This extended cold snap has made for some difficult birding. The obvious reason is that the cold has made it uncomfortable to be outside for extended periods of time, but this I can handle. What I can’t handle is staying out in this cold for extended periods of time and not getting birds. Birds have been pretty scarce at the spots I’ve visited in Orange County this week, so with that in mind, I headed to the coast this morning to see if I could do any better there. The answer is a resounding YES! I got an early start this morning and birded the Edith G. Read Wildlife Sanctuary and the Rye Town Park and Beach. I finished the morning having seen 44 species, which for me is pretty good at this time of the year. Highlights for me included a half dozen PURPLE SANDPIPERS and 14 different species of waterfowl including distant but good looks at one my favorites, Long-tailed Ducks, of which I saw close to a couple dozen. I also did better with raptors than I have in Rye in the past: I had a Red-tailed Hawk just as I was getting off the highway, and then an adult Bald Eagle, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, and a pair of Red-tailed Hawks at the sanctuary, and finally, I had a Turkey Vulture as I was getting back onto the highway heading home.
It takes just over an hour to get to Rye from Goshen, which is really not too bad at all, and it’s definitely worth the trip.
Here’s my list for the morning:
American Black Duck
Great B-b Gull
American Tree Sp.