Saturday 01/26/19

~This bird was perched right near the parking area when I pulled in just after sunrise, Shawangunk Grasslands, 01/26/19.~

As I drifted off to sleep on Friday night, I came up with a birding plan for Saturday. I would hit the Shawangunk Grasslands NWR at sunrise for some “sure thing” birding (with an outside shot at the Northern Shrike), then head up to Dutchess County to try for the Golden Eagles that have been reported there this winter, and finally, on my way home stop at the Newburgh Waterfront to try for gull (Glaucous and Iceland had both been reported earlier in the week.

I had a great stop at the grasslands, I spent some time in a blind which gave me a couple of nice photo ops (in addition to the accommodating Northern Harrier perched right near the parking area). NOHAs are still numerous, and I also had 2 Rough-legged Hawks (distant), and from the blind I watched approximately 10 Eastern Meadowlarks work their way around the refuge. I tried for the N. Shrike from the Galeville Park side, but had no luck.

~I was loving the marking on this bird. Northern Harrier at the Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 01/26/19.~

From there, I headed up to Dutchess County to try for the Golden Eagles. I was able to get views of two birds I believe were Goldens – a young bird (100%, see photo below), and a possible adult (totally silhouetted, but the head/neck size looked really good to me). Additionally, I had a handful of Red-tailed Hawks, a Cooper’s Hawk, and several Bald Eagles, including a young bird which was enjoying a meal in a tree right off the road:

~What a big, beautiful beast this bird was. Bald Eagle in Dutchess County, NY 01/26/19.~
~I don’t think there is such thing as a bad photo of a Golden Eagle, but this is pretty distant – this bird was up there. Dutchess County, NY 01/26/19.~

My final stop at the Newburgh Waterfront was pretty much a bust, other than running into two of my favorite birding buds, Bruce Nott and Kathy Ashman. It was a beautiful night and while it was fun to sift through the gulls, we came up with nothing other than the expected three species: Ring-billed, Herring, and Great Black-backed. It was a good day of birding for me – some good birds, some decent photo ops, and a little bit of good camaraderie.

~Proof that I was at the waterfront, lol. Ring-billed Gull at the Newburgh Waterfront 01/26/19.~
~I feel like this photo was “this” close (holds fingers a quarter inch apart) to being a good one. NOHA at the Grasslands, 01/26/19.~

8 thoughts on “Saturday 01/26/19”

  1. Look at those wings (awesome picture of power and strength) of the Northern Harrier compared to its body! The shot reminds me of a DeLorean! (Awful to compare a bird to a metal!) How/Where is the other leg of the ring-billed gull tucked? Either I need glasses or I’m not looking at it correctly. In any case, your shots and descriptions are fascinating and they build on this non-birder’s curiosity and imagination.

    1. I like the comparison! I didn’t even notice, but the Ring-bill’s other leg is totally tucked away – I’m not sure how they do that. Thanks for checking in Norma. Matt

  2. So very glad you got to see the Goldens, there was an adult and a subadult (which is the one you photographed) working the ridge. Evidently later in the afternoon one perched along the road! Great images! Great to see you.

    1. Great to see you Deb, thanks for the tips – I’m sure that’s why I ended up getting the Goldens. I should have stuck around for the one that perched by the road – can you imagine? Matt

  3. Matt

    I have been a long time follower of the blog. Love all of your pictures. Where in Dutchess County can I try and spot the Golden Eagles? Thanks

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