Saturday, June 03, 2017

June 3 - Local Specialties & A pair of Rarities

With the northbound migration almost completed June becomes the time of year where I look for the local specialties & the local-breeders, which we are fortunate to have many species of !

Our first stop today was along Ironwood Drive in Sterling Forest.  Here we saw the expected, yet quickly diminishing, specialties of Golden-Winged Warbler.

We also had point-blank views of a lovely male Cerulean Warbler after he had come down to bathe.

Next we headed up to Ulster County, New York to visit the Shawangunk National Wildlife Refuge.
Here for several days have been two rarities and fortunately I was able to catch up with them before their departure !
The first rarity is the Dickcissel.  Typically this species breeds in the Central US, so to have a singing male that is defending it's breeding territory in NY State is unusual.

Click on the maps/images below to enlarge.

Here's the Dickcissel:

credit: Bill Elrick

The other rarity was also present, and just about 100 yards away !   This species is the Henslow's Sparrow.  This species can & does breed here in New York State however there is a very small population of these birds on the eastern edge of their range as they require large tracts of grassland.

Here is the Henslow's Sparrow:

Note the greenish nape/neck & the dark spot on the cheek.

credit: Bill Elrick

Thursday, June 01, 2017

June 1 - Lesser Nighthawk

Having been out-of-state for the past week today was my first chance to try for the mega-rarity that had been reported since last week.  New Jersey's second known record of a Lesser Nighthawk had been reported from Somerset County's Lord Stirling Park.  Evidently an injured bird had been found earlier in May and brought to the nearby Raptor Trust. Here the bird was rehabilitated and subsequently released at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

The bird apparently settled in at Lord Stirling park, which is about one-mile away from it's release.  Fortunately for me the bird stuck around long enough that I could give it a go.  I did see the bird straight away.

credit: Me

The bird was seen once more the next evening, and not since !

Here's the bird's typical range: