Weekend Wrap-up, 10/13/19

Well, it was an interesting weekend of birding for me. I counted at Mount Peter Hawkwatch on Saturday, and it was a bit of mixed bag. In 7 hours of counting, I had only 22 migrating raptors. But! I had a remarkable 14 sitings of Bald Eagles, 6 of which were countable, migrating birds. I also had my first migrating Northern Harriers of the season. And, I somehow managed to add 4 birds to my 2019 Orange County list: Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Swainson’s Thrush, Hermit Thrush, and very exciting – a skein of 27 BRANT! I haven’t really been going for numbers this year, but as the fall has rolled in I started looking at it with the hopes of at least reaching 200 birds in the county this year. These four birds brought my total to 199.

~Eastern Phoebe at Citgo Pond Trail, 10/13/19.~

I also had some really great visitors on Saturday, which helped the time pass when things were slow. Some folks even brought me snacks. You can see the list of visitors in my HMANA report at the bottom of this post. On my way home I stopped at Glenmere Lake and joined Karen Miller, Kathy Ashman, and Diane Bliss for the last little while of the Mearns Bird Club’s Big Sit. We had a nice flurry of songbirds come through (mostly Yellow-rumped Warblers) just as we were getting ready to leave.

~One of the many Yellow-rumped Warblers at Citgo Pond, 10/13/19. I had loads of birds out there, but unfortunately not so many photo ops.~

On Sunday I didn’t have the opportunity to get out until the early afternoon. My first stop was Citgo Pond, hoping for shorebirds. There were only 2 shorebirds present (a Greater Yellowlegs and a late Solitary Sandpiper), but the trail had plenty of birds. They were mostly Yellow-rumped Warblers, but also some more interesting birds: Blue-headed Vireo, Palm Warbler, and my 200th bird of the year in the county, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

~This pair of Great Blue Herons didn’t see me until the last second. Wallkill River NWR 10/13/19.~

I also made a brief stop at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge. I walked Liberty Lane briefly and in sheer numbers, I had as many sparrows as I can remember ever having out there. That being said, I didn’t find anything out of the ordinary, but I did have a total of 6 sparrow species: Song, Swamp, Field, Savannah (easily the most numerous), White-crowned, and Chipping. I wanted to do some kayaking at Glenmere Lake in the evening, but to be honest I just ran out of juice and stayed in.

~This was actually taken last Sunday; I sort of like this shot so I wanted to include it. Double-crested Cormorant in flight at Glenmere Lake, 10/06/19.~

6 thoughts on “Weekend Wrap-up, 10/13/19”

  1. Hi Matt,
    Great report, enjoyed reading it.
    Since I am new at this, are there good references for books that I can take out of the library to read up on the local species?
    Any input would be appreciated.
    John

    1. I would suggest starting with a field guide for birds of the Eastern U.S. My go-to is The Crossley ID Guide Eastern Birds mostly because I prefer photos over drawings, but you also can’t go wrong with Sibley or Peterson either. I know there are some guides which are specific to New York State, but I don’t know of anyone who uses them on a regular basis. The eastern guides include range maps to let you know if a specific bird species is likely to occur in our area. If you go online, eBird (https://ebird.org/home) an amazing resource to explore, and John Haas also has a local birding blog (https://bashakillbirder.wordpress.com/#!/cover). John posts on his blog nearly daily and it’s an excellent resource to find out what birds you can expect to see in our area at any given time. I hope this is helpful; thanks for checking in. Matt

  2. Congrats on hitting 200 for the county. I hope I can do the same by year end. Always great to do some birding with you … thanks for joining us for the tail end of the Big Sit!

  3. I enjoyed the report of your weekend birding adventures, Matt. So glad to hear you picked up that Yellow-bellied Sapsucker that we missed on the Big Sit! at Glenmere. Love the shot of the Great Blue Herons! I invariably think of Pterodactyls when I see them, and your shot makes them look very threatening. Congratulations on reaching 200 birds for Orange County for 2019.

    1. I’m always thinking about dinosaurs when I see Great Blue Herons too. I wasn’t totally sold on that shot, so I’m glad to hear you like it. Thanks for the congrats, I’m hoping you can finish this year strongly and get a fabulous number. Matt

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