With migration in the past and my summer birding trip over as well, I am once again focusing on some of our breeding birds. Today, I traveled along the Neversink River from Holiday Mountain to the Neversink Reservoir. As many of you have heard in the past, this is a favorite birding destination of mine pretty much year round. As one would expect, everything is breeding right now. Nearly all species of passerines were actively feeding young. This is also an excellent breeding location for several other species that can most easily be found here. Today I found only two of them. As soon as I started up River Road, I came upon a Common Merganser with eighteen chicks! I watched them for a while, enjoying the young birds diving for food, at times en-mass easily seen under the clear water. These are the first Common Merganser chicks I’ve seen in the county this year. Other birds of interest included a Great Blue Heron and Green Heron. Farther up river, I found another target, Belted Kingfisher. I at first only saw an adult bird, but watching it for a while, it led me to a juvenile perched on a log along the river. Its always nice to see so much successful breeding in the county. I ended the morning with 47 species and it was a beautiful day!
The top photo shows the juvenile male Belted Kingfisher waiting to be fed, below is the female Common Merganser with a dozen of the eighteen chicks she has.