Newburgh Waterfront, 04/26/20

I got a little bit of a late start this morning, but looking at the tide table, I would be arriving in Newburgh right at low tide. Plum Point was my first stop, mostly to check for gulls in Cornwall Bay. I only had a handful of Ring-billed Gulls, but I eventually located a RED-THROATED LOON. The bird appeared to be much closer to Donahue Memorial Park on the other side of the bay, so I headed over for a better look. Of course, when I arrived it took me ages to relocate the bird and it was way out from there as well. I’ve fallen for that trick way too many times.

~Black-crowned Night-heron at Quassaick Creek, 04/26/20.~

Birding bud Bruce Nott had arrived at Plum Plum point shortly after I left. We communicated and after some searching he got on the loon. Afterwards, I met up with Bruce and I followed him to Quassaick Creek, where he had seen several Black-crowned Night-herons in recent days. When we arrive, there were 2 present and I was able to get a decent (if partially obstructed) shot of one of the birds.

~This adult Bald Eagle flew down very low and directly overhead! Newburgh Waterfront, 04/26/20.~

From there, we headed to the Newburgh Waterfront. There was a decent number of gulls present; the most interesting being two young Great Black-backed Gulls. We lingered, hoping something good would fly in, and we weren’t disappointed. I spotted a tern flying north over the river and got Bruce on it right away. We tracked the bird in our scopes as it crossed the river to the Beacon area, where it seemed like it might want to stay for a bit, but then it started to circle up, higher and higher until I was looking through my scope almost directly above us and I lost the bird. Our impression is that the bird was a FORSTER’S TERN; it was a lighter bird with no darkness at the upper wingtips. Photos seem to support this, but I’m just not comfortable enough with tern identification to be sure. Still, it was the most exciting ten minutes of the day!

~Tern species flying over the Hudson River, 04/26/20. I’ve included one more shot of this bird at the bottom of this post, if anyone has any thoughts on its ID, please comment.~

After the tern excitement, Bruce located a BONAPARTE’S GULL in beautiful plumage. Viewing this bird was also short-lived as an adult Bald Eagle flew in low and all the gulls scattered. I headed home after that; I checked on my Common Raven’s nest on the way home and they appear to have two young birds in the nest. It was a pleasant morning and early afternoon of birding, in spite of the cold temperatures and the intermittent rain.

~Bonaparte’ Gull at Newburgh Waterfront, 04/26/20.~
~Common Grackle at Newburgh Waterfront. This shot was taken earlier this week with much better light and weather. ~
~I guess this American Robin is making the most of each trip for nesting materials. Creamery Pond in Sugar Loaf, 04/25/20.~
~One more shot of the Tern sp. in Newburgh, 04/26/20.~