Highland Lakes State Park, 10/03/20

This morning I birded Highland Lakes State Park for the first time in a long time. I was a cool and sunny morning, the kind of morning where it’s just refreshing to be out. I parked where I have in the past, at the entrance on Tamms Road. I don’t actually know the park very well, so I just wandered around the network of trails, trying to keep the sun at my back as much as possible.

~Pretty pic of a Lincoln’s Sparrow at Highland Lakes SP, 10/03/20.~

It was a pleasant morning, and the park was relatively birdy. It was mostly the usuals, but I did have some noteworthy birds. I had a couple of Lincoln’s Sparrows not too far from the parking lot. I also had a half a dozen Purple Finches in the same exact tree I had them in back in the fall of 2016, which I thought was really something. I found some trails I hadn’t hiked on before, one went right along Tamms Pond, and that’s where I found one of my nemesis birds: WINTER WREN! I was extremely excited; the bird was somewhat cooperative and I was able to follow it as it worked along the shore of the pond. Unfortunately it never really got out into the open, so I was happy to get a halfway decent shot of this bird that has been so elusive to me:

~Ah ha! WINTER WREN at Highland Lakes State Park, 10/03/20.~

By the time I’d gotten back to my car, I had a total of 36 species on my list. Remarkably, three of them were Orange County year birds for me: WINTER WREN, Purple Finch, and I was surprised to see that I’d gotten my firs Golden-crowned Kinglet of the year. These birds put my OC year list up to 209, which lower than I have been at this time in the past 4 years, but still not too bad.

~Common Yellowthroat striking a pose. Highland Lakes SP, 10/03/20.~
~One of six Purple Finches at Highland Lakes SP, 10/03/20.~
~This shot is from Friday night; Red-tailed Hawk at Winding Waters Trail (Wallkill River NWR), 10/02/20.~

2 thoughts on “Highland Lakes State Park, 10/03/20”

  1. Was at Sandy Hook this a.m. Had brownCreepers, red br. Nuts, blackpolls, bay breasted, Tenn etc warblers still did not get my nemesis Conn. warbler. I’m up to close to 250 for the year. Not too bad for a covid year. Also had a Lincoln’s
    Bruce

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