Wow! Orange County CHAT!

~Wow! One of two YELLOW-BREASTED CHATS at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge’s Winding Waters Trail, 05/21/17. Photo by Linda Scrima (thanks!).~

After participating in the Break 100 on Friday and Saturday, I had no plans to bird on Sunday. That all changed when I received a text message from Linda Scrima, containing the call of a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT!  I dropped everything and headed out to Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge’s Winding Waters Trail. When I arrived, Linda was on not one, but two chats! At first the birds did not call, but then they started to. One bird popped up and and perched in perfect light. I’m not sure what happened (lack of sleep? brain cramp? who knows?), but my settings were all off and my pics were pretty bad. But, I got great looks at the bird before it dropped down into the brush. Shortly after, the second bird perched high in a tree – providing great looks in my binoculars, but the bird was totally backlit so photos were not much of an option. I was super excited to see this bird; I have been hoping to get one in Orange County for ages, having gotten them in both counties north and south of OC (Sussex, NJ and Ulster). Many other birders arrived and got the birds as well – there was genuine joy on folk’s faces when they saw and heard the birds. Huge thanks to Linda for relocating the bird, which was originally located yesterday during the Break 100 by the team of Alan and Della Wells and Dave and Sharon Baker.

~My terrible photo of one of the 2 Yellow-breasted Chats at Winding Waters Trail at Wallkill River NWR, 05/21/17.~

8 thoughts on “Wow! Orange County CHAT!”

  1. Matt,
    Congratulations to you and Linda (and everyone else who got it) on getting the Chat today! The only thing I must say is your photo of the Chat isn’t actually bad at all. If you are lucky enough to get one, that’s an achievement. They are really skulky and photos can be missed entirely. Good for you! John

    1. Oh, but John that bird jumped up and perched in perfect light! A lost opportunity, I guess, but I’m just happy to have seen that bird, especially in OC. Thanks for the congrats. Matt

  2. Great to hear that so many folks are getting to see this fantastic bird! Congrats on getting this bird to add to your county list! I believe it was an Emerson, Lake, & Palmer song that began with “Welcome my friends to the show that never ends!”

    1. Thanks so much Dave, birding really is “the show that never ends”. You just never know what the next great thing will be! Matt

  3. Yes matt I went Sunday afternoon. I heard him sing but he wouldn’t come up. I look with binoculars to where sing was coming from & was rewarded with a full side view of him down low in those bushes! Ha! Saw you! Lol. I will try for another look tomorrow if possible. It’s a life bird for me!!!

    1. So great that you got a look at the bird, Lisa. I went back today and heard it and then caught the quickest glimpse of it. Good luck if you go again tomorrow. Matt

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