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Today I headed to the Rio and Mongaup Reservoirs to see what was still around.  I was very disappointed.  There were almost no birds at all.  Not a single eagle and almost no waterfowl.  I left and headed to the Beechwoods grassland area of the county.  On my way, I worked all the farm field areas along the rt. 17B corridor. It wasn’t until I reached Zylstra Road in Fosterdale that I had my first really good bird. An adult dark-phase ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK!  This was my FOS in the county.  I was able to get a couple of photos before the bird moved too far away for shots. I then headed to the Beechwoods area where I found many Bald Eagles ( I had had two on the way up as well)  I actually ended the day with 12 Bald Eagles, all seen in the grassland areas of the county.  I eventually reached Deppa Road in Bethel.  Here I found a light-phase Rough-legged Hawk.  As I was trying to get photos, it took off, eventually soaring.  As I watched, a second light-phase bird joined it and they soared together for several minutes.  They eventually came down, one going well into the distance at the back of a huge field, and the other landing in its original spot.  This was quite exciting for me.  Back in the day, it wasn’t IF you would find a Rough-legged Hawk when you went out, it was WHERE would you find the first of the day. That hasn’t happened in the last six years or so.  Why? Anyone’s guess. But it sure was nice to have it feel like the old days for a change!  The last I heard before this post, Patrick Dechon had seen the dark-phase bird and was looking for the light-phase birds.  I spoke with Lance Verderame, informing him of my luck with the Rough-legs so he headed to an area he sometimes has them as well, and he found two there also!  Great day for Rough-legs!


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2 Responses to A ROUGH DAY!

  1. Pat Dechon says:

    I struck out on the light-phase birds, but the dark phase hawk was very photogenic for me. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Your welcome, glad you got one at least. The dark phase is my favorite hawk! I’m sure the others will continue somewhere in the area.

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