpaper2013 says:

    If you guys come to Long Island again I would love to go birding with you. Mitch Clark-photographer- mpaper@optonline.net

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. We’ll keep it in mind, thanks for checking in.

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