Monday, May 29, 2017

May 27 - Shawangunk Grasslands NWR and Bashakill State WMA

Ann and I visited the Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge in Ulster County last Saturday (May 21) as part of our Great Gull Island Birdathon. We were pleased to see Grasshopper Sparrow there. We were disappointed to hear afterward, that while we were there a Dickcissel was found, but word did not get out about it until later. A couple of days later birders who had gone to see the Dickcissel discovered a singing Henslow's Sparrow within sight of the Dickcissel. This was too good to pass up. So even though we normally avoid traveling on Memorial Day weekend we headed up on Saturday to look for the two birds. It was easy to find where the Henslow's was being seen. You just had to look for the group of birders. When we got there Junko Suzuki pointed out the Dickcissel perched up down the trail. We took a quick look at it and then waited with the other birders for the Henslow's. After about 30 minutes we heard it calling and then it popped up about 25 feet in front of us and provided great views for the next 15 minutes or so. Henslow's Sparrows used to nest on these grasslands, before it was a National Wildlife Refuge. In fact, this is where Ann saw her life Henslow's on a Birdathon thirty-four years ago, but they have been gone from the area for many years. It would be great if they are returning to the area as breeders.
Henslow's Sparrow 05/27/2017 Shawangunk Grasslands NWR
After the sparrow dropped back into the grass out of site we continued down the trail to a blind to get better looks at the Dickcissel. It never got as close as the Henslow's, but i was able to get some slightly blurry pictures.
Dickcissel 05/27/2017 Shawangunk Grasslands NWR
The whole time we were there Eastern Meadowlarks and Bobolinks were singing and flying around us.

Bobolink 05/27/2017 Shawangunk Grasslands NWR
After leaving the Shawangunk Grasslands NWR we drove down to Wurtsboro, NY where we were spending the night. After dinner at Danny's in Wurtsboro we birded around the nearby Bashakill State Wildlife Management Area from dusk until after dark. We heard both Least and American bitterns calling. A group of 10 - 12 Common Nighthawks were feeding over the have Road causeway across the marsh. After dark we heard Eastern Whip-poor-wills and a Barred Owl calling. It was a great end to a great day's birding.

Below are our lists for Shawangunk and Bashakill.

Shawangunk Grasslands
American Kestrel
Barn Swallow
Brown Thrasher
Savannah Sparrow
Henslow's Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
American Goldfinch

Wood Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
American Bittern
Least Bittern
Green Heron
Bald Eagle
Common Gallinule
Barred Owl
Common Nighthawk
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Kingbird
Warbling Vireo
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow Warbler
Song Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Red-winged Blackbird

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.