Orange County Birding, 1/3/16

~I'm not sure why (maybe because the bird seemed small), but I thought this bird was a Sharp-shinned Hawk when I saw it in the field. Tonight, looking at photos I am thinking it is a Cooper's Hawk, possibly a juvenile male? Black Dirt Region, 1/3/16.~
~I’m not sure why (maybe because the bird seemed small), but I thought this bird was a Sharp-shinned Hawk when I saw it in the field. Tonight, looking at photos I am thinking it is a Cooper’s Hawk, possibly a juvenile male? Black Dirt Region, 1/3/16.~

This morning I went out and did my first birding in Orange County for the new year. I took a tour of the Black Dirt Region, ending at the Liberty Marsh at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge, where I did not walk the trails but just viewed from the platform for 20 minutes or so. I then check on Wickham Lake and Glenmere Lake before heading home. It felt good to get my list for the county started and I ended the morning with 27 species; I’ve included today’s list at the bottom of this post. Highlights from the morning included seeing large flocks of Horned Larks with Snow Buntings mixed in. At one point I had nearly 75+ Horned Larks taking a dust bath in the road in front of me. I’ve only seen this one other time and it was really cool to see it again. On the disappointing side, I was hoping to run across some Snow Geese in the black dirt, especially after seeing them fly over in Ulster County the day before.

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~A Horned Lark takes a dust bath in the road, Black Dirt Region 1/3/16.~
~HOLAs dust bathing in the road, Black Dirt Region, 1/3/16.~
~HOLAs dust bathing in the road, Black Dirt Region, 1/3/16.~
~I came home to find this Sharp-shinned Hawk in my driveway, not a bad way to end a birding outing. Goshen, NY 1/3/16.~
~I came home to find this Sharp-shinned Hawk in my driveway, not a bad way to end a birding outing. Goshen, NY 1/3/16.~

All species located in Black Dirt Region (including Liberty Marsh) except where noted:

Canada Goose
Mute Swan
American Black Duck
Mallard
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle (Wickham)
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Home)
Cooper’s Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot
Ring-billed Gull
Belted Kingfisher (Glenmere)
Mourning Dove
Blue Jay
American Crow
Horned Lark
Black-capped Chickadee (Glenmere)
Tufted Titmouse (Glenmere)
White-breasted Nuthatch (Glenmere)
European Starling
Snow Bunting
Dark-eyed Junco
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

4 thoughts on “Orange County Birding, 1/3/16”

  1. I too believe your first photo to be a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, because of the relatively sparse, crisp, teardrop shaped streaking on the breast. A juvenile sharpie’s breast is messy and coarsely streaked.

    1. Thanks Tom, that was the main reason I reconsidered, that and the size of the eye. Thanks so much for your input. Oh, and Happy New Year to you. Matt

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