BookSigning (2)My name is John Haas and I have been an avid birder for 28 years. I have a current ABA list of 686 species, a current New York State list of 412 species and a current Sullivan County list of 285 species. My favorite birding location is the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area in the town of Mamakating. I am a member of the Sullivan County Audubon Society, The Basha Kill Area Association, The New York State Ornithological Society, The Peregrine Fund and Hawaiin Audubon Society. As of March 1, 2019 I have become the Region 9 Editor for New York State Ornithological Society’s publication, “The Kingbird”.   I hope you will enjoy my blog with birding adventures both here in Sullivan and many places around the country and the world.

A Birding Guide to: Sullivan County New York Including the Bashakill Wildlife Management AreaIMG_6863:  I am pleased to announce the release of the third edition of my book. It was released on March 9, 2019. It was revealed at the Mamakating Library on that date for a book signing and slide program “The Birds of the Bashakill” presented by Lance Verderame and myself. The book is fully revised with the most up to date information on where and when to find birds in Sullivan County with special focus on the Bashakill. There is a complete new set of photos reflecting everything from common species to some of the extreme rarities that have found their way to our county. New birding sites that have become known to us have been added as well as information on spots that are no longer viable birding locations. There is an updated checklist of birds reflecting the new species in the recently revised ABA taxonomic order.  The book is available through the Basha Kill Area Association, The Morgan Outdoor Store in Livingston Manor and The Canal Town Emporium in Wurtsboro for $20.00 per copy. I would like to thank the Basha Kill Area Association for completing the application, and New York State Parks and Trails for their generous grant to aide in the publication of this book. All proceeds from the sale of this book will go directly to the Basha Kill Area Association.  If you would like a copy, go to the Bashakill.org page to see how to order it before they are gone.

52 Responses to About

  1. John Masterson says:

    Hello, John. Nancy and I are back in Texas until July 13th. We’ll be back to Yankee Lake then and hope you still have a copy of your Birding Guide you can sell us. I think when we went birding with you in June you said you still had some copies in your car — I thought we already had one, but it was the BashaKill guide). See you soon! — John and Nancy Masterson (7 Gregory Road, Yankee Lake)

  2. Hey there! Please email me at BKKayak ‘at’ Gmail.com. I don’t seem to have your email.

    I took some photos of a really big juvenile bald eagle holding her wings oddly and flying clumsily at the Bashakill today (Friday 9/9). She (I presume) was hanging out and calling with an adult. I think it may be our girl.

  3. DJ says:

    John- Desperately seeking your book! Do you have one stashed away? An ex-cohort of yours loaned me her copy and I’d love to purchase one for Silvia and me. Any chance??? Great format and content.

    Hope all is well w/ you & yours.

    DJ and Sil and The Menagerie

  4. BOB WEXLER says:


  5. Peter Wulfhorst says:

    John, do you know of any places in Sulivan County where I can find Yellow-bellied flycatchers. Thanks.

    • Peter, The best spot is the Bashakill on Migration. They have been seen other places, but not with any consistency. Not an easy bird, but seems more frequent in the fall than spring. Good luck, John

  6. Peggy Ann Sulak Green says:

    I am just filling out my application to the Basha Kill Area Association and found your Blog.
    Peggy Sulak Green

  7. Wilma Amthor says:

    I’m so glad to have met you and to be reading this blog. I have always been a bird watcher, but thanks to the spring trip with you last year…I’m becoming a fanatic and love taking pictures of all the birds I see. Can you please be more specific about the locations of some of the places you see the the birds, as I am not familiar with some of the areas.

    Thanks so much, Wilma Amthor

  8. nillakim says:

    Do you have contact info so I could possibly identify a bird I saw in my yard today?

  9. Chase says:

    Great blog. I though I would ask you for some guidance on a possible bird trip. I am considering coming up to Bashakill next week and I was wondering if you thought it would be possible/likely to see common gallinule and virginia rail at this time of year there. I am not sure if they become even more reclusive after breeding and become very difficult to see. Thanks for any help. Also, should I bring / rent a kayak to bird the wetlands?

  10. Shoji says:

    Hello John,
    Do you remember me Shoji from Japan.

  11. Liza says:

    Nice post,John

  12. Les says:

    Hi, A local group of birders are planning on going to the Bashakill for a canoe/kayak trip. I was wondering if you could tell me if there are any boat rental places nearby?

  13. Les says:

    It would just be for me.

  14. You can borrow mine for the trip if you’d like to, just let me know when.

    • Les says:

      John, Thank you very much for your offer. That’s very nice of you. The Delaware/Otsego Audubon Society has planned a canoeing and kayaking trip on May 1st to the Bashakill wetlands in Sullivan Co. (1131 South Rd. in Wurtsboro) I thought I’d start checking out the rental options. The trip is still being organized so I won’t know much more about the details until next month.

