Things were about the same as yesterday at the Bashakill. Warbler numbers were good though I only had 8 species myself. Others had several that I missed. A Philadelphia Vireo at the Orchard was a nice find. Highlights at the Nature Trail included a Tennessee Warbler and two Lincoln’s Sparrows. Magnolia Warblers were in very high numbers. Three Great Egret continue in the marsh, but I couldn’t find any Gallinules today. All in all a good day of birding.
Another one of my famous late starts this morning. That didn’t stop it from being a good day. Unfortunately, it did mean I would miss both Connecticut Warblers found at the Bashakill. I saw how good the radar was last night so I decided to once again head to Morningside Park in hopes of shorebirds. What is it they say about doing the same thing over and over with the same results? Oh well, I had the same results, no shorebirds. I did find our FOS RUDDY DUCKS, a pair (below). Oddly enough I’ve had a pair here on the 24 or 25th of September in the past. I then got the call from Scott Baldinger that he and Gene McGarry had found a Connecticut Warbler on Haven Road. I got there as quickly as I could, but we couldn’t relocate the bird. As we moved further into the Orchard, I ran into Joel Milton. Joel had also found a Connecticut Warbler, this one just before the Stop Sign Trail right off the parking area. No luck there either. Tom Burke and Gail Benson arrived and everyone moved around the Bashakill finding more warblers. Nashville and Magnolia seemed to be the most abundant. Bay-breasted had a good showing as well. I’m not sure the total number of species but it was good. I remained in the area of the Orchard most of the morning and again late this afternoon hoping to run into one the COWA’s, but no luck. I did find my FOS GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH which was my second best bird of the day. I got a so so photo of the bird (above). To sum up, everyone had a pretty decent morning at the Bashakill!
Last evening I received a call from Matt Zeitler. He had just found a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER at the Citgo Pond in Goshen. It was too late for me to go down last night, so I went first thing this morning. I found the bird almost immediately. The problem was the light and distance kept me from making a conclusive ID. Finally, some clouds came over and the bird came a bit closer and I was able to identify it as a WRSP. Also present were 14 Least Sandpipers, 1 Solitary Sandpiper, 1 Lesser Yellowlegs and 15 Killdeer. At least one American Pipit was present and Bruce and Karen saw three later in the morning. Mallards, Green-winged Teal and Canada Geese as well as Great Blue Heron and Great Egret were also present. From there I went all over the black dirt checking for grasspipers to no avail. I’ve attached a very poor distant shot of the White-rump. Thanks Matt for finding the bird and the heads up!!
I birded around the county this morning, hoping for the best. Ulster County had a wave of shorebirds over the weekend that was impressive to say the least. I was hoping maybe something had come our way. What I found after birding Apollo Plaza, Kiamesha Lake, Morningside Park, Neversink Reservoir, Rondout Reservoir and Swan Lake was that the usual suspects continue with nothing new showing for me. Double-crested Cormorants, Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles and Osprey can all be found easily. The female Bufflehead at the Rondout Reservoir continues. Passerines were almost non-existent. At the Orchard near the Rondout Reservoir my best birds were a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, a few Blue-headed Vireos and a Lincoln’s Sparrow. The only warbler I saw the entire day was a male American Redstart at Swan Lake. I have to say it was a nice morning of birding, just nothing new.
I birded the Bashakill again this morning. It was a beautiful cool morning and nice for walking the trails. I had a nice assortment of birds, but passerines, especially migrants were few. On the marsh I had 8 Great Egrets and 3 Great Blue Herons, and a few Wood Ducks. Over Haven Road I had a pair of Red-tailed Hawks and a Red-shouldered Hawk. On the Stop Sign Trail I had a few warblers, Black and White, Magnolia and Common Yellowthroats. Tufted Titmice seemed to be everywhere. The Catbirds were joined by two Brown Thrashers feeding on Winter Berries. An immature Sharp-shinned Hawk (above) kept everything moving there. Along Haven Road I had a mixed species flock of sparrows including Song and Swamp and a single Lincoln’s. A really nice walk but not too birdy. Below is a baby Musk Turtle I got off the road and into the marsh. I put it next to my thumb nail to show just how tiny it is!
I birded the Bashakill only today. The overnight radar was not good, fading to black in our area by 3 am. That said, it was slightly better than yesterday for me, and others had pretty good mornings! I ran into Steve Altman around 9 am. He was at the Deli Fields boat launch and quite pleased. He had just had a large mixed species flock that was mostly warblers (10 species) including 4 Bay-breasted and 3 Tennessee! He said the flock moved quickly past the launch and down the same side of the kill, disappearing in the near woods. I tried to relocate them, but was unsuccessful. I did find a decent flock along the Long Path behind the Nature Trail. It consisted of multiple Black-throated Green, Magnolia, Blackburnian and Black and White Warblers as well as Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart and Northern Parula! Nothing really exciting, but this fall any group of birds is great to see! At the Horseshoe Parking Area I had two Rose-breasted Grosbeak (male above). I assume they were both juvenile birds as they were quite confiding. I walked just ten feet from them and they never flushed as I took many shots of them. They were in Jewel Weed, feeding on the ripened seeds like candy. I’ve never seen this before, but perhaps I’ve just overlooked it. On the marsh, two juvenile Common Gallinule were feeding, no sign of adults this morning, but they’re probably still around. Many Great Blue Herons, but I only came across a single Great Egret today. They may have been back out at Moosehead Cove where they like to feed. At the Nature Trail parking lot, three Scarlet Tangagers, a Philadelphia Vireo and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker were feeding in the Virginia Creeper. Nick Hawvermale reported a duo of Lincoln’s Sparrows at the Deli Fields earlier in the morning. So there was some pretty decent activity this morning in spite of how it looked on the radar. I think sometimes these birds have been here, but it just takes some time to run into them.
Apparently there was significant migration again last night. The radar was intense right through to morning again. Once again, most of the birds passed over us. That said, there was a slight uptake in the birds from yesterday. I did manage to find 8 species of warblers today. Also of note was a Philadelphia Vireo at both the Orchard and the Nature Trail. One Cuckoo was seen, but it flew through and perched in the dark undergrowth and I couldn’t identify it to species. A single Rose-breasted Grosbeak was at the Nature Trail. Two Common Gallinules continue near the Fisherman’s Spring. Five each of Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets were seen. A better day than yesterday.
Addendum: A trip out late this afternoon to the Pine Boat Launch and Haven Road, two areas I hadn’t birded this morning produced another good mixed species flock at the DEC Parking Lot. Pine, Prairie and Black-throated Green Warblers were new for the day as were three Blue-headed Vireos. All of the other birds seen were also seen this morning. This gave me 11 warbler species for the day.