Liberty Loop 07/16/22

I arrived at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge’s Liberty Loop just after sunrise this morning, with hopes to catch up with the American Bittern Ronnie DiLorenzo reported on Thursday. Shortly after my arrival, Kyle Knapp joined me with the same target bird. As he was preparing to hike the loop, I spotted an AMERICAN BITTERN flying across the marsh. I couldn’t see where it put down, but Kyle did and we walked the trail to the approximate area.

~I was pretty excited to see this bird -AMERICAN BITTERN at the Liberty Loop, 07/16/22.~

After a good while of searching, I finally found the bird, feeding in a little wet area behind some dense vegetation. We enjoyed spectacular views in my scope, and tried to find any angle where we could get photos. As I was watching the bittern, a SORA walked into my view, feeding just in front of the bittern. I got Kyle on the Sora, and in his bins he saw that there were actually 2 Soras present. It was fantastic to get pretty good looks at such a secretive bird.

~SACR at Wallkill River NWR, 07/16/22.~

Afterwards, we headed to the back pond of the Liberty Loop. We were hoping for shorebirds and Least Bitterns. We totally dipped on the Least Bitterns, but we did have a smattering of shorebirds – 3 Least Sandpipers, 3 or 4 Solitary Sandpipers, several Killdeer, and a couple of Spotted Sandpipers. The highlight, however, was finding the 2 local Sandhill Cranes feeding just 20 or so feet off the trail. We snapped some photos as we passed, shocked to be so close to them, and left them feeding in the same spot as we continued on our way.

~American Bittern shot through the grasses. Liberty Loop, 07/16/22.~
~This is what approximately 20 feet at 500mm looks like. Sandhill Crane at the Liberty Loop, 07/16/22.~

4 thoughts on “Liberty Loop 07/16/22”

  1. That last Sandhill Crane shot is so unusual! Good job! I’ve been trying to get to the Loop for the past several days but something always changes my plans. Maybe tomorrow!

    1. It’s a crazy shot, but I like it. Good luck if you go. Thanks for checking in, Miller! Matt

  2. What a great day it was Matt! It definitely made the summer blues a little less bluesy for sure. Lol.
    See you out there!

    1. It was nice to have a little excitement – it’s been a while. See you out there. Matt

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