Please excuse the lateness of this edition, but we have just returned from a couple of weeks in the Katterskills (Catskills). We encountered lots of fresh air, sunshine, a Rip Van Winkle “thunder boomer” and several days of birding in one of the premier birding spots of New York State, at the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area that encompasses 2,175 acres of varied habitat. While there we managed a total of 110 species.
“Ruff” and “Reddy”
Before leaving on our trip we had been entertained by the Ruffed Grouse that made periodic appearances in the early evening to have a snack made up of mixed seed and cracked corn. The Red Squirrel thought he owned the rights to that feed lot and decided to challenge the feathered intruder. He made a half-hearted lunge in its direction, but Ruff was not about to be bullied. It stood its ground with neck ruffed, erect fanned tail and feet stomping. Red countered with a twitching tail and a series of squirrel clucks. However, it was only a bluff and it soon turned tail and fled to the safety of an overhead branch. The chattering continued. Things soon quieted down, the squirrel returned to the ground and they both continued to enjoy the repast, but at a safe distance from each other.
SVAS Warbler Walk, May 15, 2010
Twelve people joined Richard Foye this morning (5/15) for the SVAS Warbler Walk. The group wandered the trails of the Retreat acreage below, above, and around the ski jump. Warblers seen (or heard): TENNESSEE (bird of the day), Black-and-White, Blackburnian, Black-throated Green, Black-throated Blue, Pine, Yellow-rumped, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Yellow, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Overnbird, and Louisiana Waterthrush
Plus - many other species including (but not necessarily limited to) Wood & Hermit Thrush, Scarlet Tanager, Least Flycatcher, Great-crested Flycatcher, Indigo Bunting, Eastern Phoebe, goldfinch, cardinal, Chipping & Song Sparrow, Red-eyed and Blue-headed Vireo, Robin. I have posted a few photos on my blog: www.tailsofbirding.blogspot.com
---Chris Petrak, S. Newfane, VT
Unusual Prey for an Osprey
Our son, Peter and his wife had a unique experience this morning (5/31) when they observed an Osprey that had a woodchuck in its talons. It tried to fly off toward the river, but lost it when it got about 20-25 feet up. Have you ever heard of osprey going after animals like that?
The incident took place in the field across the road from our house.
---Mary and Paul Miller, Vernon, VT
It’s a Peach of a Plum Island in May
Robyn and I just got back from our annual week on Plum Island. Quiet this year. No special rarities, but lots of the usuals. Trees there were leafed out way early like here, so finding the little ones was not easy, especially late in the week. We were treated to 102 species, 104 if we include the probable manx shearwater I saw, and the Cape May warbler that Robyn heard. That includes 20/21 species of warblers. Highlights include: close views of Sora and Virginia Rail, the Mourning Warbler, a Black-Crowned Night Heron, a large weasel crossing the road, and a fisher making his way through the trees and brush to his den. However, my best birds of May so far were here in the neighborhood. I had great looks at two life birds, thanks to Hector Galbraith: Tennessee and Prairie Warblers on the rail trail in Hinsdale in mid-May just before we left for the coast.
---Paul Miksis, Brattleboro, VT
7,000 Miles Nonstop, and No Pretzels
This is a fascinating article that appeared in the May 25 edition of the New York Times. Guaranteed to have you uttering words like unbelievable, incredible and amazing. But, thanks to modern technology it is all proven facts.
Click here: Birds That Migrate Thousands of Miles With Nary a Stop - NYTimes.com
W. Brattleboro, VT
A friend is someone who reaches for your hand
and touches your heart.