Saturday, June 3, 2017

June 3 - Golden-winged Warbler again

I went upstate again today, this time with Ed Eden, to chase some of the same birds Ann and I saw last weekend. The Henslow's Sparrow at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR in Ulster County was a life bird for Ed so we went there first. As we were driving through Blue Chip Farm, minutes from the refuge, I found an email from Rob Jett on the NYSbirds listserv that the Henslow's Sparrow and the Dickcissel were both being seen at the refuge. When we pulled into the parking area we could see groups of birders out in the grassland where I knew from my visit last week the birds were usually seen. We headed down the trail and as we approached the first bunch of birders we could hear the Henslow's singing. It took Ed about five seconds to pick up his first life bird of the day. After long, satisfying views of the Henslow's we walked the short distance down to the blind and got nice views of the Dickcissel. This wasn't a life bird for Ed, but it was the first adult male he had ever seen. We went back to watching the very cooperative Henslow's and waited out a brief passing rain shower that barely got us wet. On the way back to the car we heard an Alder Flycatcher singing and got a few brief views when it perched up. Back by the parking area we saw a Grasshopper Sparrow from the observation platform adding another grassland bird to the morning's list of the two goodies and number of singing and flying Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks. After the brief rain, the day turned into a beautiful partly sunny one with brilliant blue skies and puffy clouds.

Next we headed down to Sterling Forest State Park to try for another life bird for Ed: Golden-winged Warbler. It took more time and effort than the Henslow's, but the photo below is proof of a successful endeavor.
Golden-winged Warbler 06/03/2017 Sterling Forest State Park
Nearby we saw a somewhat cooperative Black-billed Cuckoo. After eating lunch back at the car, we headed back north and east to Doodletown Road near Bear Mountain and spent a couple of hours birding there. We saw and heard 38 species there before heading back to the city. A successful and fun day's birding.

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