Catskills / Hudson River Valley NY

Our Catskill trip began near Oneonta at the Portlandville boat launch on the Susquehanna River on NY route 28. The water was high, covering the usual mudflats, but 2 Mallard Ducks and a single Solitary Sandpiper were still hanging out. The adjoining swamp had Baltimore Oriole, Northern Cardinal, warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Red-bellied Woodpecker, and Swamp Sparrow.

Before heading north on county route 35, we went south where we picked up a pair of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Dark-eyed Junco, and Wood Thrush. Proceeding north we picked up Savannah Sparrow and nesting Tree and Barn Swallows. Traveling up Wightman Rd. we found breeding Blackburnian and BT Green Warblers and Winter Wren. Boy Scout Rd had BT Blue, Yellow-rumped, Chestnut-sided and Black-and-White Warblers, Golden-crowned Kinglets, and Hermit Thrush on territory.

A brief detour down Walling Camp Rd found Least Flycatchers and a Ring-necked Duck. Back at the intersection with Boy Scout Rd. a Hermit Thrush called and a Yellowlegs (sp) was on the far side of the pond. Brown Creepers and a porcupine were found on the way to Crumhorn Lake which was lined with American Restarts. Crumhorn Lake Rd. had Towhee and Blue-winged and Prairie Warblers.

Proceeding to Cooperstown, Otsego Lake had fly over Osprey, gulls, and a female Common Merganser with young. Heading back south on County route 33 we had great looks at hunting Kestrel and male Northern Harrier, a beautiful gray ghost. Milford center had Chimney Swifts and a nesting pair of Wood Duck were on the pond at the intersection of West Main and Chlorinator Rd.

The nesting Bald Eagle on Schoharie Creek in Prattsville was cooperative, flying overhead with a number of Turkey Vultures. The creek also had good numbers of common mergansers off route 23A. The Ashokan Reservoir stop had a breeding colony of cliff swallows and Double-crested Cormorants. The day ended in New Paltz where Purple Martins had returned to their nest box.

Sunday began in the Bashakill WMA main parking lot. We had south winds overnight and some warblers and flycatchers were on the move. Moorhen and Willow Flycatchers called from the marsh, a flock of Cedar Waxwing flew overhead, and Canada, Magnolia, and Blackpoll Warblers called from the forest. A Swainson’s Thrush took a stroll across the parking lot. After birding the area we made our way to Bear Mountain State Park where near the top we had Worm-eating Warblers, Eastern Bluebird, and Indigo Bunting. After stopping at West Point, we headed home. Our Trip total was 112 species.

Respectfully submitted,
Peter Stephan

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