Thursday 5/29/14

Yellow-billed Cuckoo at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge, Liberty Loop, 5/29/14.
Yellow-billed Cuckoo at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge, Liberty Loop, 5/29/14.

After work today, I made it out to the Liberty Loop. I wanted to follow up on an eBird report from last night that included a King Rail and (5) Sora. When I arrived, Linda Scrima was already there having just walked out Liberty Lane.  I heard what I believed was a Sora from far out into the marsh as soon as I got out of my car. I have never heard or seen a Sora before, so I was listening to the call on my phone app to be sure. We walked the east side of the loop out and back, and Sora intermittently called as we walked. The calls could still be heard as we pulled out of the parking lot just after 7:00 pm. From what I could tell, there were at least two Sora present. Out on the trail, I tried clacking rocks together to see if the King Rail would respond – the first time I did it both Linda and I thought we heard a response. It was distant and faint and we only heard it the one time, and again, this is a bird that I have no experience with, so I am hoping to get another opportunity to see or hear this bird and hopefully get a good ID on it.

The highlight of the evening was seeing my first Green Heron of the season. That’s right, my FOS Green Heron. I feel like I have been out quite a lot this spring, but somehow I have not seen a GRHE until today. Unfortunately, no good photos of the bird. Another highlight was seeing and getting photos of a beautiful Yellow-billed Cuckoo, my current favorite bird. The lowlight was definitely the lack of shorebirds, with only a couple Killdeer and a single Spotted Sandpiper being seen.

Tree Swallow at Wallkill River NWR, 5/29/14.
Tree Swallow at Wallkill River NWR, 5/29/14.

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