9/18/13 and 9/19/13

This Belted Kingfisher was very cooperative, perching and fishing in the pond right in front of the viewing platform. Wallkill River NWR, 9/18/13.
This Belted Kingfisher was very cooperative, perching and fishing in the pond right in front of the viewing platform. Wallkill River NWR, 9/18/13.

Both yesterday and today I left work and spent an hour or so at Mt. Peter Hawk Watch. Yesterday I caught the tail end of a great day – over 1400 migrating raptors passed over. While I was there we had a large kettle of  fly over, comprised of over 160 Broad-winged Hawks and one immature Bald Eagle. It was really so cool to see. Today, although over 500 raptors were counted migrating over the watch, I did not fair too well. By the time I got there, things had pretty much dried up. I got a decent look at an immature Bald Eagle that did not migrate, but headed north instead. I also took a shot of one of the local Turkey Vultures, which seem to be the only birds flying low this year:

A bedraggled Turkey Vulture passes over the platform at Mt. Peter Hawk Watch, 9/19/13.
A bedraggled Turkey Vulture passes over the platform at Mt. Peter Hawk Watch, 9/19/13.

On both days, after the watch, I headed over to Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge. I mostly birded from the viewing platform both days, though I did walk west on the trail yesterday for a stretch. There were a good number of shorebirds present, including Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpipers, and a Solitary Sandpiper. Other favorites included Great Egrets, a Great Blue Heron, many Green Herons, a Northern Shoveler and a couple of Northern Harriers. But, the highlight for me was getting some good photo ops with this Belted Kingfisher:

It was great fun trying to shoot this bird, Belted Kingfisher out at Wallkill River NWR 9/18/13.
It was great fun trying to shoot this bird, Belted Kingfisher out at Wallkill River NWR 9/18/13.
A hovering Belted Kingfisher at Wallkill River NWR, 9/18/13.
A hovering Belted Kingfisher at Wallkill River NWR, 9/18/13.

 

Maybe it's because I haven't seen one in a little while, but I was not sure what bird this was for a while, until I got some help from a fellow birder who joined me on the platform. Solitary Sandpiper at Wallkill River NWR, 9/19/13.
Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen one in a little while, but I was not sure what bird this was for a while, until I got some help from a fellow birder who joined me on the platform. Solitary Sandpiper at Wallkill River NWR, 9/19/13.

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