In spite of the cold and windy weather, yesterday morning I attended John Haas’ waterfowl walk along with 18 other hardy souls. We were not disappointed, as there were many bird species present, waterfowl and otherwise. Visit John’s blog, The Basha Kill Birder to see his post which contains his account and a list of all species. Normally for me the highlight of any birding outing has to do with seeing and identifying a particular species, or maybe seeing some sort of new behavior. In this case it was being able to spend a few hours with John, who has a wealth of bird knowledge that is incredible. He is a fantastic teacher; he touched on basics for the beginners in the group, but also got more in depth for some of the more experienced birders in the group. On top of all this, John is a “bird magnet”. We were not on Haven Road for very long when he spotted an accipiter flying overhead…could it be? Yes! A NORTHERN GOSHAWK!
We got good looks at most of the waterfowl, but only because John and several other people brought scopes. Most of what we saw was quite distant, making it tough for photos. Here are a couple of Common Goldeneyes, a life bird for me on a visit to the Basha Kill earlier in the week:
Huge thanks to John for a very enjoyable and rewarding outing, and also thanks to my birding buddy Karen Miller for the group shots. Here’s a shot of me and the rest of group:
Later in the day I spent some time out at the Shawangunk Grasslands in the south blind. It was my first time in that blind and it paid off as I got many good looks at the “Gray Ghost”: