Weekend Report, 02/18/18

~Northern Harrier hunting over a field in the Black Dirt, 02/18/18.~

Until I started writing this post, I was feeling like my weekend of birding was a little bit on the hum-drum side. But looking back, I actually had some pretty good birds over the weekend, even if it wasn’t overly exciting. On Saturday morning, I made a quick stop at Glenmere Lake, following up on a report from Kathy Ashman of a Cackling Goose on the lake. When I arrived, nearly all the geese, including the Cackler, had already flown. The stop was still worthwhile, however, since I was able to see my first Green-winged Teals, Wood Duck, and Northern Pintails of the year. Then, I ventured back to the Hudson River, spending most of the day working my way from the Bear Mountain Bridge up to Newburgh and getting mostly the usuals. I went to Storm King State Park again, hoping the Golden Eagle would be present, but unfortunately it was not. I walked the trail for a good while, hoping that the bird might make an appearance; if it did I, missed it. There were many raptors in flight over the mountain, however; I had several Bald Eagles, a pair of Red-tailed Hawks, nearly 2 dozen Black Vultures and a couple of Turkey Vultures. I ended the day in the Newburgh Waterfront area, hoping for any interesting gulls. I struck out with the gulls, but thanks to birding bud Bruce Nott, I did get my first Orange County RED-BREASTED MERGANSER of 2018.

~An adult Bald Eagle did a relatively low flyover in the Black Dirt on 02/18/18.~ 

I got out a little later than I should have on Sunday morning and missed the majority of the geese at Glenmere Lake once again. It was a good stop though, I picked up my first OC Ring-necked Ducks of the year and also had a female Red-breasted Merganser. I cruised the black dirt afterwards, hoping that the overnight snow would push some larks and buntings out to the roads.  This proved not to be the case and I actually had very few Horned Larks in my travel (just 2 flocks totaling approximately 70 birds). The highlight of my morning was watching the large flocks of mixed blackbirds (Red-winged Blackbirds, European Starlings, Brown-headed Cowbirds, and Common Grackles). There is something about large flocks of birds, watching them and hearing them is just fascinating. I tried for some pics, but mostly I was disappointed with the results. I ended the day with a nice, low-flying Bald Eagle which provided a decent photo op.

~Close-up of a flock of mixed blackbirds in the Black Dirt, 02/18/18.~ 
~Eleven Ring-necked Ducks at Glenmere Lake, 02/18/18.~ 
~One more shot of one of the mixed blackbird flocks. It was so much fun watching these birds. Black Dirt, 02/18/18.~

4 thoughts on “Weekend Report, 02/18/18”

  1. Nice post Matt,
    I agree there is something about watching the Redwing blackbirds
    and their friends in the huge flocks. I remember one year seeing 6 HUGE
    flocks of them moving in and out of each other as if in concert. It is truly a
    sight to behold and to hear.

    I’m still waiting to see the Snow Geese this year. Please text me if you see any.
    Thanks Matt
    Wilma

    1. I’m glad you agree Wilma. I hope to get to see the Snow Geese this season too, I will text you if I get them or hear about any. Matt

  2. The bald eagle is spectacular, and I love your blackbird flock photos – the flashes of red and blue-green make that closeup a beautiful photo!

    1. Michael,

      I’m glad you appreciated the blackbird photos – I wasn’t convinced about them. I liked the Bald Eagle – it was a joy to have one fly over nice and low like that. Matt

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