Delaware County “Big Day” and an Orange County Rarity

For the past four years, Lance Verderame has focused his birding on Delaware County. He has come to know the county well and found many great birding locations and many great birds there. This year he wanted to do a “Big Day” and asked if I’d like to join him. I’m not sure if anyone has done “Big Days” in Delaware before, but we were going to give it a try. The morning started out COLD! It was 34 degrees, and wasn’t going to go up much the entire morning. This held bird activity down. Also, though it was already May 9th, many species of birds hadn’t yet arrived in Delaware County. With all that said, we had a great day! On many occasions we lucked out with single individuals of many species. Though I have only birded Delaware on occasion, Lance knew exactly where to take us for our best chance at some species and it did pay off. Birding the Cannonsville and Pepacton Reservoirs yielded our only Double-crested Cormorant and Common Loon. At the Pepacton, we were also thrilled to find a breeding plumaged BONAPARTE’S GULL! A flooded farm field brought us most of our shorebirds with Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Killdeer, Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers seen there. American Woodcock was seen elsewhere. Another surprise at this spot was our second Bonaparte’s Gull for the day, this one a first year bird! It was among nearly 100 Ring-billed Gulls. The varied habitat on Green Flats Road brought us many species. At least half of our warblers were seen there. Another spot with an abundance of spruce, Beers Brook Road, yielded our boreal type birds with Red-breasted Nuthatch, Magnolia Warbler, Golden-crowned Kinglet and Blackburnian Warblers found there. At the end of the day, we had a total of 103 species! Each of us had heard one species that the other missed giving us 102 species individually. What a great day, and how neat to break 100 on our first try! Thanks Lance for a well planned day!

On the local scene, Linda Scrima was birding Laurel Grove Cemetery yesterday when she happened up a beautiful male SUMMER TANAGER! If you would like to read Linda’s account and see some nice photos, you can go to Matt Zeitler’s excellent Blog at Congratulations Linda and thanks Matt for posting it!

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2 Responses to Delaware County “Big Day” and an Orange County Rarity

  1. Linda says:

    Thanks, John. Another rare sighting in the OC: John Haas! Lol. I am disappointed that you didn’t get to see the Summer Tanager, but it was still a good day birding!

  2. Linda,
    So glad you found such a great bird! Wish I could have seen it, but maybe next time. John

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