Ann and I went with our friend Georgia to the Catskills for the weekend. We stayed at another friend's house near the Ashokan Reservoir. Vince has a lovely old house that was first built as a farmhouse around the Revolutionary War and then added to since and repaired after serious damage during the 1938 hurricane. The weather was often on rain on Saturday, followed by clearing Saturday evening and then rain again Sunday morning around sunup, finally followed by beautiful blue skies. I did quite a bit of birding by foot in the vicinity of Vince's house. The area is well-wooded and not surprisingly, there was a good variety of woodpeckers. I found a total of six species. The commonest was Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.
|Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 05-08-2016 Catskills|
Pileated Woodpeckers were also relatively common, but they were heard more often than seen. Once, however, one did come done on some fallen branches in the bag of the yard. Their workings were easy to see in the woods.
|Pileated Woodpecker workings 05-08-2016 Catskills|
On Saturday morning Georgia and I were out nearby when I heard a Louisiana Waterthrush singing from a small brook running through the woods. We headed over towards the water to see if we could get a glimpse of it. As we walked through the woods, Georgia spotted a Barred Owl we inadvertently flushed. Later in the morning we drove over to the Ashokan Reservoir. Just after we got there it started to drizzle, which became intermittent. There were a number of Common Loons, most in breeding plumage and one gave its haunting call. Also on the reservoir were a few Bufflehead and Double-crested Cormorants. We packed a lunch which we ate at a town park in Marbletown, watched from across a small stream by an adult Bald Eagle.
|Bald Eagle 05/07/2016 Catskills|
The best birding was after the rains passed and the sun came out on Sunday morning. Before breakfast we found a number of warblers including a male Cape May and a male Blackburnian across the road from the house. After breakfast I was delighted with a male Golden-winged Warbler in the trees just outside the kitchen door. We were sorry to leave around mid-day for the drive back to New York City. Over the course of the two days I found 51 species of birds while birding on foot in the vicinity of Vince's house and a total of 65 species during our visit. The full list is below. (One additional species was seen on the drive north Friday afternoon, a few Black Vultures over I-87.
Great Blue Heron
Great Crested Flycatcher
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cape May Warbler
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