  15. You’re welcome to use the kayak, just remind me as the time gets near so I can have for you that day.

  16. Les says:

    I wrote to you back in March about finding a canoe or kayak to rent and you offered to lend me one. Well my plans have changed. I won’t be able to go on the canoe and kayak trip the local Audubon society has planned for the first of May. Feel free to join them if you’re around. Our field trips are always free and open to the public and they are a great bunch of guys- Birders are like that.
    I’ve been reading your posts regularly ever since a friend said his group used to make regular trips to the Bashakill. Going birding there has been on my birding bucket list and the opportunity to go with my local group seemed perfect. Drat. I may try to go Monday if I’m up to it, but I’ll just hike the trails if I do. Again, thanks for the offer, Les

  17. Kristin Noha says:

    Hi John! I know this is not the proper forum for this, but I had to Google you to find you! I’m throwing a surprise retirement party for Kim and Jim on 6/25 and I would love if you and the Friday night dinner crew can make it! Hopefully you can delete this after you read it, lol. Please email me for the details. Kristin.noha@gmail.com

  18. Laurie Ross says:

    Hello! I wonder if I might get permission to print out this image of a pied-billed grebe nest to use in a public teaching display for Seattle Parks (printed photo, laminated – occasional table use, not a permanent installation): https://bashakillbirder.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/dscn3486pbgn1.jpg

    Do you have a usage policy online? Thanks!

    Laurie Ross

  19. DAVID H WEISS says:

    I visited and photographed Bashakill on August 3&4, 2016. I took a number of photos of the Great Blue Heron that I would be happy to share with you for any purpose that you choose.

  20. Les Hallock says:

    Hi John, it’s me Les. The Southwest Florida Eagles, Made the Today show. I was at the nest for a few hours today. The is 2 eggs in the nest the first can hatch at any time. Check them out if you get the chance. I thot I seen what looked like a small crack . They been building up the sides for the last couple days. Eaglet any time.

  21. Hi Les,
    What a coincidence, I just mentioned you to Karen today, wondering if you got back to Florida. Hope you are enjoying the warmth, cold and snowy up here. Glad to hear about the eagles, hope they successfully hatch and fledge. I know you’ll be keeping an eye on them. Enjoy your new year and good luck with the eagles. John

  22. Les Hallock says:

    Hey John, how you been, i am still in Florida. been watching the Eagles nest down here in North Fort Myers, One egg didn’t make it but the another named E-9 has grown an started branch hopping an his wing exercising. he may be trying his first attempt to fly in a week or so. hope to still be here to catch that. anyway. hope you made it Thu the winter. see ya soon on the Kill.

  23. Hey Les! Good to hear from you! We had five inches of snow today, but the winter hasn’t been to bad overall. Glad the eaglet is doing well. Both of our pairs at the Bashakill are on eggs now, the second pair built a nest off Haven Road where they had built their original one the fell down the first year. Hopefully this one will hold. Look forward to spring, guess we’ll see you then!

  24. Mitchell Klein says:

    Was up at the Bashakill earlier today & noticed a dead Purple Gallinule on the side of Haven Rd. Someone came by & picked it up. I haven’t seen one this early or as out in the open. Is it common to find them here this time of year? Welcome back from FLA

  25. Was it a “Purple” or “Common” Gallinule? If it was Common, they should be coming in now. If it was Purple, it would be a mega rarity!

    • Mitchell Klein says:

      Thanks John. With a closer look at the photos I took, it appears to be the Common Gallinule.

      • Mitchell,
        I received a report that the Common Gallinule was initially seen along Haven Road and then later found dead. Very unfortunate, migrating all that way to be killed so quickly. Thanks for letting me know. John

  26. Sue Grabowski says:

    John, I am Paula Medley’s sister and would like to contsct you directly. Thx.

  27. Les hallock says:

    Hi John. I believe one of the eaglets at the Haven bridge. He flue over head. Heading toward the nest. Let Scott know for me may not be up this way for a few days. Happy Birding.

  28. Will do Les, thanks!

  29. Lester says:

    Hi John. I am sitting at the bashakill boat ramp. Just spotted a Harrier Hawk. On the far side of the kill. It is 11:30 am. Was heading low toward haven. To far for a pic

  30. Sylvia D Russo says:

    My son forwards your email to me but I would like to recieve my own. Recently joined the Sullivan Co. Audubon Soc. Hope to see you there.

    • Sylvia, I believe we met at the Rondout around the time of the Little Blue Heron. Nice to hear from you. I think its pretty easy to subscribe to my blog, hopefully your son can assist you. Since mine is the main site, I’m not exactly sure how it works, but I believe somewhere near the top of the post you can click on to subscribe. Good luck and thanks for keeping up with my posts, John

  31. Les says:

    Hi John , I hope your having a great time an seeing alot of birds. I just heard the Eagle nest I watch in North Fort Myers. Harriet just layed her 2nd egg in 4 days. Fort myers eagle cam
    24 – 7 live feed. Seen 3 immature eagles an 1 other adult, other then our 2 nesting pair. The immature one was flying in an around the nest tree, at the boat ramp. See ya when you get back

  32. Hi John,
    I’m so glad I found your blog. It’s very informative! I believe we met before either through DHC and/or Ed.

    I’m hoping you can direct me to those Buntings and the Horned Lark because I will be in Sullivan next week and would love to see those beauties!

    On a side note, I reside in the N. Florida area (for the next year), so if you ever want to bird around Wakulla and Leon county let me know 🙂

    • Hi, I would like to know your name. I would be happy to help with the larks and buntings as long as conditions are good. We should have some snow again before they start to show up, so keep your fingers crossed. I did have one Snow Bunting on the Neversink Dam this morning and more should be coming. Get in touch when you’re in the area and I’ll fill you in on what I know at the time. John

      • Hi,
        My name is Natasza Fontaine. I was a volunteer trail guide with DHC at the Bethel office. Any hints would he great! Thanks so much. I will be in touch next week

  33. Ok, look forward to hearing from you, John

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