Friday, June 15, 2007

June 14 - Vernon, NJ and Wallkill NWR

Today I had some free time and visited the Appalachian Trail off Route 94 in Vernon.
It's a very nice spot to bird and hosts quite a few species. Of note, is the Grasshopper Sparrow. This bird does nest throughout the state, but in very localized areas.
Fortunately for me one of these areas is close to home.
Also seen here was Prairie, Yellow & Common Yellowthroat warblers, Field Sparrow, Yellow-Billed Cuckoo, Towhee, Baltimore Oriole, Raven, Indigo Bunting, and the swallows of Barn, Cliff and Bank.

Later in the day in the New Jersey section of the Wallkill NWR.
This lowland valley hosts a plethora of breeding species, and is a beautiful place to visit.
While here I found some more Bank Swallows. These birds nest is sandy banks almost anywhere in the state. However these sites are also limited, especially in the north.

photo :Lu Giddings

I found a Bank Swallow colony with over 250 burrows.
photo: Lou Noll

Also seen in Wallkill today was Pileated Woodpecker, Northern Rough-Winged Swallow, Pewee, Phoebe, Great-Crested and Willow Flycatchers, plus Eastern Kingbird.
Others included Eastern Bluebird, Bobolink, Wild Turkey, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, and Cedar Waxwing.