Wallkill River NWR 7/14/13

Red-tailed Hawk hunting from a hay bale on Pulaski Highway on my way out to Wallkill River NWR, 7/14/13.
Red-tailed Hawk hunting from a hay bale on Pulaski Highway on my way out to Wallkill River NWR, 7/14/13.

This morning I met Karen Miller out at Wallkill River NWR, where we walked the Liberty Loop. It was a relatively birdy morning and we had many species that I had not expected to see, including my personal highlight of the outing, a pair of adult Black-crowned Night Herons seen from the viewing platform:

One of two Black-crowned Night Herons at Wallkill River NWR, 7/14/13. This one was in a small pool just to the left of the viewing platform.
One of two Black-crowned Night Herons at Wallkill River NWR, 7/14/13. This one was in a small pool just to the left of the viewing platform.
This BCNH flew in just as Karen Miller arrived. These birds were FOS for me.
This BCNH flew in just as Karen Miller arrived. These birds were FOS for me.

Another highlight was a nice collection of shorebirds located at the south end of the Liberty Loop. I’ll add my usual disclaimer that I am STILL struggling with shorebird identification, but I feel fairly confident that we had Spotted Sandpipers, Pectoral Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers, Killdeer, and a Solitary Sandpiper.

A Killdeer along with a Spotted Sandpiper out at Wallkill River NWR 7/14/13.
A Killdeer along with a Spotted Sandpiper out at Wallkill River NWR 7/14/13.

 

I have this as a Pectoral Sandpiper. Please leave a comment if you know otherwise! Thanks.
I have this as a Pectoral Sandpiper. Please leave a comment if you know otherwise! Thanks.

 

There were plenty of Great Blue Herons about, we even had 5 fly over at once. GBHE at Wallkill River NWR 7/14/13.
There were plenty of Great Blue Herons about, we even had 5 fly over at once. GBHE at Wallkill River NWR 7/14/13.

It was a really nice morning of birding (if you ignore the mosquitos that plagued the west side of the loop!), where we had over 40 species of bird:

This might be the same bird as seen on the hay bale at the top of this post. I took this shot on my way home and it was just across the road from where I took the hay bale shot.
This might be the same bird as seen on the hay bale at the top of this post. I took this shot on my way home and it was just across the road from where I took the hay bale shot.

Canada Goose  55
Mallard  10
Great Blue Heron  15
Green Heron  1
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Turkey Vulture  3
Northern Harrier  1
Killdeer  6
Spotted Sandpiper  4
Solitary Sandpiper  1
Least Sandpiper  4
Pectoral Sandpiper  7
Mourning Dove  1
American Kestrel  2
Willow Flycatcher  3
Eastern Phoebe  4
Great Crested Flycatcher  1
Eastern Kingbird  2
Warbling Vireo  1
Red-eyed Vireo  1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  3
Barn Swallow  1
Tufted Titmouse  1
House Wren  1
American Robin  6
Gray Catbird  2
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  3
Cedar Waxwing  1
Common Yellowthroat  1
Yellow Warbler  1
Song Sparrow  5
Swamp Sparrow  3
Northern Cardinal  1
Indigo Bunting  2
Red-winged Blackbird  65
Common Grackle  10
Brown-headed Cowbird  1
Baltimore Oriole  2
American Goldfinch  1
House Sparrow  1

Late edit: I forgot to include Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1 to our species list.

 

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