Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May 7/8 - weekend in the Catskills

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.

Canada Goose
Common Loon
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Red-shouldered Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Barred Owl
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Purple Martin
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Louisiana Waterthrush
Blue-winged Warbler
Golden-winged Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Northern Parula
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch

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