Liberty Loop, 7/21/14

My FOS in Orange County Black-crowned Night Heron. Wallkill River NWR, 7/21/14.
My FOS in Orange County Black-crowned Night Heron. Wallkill River NWR, 7/21/14.

I had two sets of birding plans for this morning that were foiled. I was initially going to go down to New Jersey to chase the European Golden-Plover that had been reported, but all the reports I read and received indicated that it was likely that this bird had moved on. My second plan was to get out to Sullivan County with Linda Scrima to try for the Stilt Sandpiper that Karen Miller found yesterday – you can read about it at the Bashakill Birder. That plan was cut short with a couple of phone calls this morning from John Haas, letting me know that the bird had not been relocated. With a change of plans, we decided meet up with Maria Loukeris and walk the Liberty Loop at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge. What a good decision that turned out to be; it was a very active morning with wading birds stealing the show. It started with Linda locating a BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON from the viewing platform moments after our arrival. This was my FOS BCNH in Orange County so that was a bonus for me. In the distance we could see three Great Egrets in flight and as we began to walk the loop, it was apparent that Great Blue Herons were present in numbers. We eventually caught up with the egrets and they were quite accommodating, allowing for many photos. I am not thrilled with my results, but still it was great to see them.

I love how thin this bird looks from this perspective. Great Egret at Wallkill River NWR, 7/21/14.
I love how thin this bird looks from this perspective. Great Egret at Wallkill River NWR, 7/21/14.
Deuces wild! Two Great Blue Herons fly over two Great Egrets. Wallkill River NWR, 7/21/14.
Deuces wild! Two Great Blue Herons fly over two Great Egrets. Wallkill River NWR, 7/21/14.
A pair of Great Egrets in flight on the Liberty Loop, 7/21/14.
A pair of Great Egrets in flight on the Liberty Loop, 7/21/14.

The big news of the day, however, was a nice collection of shorebirds:

2 Solitary Sandpipers
3 Lesser Yellowlegs
1 Semipalmated Sandpiper
8 Least Sandpipers
12 Killdeer
1 Wilson’s Snipe

One of three Lesser Yellowlegs at Wallkill River NWR, 7/21/14.
One of three Lesser Yellowlegs at Wallkill River NWR, 7/21/14.

It was exciting to see that some shorebirds are moving through and it was a great morning of birding with a large variety of species being seen and heard – we had 47 birds on our list for the walk.

We had many Orchard Orioles while we were out. Wallkill River NWR, 7/21/14.
We had many Orchard Orioles while we were out. Wallkill River NWR, 7/21/14.

4 thoughts on “Liberty Loop, 7/21/14”

  1. Sorry, I gotta say it: if you think the egret shots you posted weren’t good, you’re nuts! I loved the “deuces wild” and the 2 egrets in flight together. The horned lark and killdeer from the previous post were excellent (forgot to write that). You have a great eye and clearly the patience to get good shots. Wish I could say the same!

    I chased the plover Sun all day and again this morning; missed it by less than 1/2 hour yesterday (rats!), but such is the nature of gambling, I mean birding…

    1. Oh, too bad you didn’t get that plover! I’m glad you are enjoying the pics – I think that I had higher expectations with the egrets because we had so much time to shoot them. Take care – Matt

  2. Great shots Matt! I was going to call you back and ask If there were any Great Egrets around, but got sidetracked, now I have my answer. Looking forward to them showing up here! Will keep you posted if anything good shows up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *