Good Birding in Orange County (finally!)

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One of a group of four Snow Buntings out in the black dirt today, 11/30/14. 

QUICK POST: Today I finally got some of the good winter birds that we expect to see in the Black Dirt Region of Orange County. Highlights:

(2) Rough-legged Hawks (one light morph and one dark)
(4) Snow Buntings
(3) LAPLAND LONGSPURS
(2) American Pipits
(many) Horned Larks

It was also a good day for raptors with many Northern Harriers and Red-tailed Hawks seen throughout the day. I also had a single American Kestrel and a single adult Bald Eagle. I had two large groups of Canada Geese but the only unusual bird that I could find among them looked to me like a domesticated goose.

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Two Lapland Longspurs (far left) in a small flock of Horned Larks. Black Dirt Region, Orange County NY, 11/30/14.  
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Snow Bunting in the black dirt, 11/30/14.
I seem to get an awful lot of over-exposed adult Bald Eagle photos. This one was just barely salvageable. Bald Eagle flying low over the black dirt, Orange County NY, 11/30/14.
I seem to get an awful lot of over-exposed adult Bald Eagle photos. This one was just barely salvageable, and ultimately I kind of like the way it looks. This Bald Eagle caught me by surprise, flying pretty low over the black dirt, Orange County NY, 11/30/14.
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Horned Larks coming in for a landing. Black Dirt in Orange County NY, 11/30/14. 
Dos MODOs in the black dirt, 11/30/14.
Dos MODOs in the black dirt, 11/30/14. Still love these guys. 

6 thoughts on “Good Birding in Orange County (finally!)”

  1. Great birds, and nice photos, too. I just struck out on some Lapland Longspurs in Westchester yesterday, but I still hope to get them this winter.

    Which roads in the black dirt region tend to be the best for these kinds of birds (rough-legs and buntings/longspurs)? I’ve tried driving through the area, but many roads (like Pumpkin Swamp) aren’t conducive to pulling over and birding. I’m about an hour away, so not so familiar with the area.
    Thanks.
    Stephen

  2. Hi Matt
    Nice pictures! I drove to Shawangunk Grasslands this morning and from there back to black dirt region in Pine Island. I saw an unusual accipiter which I think was a juvenile Northern Goshawk by Blue Chip Farm close the grasslands. See if you agree with me on my facebook site. It was still there when I left by 10.30AM.
    Happy birding.
    PJ

  3. These are great Matt,
    I saw my first eagle in more than a month at the Bash tonight.

    I also saw the beaver a few times. It was too far away for good images though, especially because it was close to dusk…had my ISO cranked way up so grainy shots.

    I love the one bunting image, it reminds me of a little kid with ice cream all over the face!!!

    Keep shooting!! Wilma

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