Wild Wintery Spring Day at the Bashakill

A gorgeous Vesper Sparrow on Haven Road.

A gorgeous Vesper Sparrow on Haven Road.

This morning, following an appointment in Goshen, I headed to the Bashakill. We had had a decent snowfall overnight and it was cold, in the mid twenties. I was hoping the conditions would concentrate some good birds around the water. I wasn’t disappointed! Upon arriving at Haven Road, I immediately saw an abundance of birds. My first good sighting was a gorgeous FOS VESPER SPARROW! I called Scott Baldinger and Arlene Borko, both of whom came over. As well as the Vesper, there were several FOS SAVANNAH SPARROWS, and many Wilson’s Snipe. Four Pied-billed Grebe were in the channel, along with four Ring-necked Ducks. A few Green-winged Teal continued. Overhead, a number of Great Blue Herons were migrating in. On the marsh, many AMERICAN PIPITS continued. It began to sleet as we watched all the activity. It was a raw cold morning, but the birds outdid themselves. We finally pulled away from Haven Road (after Bruce Nott and Karen Miller had arrived and gotten all the good birds there). At the Orchard, an abundance of American Robins were joined by several Hermit Thrush and Fox Sparrows. At the Main Boat Launch we had more great birds! Two more Pied-billed Grebe, a FOS HORNED GREBE, two Common Loons and six BLUE-WINGED TEAL (found by Karen) were all seen. More Pipits here as well. From there we went to the Nature Trail. More Fox Sparrows and an abundance of RUSTY BLACKBIRDS (perhaps as many as seventy) were seen. Now, after nearly four hours of birding in the rain, sleet and cold, we called it quits. A really great birding day amid some inhospitable conditions! Back home at Yankee Lake, I found four RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and one each of Common Merg and Ring-necked Duck!

Hermit Thrush at the Orchard.

Hermit Thrush at the Orchard.

FOS Horned Grebe at the Main Boat Launch.

FOS Horned Grebe at the Main Boat Launch.

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