Sunday, June 30, 2013

June 30 - High Point State Park

I went out with friend Bill E. today and headed north on Route 23 up to High Point State Park, specifically Sawmill Road and its environs.  In addition to 3 Black Bears seen at different points we soaked up views of some beautiful birds while enjoying the cooler air of these higher elevations.
We saw and heard about 8 Cerulean Warblers, numerous Yellow-Throated Vireos, and at least 3 of the Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers that breed up here.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

June 23 - Sussex County birds

With just a few hours free today and before it got oppressively hot  I visited some more local spots to enjoy the breeding birds of the region.   First up was the powerline cut, or should I say  "tick" infestation area, on Holland Mountain Road.  A short walk resulted in several dozen dog-ticks, and worse yet a pair of deer-ticks.  Also seen was a young Black Bear, fortunately it was sleeping about 70 feet up in a White Pine.   The highlight was a pair of male Golden-Winged Warblers amongst several Blue-Winged Warblers and one hybrid of the two species.   A continually singing Alder Flycatcher was nice to see, as were the other expected species of Indigo Bunting, Prairie Warbler, Chestnut-Sided Warbler, Yellow-Billed Cuckoo, a Broad-winged Hawk harassing a Red-Tailed Hawk, Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Scarlet Tanager etc.

The next stop was a pond on Edison Road in hopes of a Red-Headed Woodpecker.  I did not see this bird today but did enjoy several other species in Flicker, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Eastern Bluebird, Tree Swallow, Scarlet Tanager, etc

The last stop was on Lower Unionville Road for the Bank Swallow colony.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

June 15 - Old Mine Road IBA

Today I met a group of friends who were getting together to take buddy Rob F. on a birdwalk before his upcoming wedding.   I began at the northern end of Old Mine Road and worked my way down south to meet them at the Worthington State Forest lot.  

Sunday, June 09, 2013

June 9 - Ulster County birding

A return trip to Ulster County this morning was made in order to look for the King Rail which had been reported at the Great Vly Swamp in Saugerties, New York.   I heard about this bird from friend John Haas' blog . 
I was not able to make it here last weekend, and thankfully the bird is still showing itself quite well when it makes its trips across the road.  We saw the bird within minutes of arriving.  As well we saw it quickly a couple of hours later during a return visit.

click to enlarge

We did not see the Sandhill Crane, as that bird evidently departed a few days ago.  Nor did we have enough time to wait for the Mississippi Kite to show in nearby Katsbaan. Although I'm told that bird did re-appear just before noon.

On our way back home we stopped just south of New Paltz.  Here at the junction of Plutarch Road & Weston Road is another swampy area that has been home to some Red-Headed Woodpeckers for a few years now.  We got to see these birds coming & going to their nest, and the bright sunlight made their plumage practically glow. 

Finally a stop at the Celery Farm in Allendale, New Jersey produced an easy to find Alder Flycather, while a Red-Shouldered Hawk floated overhead.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

June 2 - Lord Stirling Park & Great Swamp NWR

As I did not have a full day today I went a bit more local by visiting Somerset County's parks.  First up was Lord Stirling and here we saw the target bird of Prothonotary Warbler.  We heard and then had very nice views of this species, formerly known as the Golden-Swamp Warbler, a name I feel better describes this bird.

credit: Laura Meyers

Many of the same breeding birds of the region were seen here:  Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting, Yellow-Throated Vireo, Chestnut-Sided Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Baltimore & Orchard Orioles, Wood Thrush, Veery, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Wood-Pewee, and Green Heron.

Later at nearby Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, we heard White-Eyed Vireo and pal Jennifer was able to spot a Yellow-Breasted Chat. We all got fine views of it in our spotting scopes.