Sullivan County TRUMPETER SWAN, 02/23/19

~Wow! TRUMPETER SWAN at Rondout Reservoir, 2/23/19.~

My main goal today was to follow up on the swan the John Haas located yesterday at Rondout Reservoir. For just over 24 hours, there was some uncertainty regarding which species of swan it was, but just this afternoon the bird was confirmed as a TRUMPETER SWAN by Kevin McGowan at Cornell University, after reviewing photos by John and Bruce Nott. This is only the second record of the species in Sullivan County. John has written 3 posts on his blog about the bird – check it out here.

I ran for the bird this morning and fortunately it was still present. Karen Miller arrived right after me, and we both set up our scopes and enjoyed viewing the bird. My initial thoughts on the bird was that it looked good for trumpeter for two main reasons – 1. The bill shape and size looked good to me – it was large and fairly straight and 2. The connection of the bill to the eye seemed substantial enough. But, one field mark that wasn’t present was the “V” shape where the bill meets the forehead (in this bird it was more like a “U”). According to John’s blog, Kevin McGowan explained that variability in individual birds does not make this a reliable fieldmark for final identification. If you are interested in learning more about swan identification, have had a couple of hard lessons on swan identification that I have blogged about: one at Montezuma NWR and one at Wallkill River NWR.

~TRUMPER SWAN wing flap at Rondout Reservoir, Sullivan County NY 02/23/19.~

I also did a little local birding today. Prior to running for the TRSW, I had a nice stop at Glenmere Lake, where I had 8 species of waterfowl: Canada Goose, Mute Swan, American Wigeon, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Common Merganser, Wood Duck, and American Black Duck. Kathy Ashman was there after me, and she also had a COMMON GOLDENEYE. I’m not sure how I missed that bird! In the early afternoon I ran around the black dirt for a while. I went through probably 1,500 Canada Geese in 2 locations but did not come up with anything. I got lucky with a beautiful ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK that flew right over me at Liberty Marsh. Oh, and I started the day, right around sunrise, with a coyote in a field not too far from my house. Great day!

~ Coyote in Goshen, NY 02/23/19.~
~Love this bird. ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK in flight at Wallkill River NWR, 02/23/19.~
~I saw this bird in a distant tree line. I was thinking, wouldn’t it be awesome if it flew over towards me, instead of away? That’s exactly what it did. ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK at Wallkill River NWR, 02/23/19.~
~RLHA at Wallkill River NWR’s Liberty Marsh, 02/23/19.~

4 thoughts on “Sullivan County TRUMPETER SWAN, 02/23/19”

  1. Matt,
    So glad you got the Trumpeter Swan! Sounds like your day went pretty well. Your Coyote shot is just great! John

    1. Thanks John, it’s the first Coyote I’ve seen in a while. Congrats to you on a great find, I hope a lot of folks get out to see it. Matt

  2. Thanks again for your helping trying to get the evening grosbeaks. Did go to Schwangunk after and got a light phase rough leg as well as some shorties. They did not come out until dark so it was difficult to get birds in good light. Today I had to go out to western Jersey to see a cousin who is in a care center. Had a brief stop at Alpha and then went on to Merrill Creek.–The stop there was very rewarding as I got my first state Boreal Chickadee, a hen Barrows Goldeneye, and a flyover Ross’s goose . Not bad for a few hours. The Boreal was the first seen in the state since 1981

    1. Wow, you had a great day! I heard about the Boreal Chickadee, that’s a good bird for NJ for sure. Sorry you didn’t have an luck with the grosbeaks, but as you said – that’s birding, it doesn’t always go to plan. Thanks for checking in. Matt

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