NYC Audubon

    
SOFO

    
Brooklyn Bird Club

    
BBG

     Long Pond Greenbelt
Date:  June 12-13, 2010

Location:  Basha Kill, Shawangunks NWR, Doodletown

Reported by: Joe Giunta

We left the NYC Audubon site on 23rd St. at 9am. Our group consisted of 11 birders and our first destination was
Doodletown, a part of Bear Mountain SP. After making one stop along the way we arrived a little after 10am. Our group
walked up the entrance path and almost immediately saw a beautiful Hooded Warbler. He was the first of 11 warbler species
that we would see at this venue. As we walked along the trail we saw, at eye level, a Worm-eating Warbler.  This bird had a
very peachy breast and sang the song of a ‘giant insect’. This bird was quickly followed by a very cooperative Cerulean
Warbler.  We would hear or see several more Cerulean Warblers. A kettle of vultures flew overhead consisting of both
Black Vultures and Turkey Vultures. Other great birds at this location were Scarlet Tanager, Louisiana Waterthrush and
Blue-winged Warbler. We had lunch at about 12:30 sitting on the rocks around Doodletown’s very picturesque lake. We left
this spot and drove in our van to Mine Road, part of West Point Military Academy. Here we would see a Brewster’s Warbler,
a hybrid of the Golden-winged Warbler and the Blue-winged Warbler. We went back into the van and headed towards our
next venue which was Basha Kill WMA, in Sullivan County. Making one stop along the way it would take us about one hour
to reach this venue.

Our first stop at Basha Kill was along Haven Road. Here we were to hear at least two American Bitterns, but we failed, at
least for now, on seeing them. We took the van to another part of Basha Kill in search of rails. We were very fortunate to see
a Virginia Rail walk right out of the marsh and across the path. It was a ‘lifer’ for some of us. Also seen at this location
were Bald Eagle, Osprey, and a few Least Flycatchers. As it started to get somewhat late in the day I decided to take the
group to yet another spot in Basha Kill for viewing of the American Bittern. This time we were very lucky in that we saw
very clearly out in the marsh a Bittern putting his head back and singing. It was a great sighting and another ‘lifer’ for
some of our group. At about 5:30 we checked into our hotel, the Days Inn of Wurtsboro. This is the third time that we have
made this trip to Basha Kill and the third time that we have used this hotel. I highly recommend it as it is very clean, quiet
and perfectly placed to maximize birding in the area. At 6:30 we left the hotel and had dinner at a local restaurant, Danny’s.

After dinner we had maybe the major highlight of the trip. Our group boarded the van for some nighttime birding. We drove
to Upper Pine Kill Road where we heard a Whip-poor-will. The bird was very close to the road and actually flew over us
twice. It was very dark but some of us saw the ‘moth like’ flight pattern of the Whip-poor-will. It was a ‘lifer’ for most
everyone and a true memorable experience. It started to rain and we headed back to the hotel arriving just before 10pm.

For the next day our plan was to have an early breakfast at 6am and be on the van and ready for birding at 6:30am.
Breakfast was excellent and at 6:30 we were on the van headed towards the D&H Canal for early morning birding. D&H
Canal is also known as Linear Park and is just the most beautiful place you want to see. Our first bird seen was a very
cooperative Veery. The bird was singing from an exposed perch. Next we saw and heard a key bird of the trip, the Alder
Flycatcher. The bird was singing and jumping around in of all places, Alder bushes.  Later we would have another look at an
Alder Flycatcher, at eye-level and just feet away from us. We walked both sides of the trail seeing and hearing other birds
like Chestnut-sided Warbler, Pine Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Field Sparrow. At about 10:30 we left this spot and
traveled about one mile to Gumaer Falls Road. This road goes up the mountain to a height of about 1500 feet and into a
Pine-Hemlock forest. This area is also extremely beautiful with an understory of Mountain Laurel. Here we would see
different birds like Blackburnian Warbler and Black-throated Green Warbler. We heard and poorly saw a Pileated
Woodpecker. Coming back down the road we had excellent views of a very cooperative Acadian Flycatcher. The bird was
seen very well, even without binoculars. I think this was the highlight of the trip for me as the bird was very vocal and we
could clearly see the overall greenish color to the bird. We went back to the hotel, checked out, and headed to a nearby deli
for sandwiches and a lunch break.

At about 1pm we headed towards our last venue, Shawangunks NWR. It would take us just under one hour to reach this
venue. Just before reaching the ‘Gunks’ we had a stop at Blue Chip horse farm. Here we scoped the fields and within about
5 minutes we located an Upland Sandpiper. The bird flew across our line of vision and landed on top of some wooded
fencing. We were able to see the entire bird and had what some described as their best view ever. Also at this stop we saw
Eastern Bluebirds and Savannah Sparrows. It started to drizzle somewhat so instead of entering the ‘Gunks’ from the front
and walking we entered from the rear where a gazebo provided cover for us to scan the grasslands. We immediately saw
many (20+) Bobolinks. The birds were perched on sticks, bushes and were also flying very close to us. Some were singing
and displaying. We also scoped a few Eastern Meadowlarks.  Our trip was almost finished but we had information that a
colony of Bank Swallows was close by. We drove in the van for about one mile and then located, in an uncompleted
subdivision development, many nesting cavities of the Bank Swallows. We saw swallows flying around us and entering their
cavities. It was about 3:30 and we decided to return to NYC. We arrived back at 23rd St just after 6pm. It was a wonderful
trip had by all.






SPECIES SEEN

Great Blue Heron
American Bittern
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Mallard
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Wild Turkey
Virginia Rail
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Whip-poor-will
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Acadian Flycatcher
Alder Flycatcher
Willow Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Tree Swallow
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cedar Waxwing
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Eastern Bluebird
Veery
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Blue Jay
American Crow
European Starling
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue-winged Warbler
Golden-winged Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Pine Warbler
Cerulean Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Worm-eating Warbler
Ovenbird
Louisiana Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Bobolink
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Species seen - 87