Another Great morning at the Bashakill


Thirty seven Tundra Swans above were a new record number for Sullivan Co.

I started out at the Pine Boat Launch again this morning.  Northern Pintail(24), American Wigeon (34) and Gadwall (10) were all seen. Ring-necked Ducks numbered about (60) there again this morning. All the common ducks, geese and swans were seen as well. I started out the trail to the Observation Tower when I heard a distinct trumpeting.  I stopped to listen and heard many birds trumpeting.  I literally ran back to the boat launch where I spotted a flock of TUNDRA SWANS flying over the ridge, heading into the Bashakill. Once I figured there were about 30 of them, I called Scott Baldinger, informing him where I was and what I was seeing.  He immediately pulled into the lot where he had already been heading.  I yelled to him to look up, and we had great looks at the flock which turned out to be 37 Tundras!  This is a record for Sullivan County. We worked our way around the area and on to Haven Road.  Many more of the same species were seen. We headed to the Main Boat Launch where we picked up both Common and Hooded Mergansers.  Scott had to head off to a personal appointment and I continued birding.  I hiked out the Birch Trail.  More Pintails, Wigeons and Ring-necks.  Mallards, Black Ducks and Wood Ducks were present, but in somewhat lower numbers this morning. I headed back to the launch and as I arrived, I heard the familiar sound of SNOW GEESE!  I looked up to see a large flock flying overhead. I was able to get some shots as they passed over.  Passerine numbers seemed low today with the highlights being many Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles. Still waiting for the first Rusty’s of the year.  Two Fox Sparrows at the Deli Fields were the highlight there.  Here is the list of the days waterfowl, Pintails in much lower number today:

Snow Goose – 213

Canada Goose – 400

Mute Swan – 6


Wood Duck – 24

Gadwall – 11

American Wigeon – 58

American Black Duck – 30

Mallard – 30

Northern Pintail – 70

Green-winged Teal – 2

Ring-necked Duck – 187

Bufflehead – 1

Hooded Merganser – 4

Common Merganser – 4

Later in the day, a flock of Northern Pintail put up by the eagles was probably larger than my entire count this morning.  The Northern Shovelers were not seen today that I am aware of, but dogs and people at Moosehead Cove had put out all the ducks before I arrived.

IMG_3080 (2)

The flock of 213 Snow Geese can be seen above.  Somewhat closer identifying shots can be seen in my ebird report.







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5 Responses to Another Great morning at the Bashakill

  1. Steven SULZER says:

    You keep mentioning different locations such as the “Birch Trail”. For someone not familiar with the area, how would I locate these spots? I found a map of the Bashakill but it does not list trail names.

    • Steven,
      Good question. There is a kiosk at the Main Boat Launch that indicates where the trails are and though not all may be mentioned, most are. Also, a copy of my book “Birding Guide to Sullivan County and the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area” gives detailed direction to all the birding hot spots there. I have noticed lately that many people are reporting only from a couple of main locations and don’t really seem to know how to go elsewhere. I think we could help with additional maps, and I will look into what can be done to improve the situation. Thanks for asking, hope this helps, John Haas

    • One last thing Steven, if you go to you can see how to order a copy of my book if you are interested. All procedes go directly to the Bashakill Area Association to help protect the Bashakill. Also, starting in April the “Nature Watch” is set up at the Main Boat Launch every weekend from 10 am to 4 pm. All sorts of information is available there, including Checklists of Birds for the Bashakill and copies of my birding guide and the Bashakill’s Guide to the Wildlife Management Area.

  2. Steven SULZER says:

    Thanks for the great reply. I did order your book today. Looking forward to birding the Bashakill and other areas in Sullivan County. Maybe I’ll see you out there some day.

  3. You’re welcome! Enjoy and hope to see you out there! John

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