Sullivan County

This morning I headed out around the northwest central portion of the county to try for some new birds.  I found no new ones, but did have a nice morning. The hot spot of the morning was Lake Superior Park on Dr. Duggan Road in Bethel.  It was good for both passerines and waterfowl today, one of the few spots that was.  On the water between the two lakes (Black Lake is on the opposite side of the road) there were well over 400 Common Mergansers, 60 Common Goldeneye (wish they were a bit closer for viewing), Mallard, Black Ducks, Bufflehead and Canada Geese.  A total of 8 Bald Eagles were present, 2 adults and 6 immature.  A large flock of American Goldfinch feeding in the Black Birch was nice, they seem to have disappeared lately.  A good size flock of Robins was present as well as most of the expected woodland species at this time of year.  Another highlight was a Belted Kingfisher feeding from a snag in the hemlock grove. From there, I went to the grassland area of the county in Delaware Township.  As well as the geese I had seen at Lake Superior, I found several more large flocks to sort through.  Upon arriving on Likel Road, a big flock of geese were taking off from a farm pond.  As they began circling, I sorted through them for Snow Geese.  I didn’t find any, but I did notice a small goose flying among them.  Hoping it might be a Cackling Goose, I waited them out.  They circled the area for 15 minutes, just exercising I guess and eventually came back in to settle on the pond.  I spotted the small goose as they came in and got on it quickly. As I began to surmise as  they were flying around in the distance, it was too small for a Cackling Goose.  It was almost certainly the same juvenile Brant I had found in the area three weeks ago.  As it turned out, I was only a couple of miles from the pond I had originally found it in.  Since it has stayed this long, maybe it will continue for December and even into the new year depending on our weather.  It turned out to be a pretty good birding day with 30 species seen. Below, the Brant rests on the pond among the Canada Geese.

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