Northern Shrike off of Corbett Road in Montgomery NY 12-22-12.

Seeing the above Northern Shrike was the highlight of a great Saturday of birding. Huge thanks to John Haas and Bill and Jayne Fiero who found the bird during the Eastern Orange County Christmas Bird Count (see John’s blog post about it here). Also many thanks to Ken McDermott who was also out at Corbett Road and let me know exactly where he had seen the bird earlier in the day. And finally, congratulations to Jeff Goulding who was having a tough day. The Northern Shrike was a life bird for him and I’m sure it made his day just a little bit better.

I started the morning off with a quick stop at Orange-Rockland Lake. I have been stopping by there fairly regularly and finding good numbers of both Ruddy Ducks and Ring-necked Ducks. This morning was no different:

I can’t get enough of these Ruddy Ducks. This one was doing some serious grooming whenI was taking photos. Orange-Rockland Lake 12-22-12.
Ring-necked Ducks at Orange-Rockland Lake, 12-22-12.

My next stop was at Brown’s Pond, where I found an incredible variety of waterfowl in huge numbers:

Lesser Scaup, Brown’s Pond 12-22-12.


  • 7 Canada Goose
  • 11 Mute Swan
  • 12 Mallard
  • 4 Ring-necked Duck
  • 2 Lesser Scaup
  • 5 Bufflehead
  • 7 Hooded Merganser
  • 9 Common Merganser
  • 63 (!) Ruddy Duck


I was also surprised by getting a few good songbirds:

Eastern Bluebird at Brown’s Pond, 12-22-12.


  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 4 Bluejay
  • 2 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 Tufted Titmouse
  • 3 Eastern Bluebird
  • 1 Mockingbird



t was after Brown’s Pond that I went to Montgomery and saw the Northern Shrike. What a thrill, this is a bird that is very exciting to me. I became convinced that I was not going to see the bird when Ken had to leave, but about five minutes later I spotted the bird – exactly where Ken had seen it earlier in the day. I also had an adult Bald Eagle fly over in the distance while I was there. Here’s one more of the shrike:

The bird was pretty far from the road – these photos have been heavily cropped.

My final stop was the Shawangunk Grasslands. You can drive your car into the grasslands now and park on the old airplane runway. It was pretty cold today, so I was happy to have this as an option. The highlight was getting my best look ever at a Rough-legged Hawk. It was tangling pretty good with some of the Northern Harriers:

A Rough-legged Hawk gets chased by a Northern Harrier at the Shawangunk Grasslands, 12-22-12.
With my car serving as a blind I got some really good looks at the many Northern Harriers out at the Shawangunk Grasslands.

2 thoughts on “NORTHERN SHRIKE!”

  1. Very productive day, Mr. Zeitler! I hope tomorrow is half as good. That’s quite a beautiful bluebird you found! And the others are great, also!

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