GOOSE POND MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
I met Linda Scrima and Maria Loukeris at Goose Pond Mountain State Park early this morning in an effort to beat the rain that was forecasted. It was a gray morning with more birds being heard than seen for most of the trip out on the trail. The way back was another story, however, and we ended up getting some good looks at many of the birds we only heard on the way out. The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the pair of BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS that showed up right on the trail. I was struggling terribly with the camera all morning for some reason, so I only got so-so shots. It was a life bird for both Linda and Maria, so that was exciting. What started out as a slow morning ended up pretty good, and counting the Northern Mockingbird I saw before Linda and Maria arrived, we totaled 40 species for the day. Here’s my list for the day – Linda and Maria, let me know if I’ve missed anything!
Great Blue Heron
Great Crested Flycatcher
WALLKILL RIVER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
In the evening, I went back out, this time to the Wallkill River NWR, Liberty Loop Trail – mostly in search of shorebirds. I did just alright for shorebirds, locating (3) Semipalmated Plovers, (4) Killdeer, (1) Greater Yellowlegs, (5) Spotted Sandpipers, and (20) smaller shorebirds that I only saw from a distance in flight and I’m not going to venture a guess for:
As I walked the loop, I saw many of the expected species, including a pair of Yellow-billed Cuckoos in the woods by the back pond. The best moment of the evening, however, was not bird related at all. I had a black bear ran parallel to the trail on the east side of the loop. It was awesome to see and I was lucky enough to get some shots: