Bashakill Area Associations “Global Big Day” Field Trip

A White-eyed Vireo on the Nature Trail, only my second ever in the county and the first I could photograph.

A White-eyed Vireo on the Nature Trail, only my second ever in the county and the first I could photograph.

This morning I lead the Bashakill Area Associations “Global Big Day” Field Trip. There were 33 participants on the walk and it was truly a great morning. As we birded the Orchard, I got some heads up news from my friend Sean Sime about some good warblers his team had been seeing. I was hoping I would get a chance to find them later as the group moved to other areas of the Bashakill to bird. Initially we had some of the common species like Chestnut-sided, Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Blue and Canada Warblers. Here we had my FOS BLACKPOLL WARBLER. We also did well with Baltimore Orioles, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Scarlet Tanager. We heard of more good birds as we moved to the Nature Trail. We were able to get some nice stuff here, but the group was too large and didn’t have boots to enable us to move to the back of the trail. We ended the morning at the Main Boat Launch with nice views of Bald Eagles and Osprey. A really nice morning was enjoyed by all. At that point I went out on my own to try to find some of the other birds. My first great find was a singing male TENNESSEE WARBLER! I hadn’t heard of this bird being seen, so I don’t know if anyone else had it or not. I moved on, having spoken with Steve Altman about the location of a couple of good birds.  As I neared the observation tower, I spotted a Black-billed Cuckoo, my second in two days. I was then looking for warblers at the observation tower on the Nature Trail when I spotted a bird low in the bushes. My first thought was “Yellow-throated Vireo”, a bird I had seen several of already this morning. As I watched it, I realized it wasn’t a YTVI. I could see bright yellow flanks and pale wing bars, but the breast and throat were white/pale gray. Because it was in the leafy bushes, I couldn’t get a better look. I moved around the bush and the bird popped up on top of the bush. I saw its white eyes and practically yelled WHITE-EYED VIREO!! This is only the second time I’ve ever seen this species in Sullivan County! I took a number of shots of the bird as it went in and out of the bushes. Thankfully, one turned out identifiable! I met up with Steve and Matt again and directed them to a Hooded Warbler I had just seen. Shortly thereafter we met again, all meeting near the sand pit and right below a nice mix of birds. Two CAPE MAY WARBLERS, BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER, and finally thanks to Matt, my FOS BAY-BREASTED WARBLER. A beautiful male! Other birds that Sean’s team had that I wasn’t able to connect with today included a Mourning Warbler and Least Bittern. I had 21 species of warbler today, missing three species which were reported. Maybe tomorrow! I ended my “Global Big Day” with 71 species!

Most of the participants in today's Bashakill Field Trip.

Most of the participants in today’s Bashakill Field Trip.

One of two singing male Hooded Warblers we had today.

One of two singing male Hooded Warblers we had today.

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