The Bashakill and Beechwoods

My First of season Eastern Meadowlark on Gabel Road in Beechwoods.

This morning I birded the Bashakill, focusing again on the waterfowl. I wanted to get the most accurate count of Wood Ducks that I could. They have been in extreme numbers this winter due to the fact that they arrive, and there is no other open water for them to go to. More and more continue to arrive and they are really piling up. This morning I did a meticulous count, starting from Haven Road and working my way to Westbrookville. The area near the Main Boat Launch out the Birch Trail is still inaccessible and no count could take place there. I still managed to come up with 426 Wood Ducks! Ring-necked Ducks are in similar number, but I estimated them today. Its too difficult to count both species when they are in such big numbers as this. Black and Mallard Ducks, Bufflehead, Common and Hooded Mergansers, American Wigeon and Northern Pintail rounded out the list. No Green-winged Teal seen today, but they are there. Along South Road near the winery, just past the Main Boat Launch a single Snow Bunting was feeding throughout the morning. Kevin Kriesher informs me that Thursday, 15 Snow Bunting spent the morning on Haven Road, but I missed them. Thanks to new member Richard L., the parking lot on Haven Road has been plowed. Hopefully we can get more snow removed (Main Boat Launch) before my Winter/Spring Waterfowl Walk next Saturday. From the Bashakill, I headed to Beechwoods in Delaware Township. This is our grasslands area and I wanted to see if there were any new arrivals. Most prominent among them were American Kestrels. I had a male here several times earlier in the year, but today, there were three Kestrels present. All of them were in known breeding territories and will probably remain for the summer. Also present was my FOS EASTERN MEADOWLARK! This is just about the date they normally arrive, but I wasn’t sure with the two feet of snow still present if there would be any there. The wind swept hillsides had bare spots, and this is where it was feeding, between the snow drifts. Bald Eagles, Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks were the other main characters there this morning. Can’t wait for the melt!

One of the American Kestrels present this morning. This area always has multiple breeding pairs.

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2 Responses to The Bashakill and Beechwoods

  1. That’s a lot of Wood Ducks, John. How many Wood Ducks do you think are at the Bash during the summer?

  2. I’ve easily seen 100 Wood Ducks in the Bash in summer, most of them hens with large clutches of young. Sullivan Audubon does a Wood Duck count the last Thursday of September and first Thursday of October and regularly count 2,000 Wood Duck! I wish they would put those records in ebird. BTW, I had 572 Ring-necked Ducks today!

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