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The last week has been a scorcher here in Sullivan County.  Most days temps reached the mid 90’s with humidity hovering near 100%!  It  has been brutal.  That said, most days I got in some birding.  Things are at a near stand still as birds are feeding chicks and no real post breeding movement has yet to occur. That said, I had a few nice highlights during the week.  On Monday, I found a pair of Spotted Sandpipers with at least one chick at Apollo Plaza.  I really enjoy seeing one of our only three breeding species of shorebirds being successful.  Add to that the fact that Killdeer had many nearly grown chicks at the same location and it makes for some nice birding.  Along the river systems, I continue to find Common Mergansers with sizeable clutches of chicks.  So far, I haven’t found any additional Hooded Mergansers chicks.  Osprey are feeding young in three locations in the county, not sure of a count yet. Marsh Wrens continue at the Bashakill and Fireman’s Park.  I have yet to see a Common Gallinule with chicks at the Bashakill.  They got a very late start to nesting due to the prolonged cold keeping the vegetation from growing.  Since there have been no floods, the hatch should be excellent this year.  Least Bitterns continue to be reported, this was a great year for them.  It has cooled down temporarily and I spent some of my time on my deck watching yard birds today. The heat is supposed to kick in again this week, so who knows how the birding will be.  Hopefully, the first southbound migrant shorebirds will start in the next week and post breeding dispersal waders will start to show up to kick off the fall season!

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Above, a tiny Spotted Sandpiper chick works its way through the weeds at the Apollo Plaza.  Top, a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeds from the feeder on my deck.

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