I finally made it out to one of my favorite places to bird this weekend – the Shawangunk Grasslands. On Saturday evening, Tricia and I met Karen Miller out there for a brief visit before going out to dinner. Then, I made it back out this morning and for over three hours, I walked the trails (which are now called the Tabor Trace – named for Ralph Tabor who does everything that needs to be done out there). It is a great time of year to be at the grasslands, the place is loaded with great birds: Bobolinks, Eastern Meadowlarks, and Savannah Sparrows are numerous and offer plenty of photo opportunities. There is also the possibility to see fantastic birds like Upland Sandpipers and Grasshopper Sparrows, and these two species were at the top of my list this morning. My best birds at the grasslands were by far the 4 GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS I had out there. The highlight of the day, however, did not occur at the grasslands. There is a spot, not far from the grasslands, that is good for getting Upland Sandpipers. I followed Ralph, Scotty Baldinger, and Gene McGarry over, and Ralph immediately located an UPLAND SANDPIPER! I jumped out of the car to see the bird and get some photos. Sadly, I am disappointed in my results, but still it was great to get such a good look at the bird. Shortly after that, Ralph and Scotty moved further up the road and located 2 more UPLAND SANDPIPERS! They were a bit distant for photos but still awesome to see.
I did better with photos while I was at the grasslands, so here they are, by species:
BOBOLINK – SHAWANGUNK GRASSLANDS 6/1/14
SAVANNAH SPARROW – SHAWANGUNK GRASSLANDS 6/1/14
EASTERN MEADOWLARK – SHAWANGUNK GRASSLANDS 6/1/14
GRASSHOPPER SPARROW – SHAWANGUNK GRASSLANDS 6/1/14