ROSEATE SPOONBILL Visits Orange County… Briefly, 07/29/18

~ROSEATE SPOONBILL continues, Wallkill River National Wildlife Reguge’s Liberty Loop, 07/29/18.~

I was thinking that the best chance to see the Liberty Loop’s ROSEATE SPOONBILL enter Orange County was to wait until just before night fall and hope it flew into New York on its way to roost. Rob Stone had a different idea. His idea was to get up early and watch as the birds (the ROSP and the Great Egrets) returned to the marsh after a night at of roosting. He tried it on Saturday morning, but arrived too late. We agreed to try on Sunday; Rob thought if we arrived just after 5:00 am, the timing would be good. Well, I struggled to get out of bed and ended up rolling in at 5:40 am. Rob was on the viewing platform, his bins were up and he was on something. I hustled to the platform and he got me on the spoonbill. It was heading north along the west side of the marsh. I kept thinking it would put down in New Jersey, but it held on and flew over the berm an into Orange County! We hustled down the path to try for a better look, running, jogging, and then fast walking, the whole time keeping our eyes pinned on the area where the bird went down. When we were nearly at the northwest corner, we watched as the spoonbill took flight, went back over the berm, and into Sussex County once again. I couldn’t believe it stayed in OC for such a short visit – it could only have been 4 or 5 minutes tops! Still, we were pumped to have seen it, and who knows, this could be the start of some new behavior for the bird where it starts to spend some time in OC?

~LEAST BITTERN doing the splits. Liberty Loop, 07/29/18.~

Rob and I decided to continue and walk the entire Liberty Loop. We eventually relocated the Roseate Spoonbill, it was in the general vicinity of where it was first seen last week. We also had a Glossy Ibis among a large crew of Great Egrets. Green Herons are numerous at the refuge right now, and we also located two BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS perched in a tree on the west side of the loop. My best photo op occurred at the south end of the loop, where we had several LEAST BITTERNS flying around and perching out in the open. It was awesome, Rob enjoyed seeing them and I enjoyed getting more photos of one of my favorite birds.

~Well, two Least Bitterns in flight together. Put that on the list of photos I didn’t think I’d ever take. Liberty Loop, 07/29/18.~

Afterwards, I went to the black dirt to try for shorebirds. I did alright, with a Solitary Sandpiper and a Lesser Yellowlegs at the Camel Farm, as well as a Least Sandpiper and 3 SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS at Turtle Bay. I was heading to Pine Island Turf Nursery when I got a notification that John Haas had relocated the ANHINGA at Morningside Park in Sullivan County. I rushed over, but unfortunately arrived after the bird had already flown. The Anhinga was first seen and considered a one-hit-wonder six days ago! Where has it been all this time? When will it show up again? I really hope I get another shot at that bird, that would be exciting. Great day of birding!

~This pic doesn’t do this scene justice. Least Bittern perched on a cattail, Liberty Loop, 07/29/18.~
~This bird reeked havoc on the marsh for a quick but energetic burst. Peregrine Falcon at the Liberty Loop, 07/29/18.~

6 thoughts on “ROSEATE SPOONBILL Visits Orange County… Briefly, 07/29/18”

  1. Congratulations, Matt! It came close to NY for Mary and I, close, but no cigars!!! Oh those Least Bitterns, they are my nemesis – did you find them in the back pond? Great images.

  2. Congratulations Matt and Rob!! So glad you got to see this bird in New York! I’m still hoping for the best. John

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