Good Birds, 02/23/20

I birded locally, and I got some good birds this weekend. On Saturday I added a few birds to my year list: I had a pair of Wood Ducks at Wickham Lake and I really scored with two excellent birds at Lockenhurst (284) Pond – a dozen REDHEADS and a VESPER SPARROW. On Sunday, I located a large flock of Snow Geese (approximately 3,000 birds) on Turtle Bay Road. They eventually moved to the pond on Breeze Hill Road, where they were terrorized by the subadult GOLDEN EAGLE that has been in the area. At one point, in the air just over the pond, the eagle had a Snow Goose in it’s clutches but was unable to hold on. About twenty minutes later I watched in the distance as the Golden Eagle, high in the air, in a steep dive, isolated a single Snow Goose and disappeared behind some trees. I assume that the GOEA was successful, because after pestering the geese all morning, it didn’t return after that.

~I still can’t believe we are getting repeated excellent looks at this GOLDEN EAGLE in the Black Dirt Region, 02/23/20.~
~VESPER SPARROW near the 284 Pond in Westown NY, 02/23/20.~
~I’m sparing everyone the mass Snow Goose photos this week. Here’s a blue morph instead, 02/23/20.~
~Horned Lark in the Black Dirt Region, 02/23/20.~
~One more of the GOLDEN EAGLE, Breeze Hill Road 02/23/20.~

4 thoughts on “Good Birds, 02/23/20”

  1. Great photos Matt! Those Golden Eagle photos rock! I haven’t been birding in Orange County this year other than going for the REDHEADS at Lockenhurst pond on Monday, so I hit the Black dirt yesterday to go on Karen’s Mearn’s field trip hoping to find Snow Geese and a Golden Eagle. After stops at Wallkill NWR in NY and a stop at Owen Station to see the GWF Geese, Joyce Depew and I broke away from the group who were headed to see the Redheads when Karen told us you had 15oo Snow Geese headed to Turtle Bay Road. We found them and then another huge flock of 3000 flying over us which was Very cool! We then ran into a really nice guy Jesse Jaycox who knows you who waved us down on Breeze Hill Road who had just seen a Golden Eagle possibly two and we followed him over to Lynch Avenue and he put us on 2 GOEA (adult and sub adult) over a Pine Stand off Lynch. Though distant it was really neat! Wish I could have seen them the way you have been this winter but still quite a thrill for me to see them and those thousands of Snow Geese ! Keep those grest photos coming!!

    Scotty

    1. Thanks Scotty! You really killed it yesterday – that must have been awesome. The big Snow Goose show continues, and it’s really nice that Jesse got you on the Goldens, he’s a really good guy. Excellent birding! Matt

  2. Great pictures, Matt
    Horned Larks nest in February according to BBA III. Would be cool if you can document evidence of nesting.

    1. Thanks so much Liza. Where on the BBA III site are you seeing that information? I’ve looked at the Breeding Guideline Bar Chart, and they have Horned Larks still migrating in February. In mid-March it switches to either breeding or migrating, and then in April it goes to breeding. That being said, I did document singing HOLAs at two sites this weekend. Matt

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