Sunday, August 17, 2008

August 17 - Ulster & Sullivan County rarities

Just before 7 am this morning I made my first stop in Ulster County's Shawangunk NWR, specifically at the Galeville Park area. There I ran into Curt McDermott & Rob Stone, and together we waited about 30 minutes for the Scissor-Tailed Flycather to put on it's show. I had last seen this species in April 2004 while birding in the lower Rio Grande area of Texas.
credit: Peter Schoenberger

I enjoyed this bird for a half-hour as it enjoyed catching breakfast !.
Afterward I headed further north and west to the Sullivan County town of Neversink.
Here I ran into friend and fellow Fyke Nature Club member Kevin Watson. We were there to look for the White-Winged Crossbills that had been recently reported from a boggy area on Cooley Road. After a hlaf-hour or so, I heard the birds singing and then I was able to locate a male WW Crossbill at the top of a pine tree. I was able to scope this bird for about 5 seconds before it dropped down and out of sight. Another 45 minutes of waiting paid off as this time we saw a male/female pair in a dead tree. Here the birds sat for quite a while offering fantastic views.


This was the third time I have seen this species, once in Maine and lastly in the Lake Placid area in the late winter 2006. It was much nicer to enjoy these birds in sun while wearing shorts !