Sunday 12/14/14

-Short-eared Owl hunting at the Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 12/14/14.

So, as I mentioned in my post yesterday, I had a full day of birding in before the Short-eared Owl extravaganza at the Shawangunk Grasslands. In the morning I did a tour of the Black Dirt Region, mostly hoping to find a Snowy Owl or perhaps an interesting goose. I failed to locate either, but instead had an interesting morning with a good number of passerines at various locations. I had nearly 30 species in the black dirt, and for me the hightlight was a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker which was seen on Onion Avenue in Goshen.

A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker climbs the trunk of a tree, Black Dirt Region, Orange County NY 12/14/14.


I haven’t posted a shot of a goldfinch in a while. Black dirt, 12/14/14.

Canada Goose
Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
Northern Harrier
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
American Kestrel
Blue Jay
American Crow
Horned Lark
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
European Starling
American Tree Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
American Goldfinch

-Ring-billed Gull, head on. Newburgh Waterfront, 12/14/14.


In the early afternoon I headed over the Newburgh Waterfront to try and pick up a couple of county birds that I needed – with the end of the year looming, I am trying to maximize my Orange County species list. I was looking for a Great Black-backed Gull and a Great Cormorant (both of which Bruce Nott had reported being there earlier in the week), and I was successful on both counts:

Great Cormorant at the Newburgh Waterfront, 12/14/14.
A Great Black-backed Gull flies over the Hudson River, Newburgh Waterfront 12/14/14.

After Newburgh, I headed over to the Shawangunk Grasslands as I wrote about in yesterday’s post. I stopped at Blue Chip Farms long enough to get this shot of a European Starling:

I’m still trying for a good European Starling photo. Blue Chip Farms, 12/14/14.

And finally, here are a few more shots of the Short-eared Owls at the Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, all on 12/14/14:

A Short-eared Owl and a Northern Harrier tangle, Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 12/14/14.
I believe this SEOW was trying to make itself seem bigger (and meaner!) because it was being buzzed repeatedly by a Northern Harrier. Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 12/14/14.
Head on Short-eared Owl, Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 13/14/14.


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