Great Morning

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It was a great morning for birding, but not for photos.  I birded several locations around the county, some more productive than others.  At Morningside Park I was certain the shorebirds had to be gone after a night of intense northwest winds. Not so. In fact this morning there were three Dunlin and two Pectoral Sandpipers, up from the four birds that have been present.  The Rondout Reservoir was the hot spot of the morning!  I checked the viewing spot from Rt. 55, one mile east of the turn off to the power house.  I checked there because the last several trips it was more productive than the power house end of the reservoir.  I immediately found many Common Loons, which eventually totaled ten.  As I was watching, a grebe surface and then dove again.  I was sure it was a Red-necked simply due to its size in comparison with a Common Loon. It was too big to be a Horned, and it definitely wasn’t a Pied-billed.  It took some time to relocate, but it was in deed a RED-NECKED GREBE, my first of the fall season.  The bird was hard to keep track of due to its constant diving, and I never was able to get a photo.  As I watched the loons a while longer, I noticed a loon surface in the distance that I was sure was a RED-THROATED LOON.  Almost immediately the bird jumped in the air as a Common Loon attacked it from beneath the water surface. The first loon took off and then landed and dove.  I couldn’t relocate it initially.  After some time I scanned back into the inlet heading to the power house, and there was the Red-throated Loon again. I followed it all the way to the power house where it dove just below the outflow many times.  The sky was a mix of dark and bright with total cloud cover.  All this reflected brightly off the water and made photos extremely difficult. Though I managed over two dozen shots of the loon, none were very good at all.  I’ve attached a distant, cropped photo for ID purposes. I eventually moved back down along rt. 55 to the county line pull off.  Here I noted six WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS and a flock of 26 Bufflehead.  Once done there, I headed to Swan Lake.  Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Common (73) and Hooded (5) Mergansers, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck and the common ducks were all present.  Great morning!

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2 Responses to Great Morning

  1. John,

    That really is a fantastic morning of birding, thanks for sharing. There must be some sort of law that whenever the birding is excellent, the photos are tough to come by. As an aside, I’m wondering if you will run for the Corn Crake on LI? Matt

  2. If the bird is reported in the morning, I’m going to head right down. It would be a great bird to have for ABA and New York. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

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