More good news for Orchard Orioles and Marsh Wrens in Sullivan County!


Three weeks ago I had heard that Marsh Wrens were being seen at Fireman’s Park in White Sulphur Springs.  This was my first chance to see if they continued.   As soon as I opened my door, I could heard a singing Marsh Wren.  Ultimately, I was able to see two singing males and a female that was in the company of one of the males. This gives us our second location for this species breeding in Sullivan County.  Just last year, we found them at the Moosehead Cove area of the Bashakill, and they returned this year. While I was trying unsuccessfully to photograph the wrens, I could hear a singing male Orchard Oriole at the back of the field near the pavilion.  Once I finished at the park, I headed to our grasslands area.  On Schwartz Road, I found a pair of Orchard Orioles, and eventually found their nest.  They were feeding at least two chicks in the nest.  I moved on to Beechwoods Road where I found a singing male Orchard Oriole in the top of a Poplar Tree. I photographed him as well.  Six Orchard Orioles this morning, probably representing three pairs, one with chicks!  As you’ve seen from my previous posts, there are two pair at the Bashakill as well, and possibly a couple of others in the county by ebird report. You may wonder why I am always excited about these two species of birds.  Both have been rare to non-existent in the county in the not so recent past.  Both species have increased and bred in recent years, with each passing year getting more numerous. If you check the ebird bar charts, (clicking on the map) you will notice that both species have a large void from north of the Shawangunk Ridge all the way to the Adirondacks. In this area, they are rare at best.  The area is bordered on the west by the Finger Lakes Region and on the east by the Hudson River.  Once you reach these areas, they’re pretty common. Perhaps these recent colonization’s are the start of the species filling that void.

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