Brooklyn Bird Club
Long Pond Greenbelt
|Date: June 13-14, 2009
Location: Basha Kill, Shawangunks NWR, Doodletown
Reported by: Joe Giunta
Our group of 12 birders left the NYC Audubon office just before 9am and headed north towards our first venue of the trip
which was Doodletown. After driving for about 1 and ¼ hours, with one stop, we arrived at the small parking area on 9W just
south of the Bear Mountain Bridge. The door of the van opened and we immediately heard a Warbling Vireo and a Yellow
Warbler singing. This was a very nice way to start the trip and just a harbinger of what was to come. We walked 200 feet up
the trail and were stopped by a very cooperative singing Indigo Bunting, quickly followed by an American Redstart. We
walked further up the trail seeing Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Scarlet Tanager. A Hooded Warbler was singing but we
could not locate him. Not to worry, we would see more of them later. We rounded the lake and saw and heard a very nice
Yellow-throated Vireo. The birding became very serious as a key target bird of the trip, a Cerulean Warbler, presented
himself, at eye-level, to our group. It was a ‘lifer’ for some of the members of our group. We also heard several more
Ceruleans singing close by. We walked 50 feet and saw our next target bird, a cooperative Hooded Warbler. As it was getting
close to lunch time we took a break and ate by the lake. As we were eating a Louisiana Waterthrush flew from one side of
the lake to the other side and back again. Someone told us that a Pileated Woodpecker could be found close by. We searched
but could not find the bird but we were satisfied as we picked up a Blue-winged Warbler. As we left Doodletown another
Hooded Warbler presented himself and sang for us.
We drove in the van for about one hour heading towards venue number two, Basha Kill WMA. This wildlife area has about
10 parking areas with trails. We first chose the Haven Road area. Here we were to see Wood Duck and Common Moorhen.
We then drove to the ‘boat ramp’ area. At this spot we were treated with scope views of Bald Eagles, on the nest, and Osprey,
also on the nest. What happened next was probably the highlight of the trip. A Least Flycatcher was singing. We followed
him down the trail just a bit and saw a Virginia Rail walk across the path. We then saw and heard an American Bittern. The
bird was singing and we could see the notes in his throat before he exploded them into the air. A sight none of us will ever
forget. We then went to the south parking lot finding Orioles, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Veery. All this time we were
also hearing the songs of many warblers. We left this area and headed towards our motel, the Day’s Inn. For anyone staying
in this area I highly recommend staying at this motel. It is very clean, comfortable and located perfectly to enjoy the area.
We had dinner at a local restaurant, Danny’s. Our group tried to do some nighttime birding but the weather turned on us
and it began to rain heavily. The Whip-poor-will and other nighttime birds will have to be left for another year.
The next day we woke up early and had a good breakfast at the motel. Our breakfast time was 6am and by 6:30 we were
back in the van on our way to the B&H Canal for more birding. We drove about a mile, opened the door of the van and
another key bird of the trip was singing for us. We all heard and saw a beautiful Alder Flycatcher. He was right in the Alder
bushes. We walked along the very scenic canal hearing and seeing other birds such as Black-billed Cuckoo and Scarlet
Tanager. After walking a half mile we came to a spot where Golden-winged Warblers are known to breed. Almost on cue,
the Golden-winged Warbler appeared. It was a ‘lifer’ for many members of our group. We then walked the other way on the
trail picking up Field Sparrow, Eastern Bluebird, Pine Warbler and Chestnut-sided Warbler. After three hours in this spot
we boarded the van, drove about 5 minutes to Gumaer Falls Road and a completely different habit. We were now in Pine
trees, Hemlocks and Mountain Laurel. We heard and saw Blackurnian Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Acadian
Flycatcher and a very nice Olive-sided Flycatcher. A Winter Wren was heard singing but we could not locate him. We went
back to the motel, checked out, picked up lunch at a local deli and drove to the Eagle spot to relax and eat. After about a half
hour we were back in the van heading towards our last venue.
We were going to Shawangunks NWR. This area is also known as the grasslands. Before this last venue we made a stop at
Blue Chip Horse Farm. We were looking for a reported Upland Sandpiper. After searching for about 15 minutes we found
one. The bird was a distant scope view but still quite recognizable. We were to locate four altogether. The bird was a ‘lifer’
for almost everyone. We drove for two minutes and arrived at the grasslands. We were looking for a few special birds and
happily we were able to find all of them. First was a Willow Flycatcher, in a willow tree. Next was the Eastern Meadowlark.
There were many Meadowlarks and we had excellent views. Lastly we saw the uniquely colored Bobolink. Again we all had
excellent views. It was getting late so we decided to leave this lovely spot and head home. After making one stop along the
way we arrived back at the Audubon office just after 7pm.
~ 93 seen
Great Blue Heron
Great Crested Flycatcher
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Species seen – 93