Photos from 04-17-15 – Shawangunk Grasslands

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark

I wasn’t able to look for short-eared owls this year at the Grasslands, but thankfully, winter isn’t the only time to see interesting birds there!

It was an extremely overcast day, and I only had one goal… find and photograph an eastern meadowlark.  I heard them almost immediately after stepping out of my car, but they are a very shy species.

After nearly 30 minutes, I began to see a couple on the ground.  When their backs were turned to me, I barely noticed them!  It wasn’t until they turned did their bright yellow markings make them an easy target.

I also saw some kestrels from afar as well, which are also contained in the gallery below.

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Photos from 04-15-15 – Sleightsburgh Spit

Horned Grebe

Horned Grebe

With Sleightsburgh Spit in Port Ewen being such a hotspot for me to see new species of birds this year, I went after work one day to see what I might find.  While there was no new species seen, one in particular surprised me.

Using a spotting scope looking out over the Hudson River, I almost didn’t notice a horned grebe that was swimming near the shore!  It couldn’t have been more than 20 feet away.

There wasn’t much else to see, but the few things I did I’ve added to this small gallery.  Enjoy!

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04-12-15 – Photos around Dutchess County

Wood Turtle

Wood Turtle

With Spring migration starting to ramp up, I took to the trails to see what I could find.  I started the day at Peach Hill Park and then headed to Cary Institute.

At Peach Hill, some of our summer residents were already showing up, such as brown thrashers and tree swallows.  I was hoping to find myself a warbler or two since they should be showing up at this time, but they eluded me.

At Cary Institute, it was a quiet day, but there were plenty of eastern phoebes along the streams as well a species of turtle i don’t see very often, a wood turtle!

The full gallery can be viewed at the link below:

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04-11-15 – Photos around Ulster County

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Visited several location around Ulster County on this day.  At Franny Reese State Park, the sightings were few and far between, but I did manage to see a female purple finch.  Other assorted birds included golden-crowned kinglets and dark-eyed juncos.

The next stop was at Slabsides,a spot that has given me some nice sightings this time of year, but ended up striking out.  Because of this, I stopped at Sleightsburg Park in Port Ewen to see what was around.  Again, it was largely quiet, but an american kestrel came by to shake it up a bit.  It even perched close enough to get a good look with the spotting scope!  I pressed a point and shoot camera against the eyepiece to capture the moment.

For more photos, please visit the attached gallery.  Enjoy! :)

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New (Old!) Bird Photographed – Redhead

Redhead

Redhead

Photos taken 4/4/15

After my luck with the white-winged scoter the previous week, I went back to the same spot the following weekend to see what else might turn up.  The scoter was nowhere to be seen, but there was another notable first sighting for me this time.

Mixed with several different species of waterfowl was a sleeping redhead duck!  The duck was quite far away and by the time he finally lifted his head, he was well beyond my range.

Still, it was nice to see yet another new species, especially since they are getting few and far between as I continue spending time outdoors.

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03-29-15 – Photos from Sleightsburgh and Kingston Point Park

Rondout Lighthouse

Rondout Lighthouse

With the weather finally becoming a little more favorable, I took my spotting scope off to the Hudson River and Rondout Creek to look for waterfowl.  Looking for waterfowl has become a lot of fun, but it doesn’t usually equal great photos.  Most of the photos are so far away you can barely tell what species.

At Sleightsburgh Park in Port Ewen, not only did I see my first white-winged scoter, I also saw hooded mergansers, common goldeneyes, and ring-necked ducks.

At Kingston Point Park, I saw a great sign of Spring, an american robin pulling a worm out of the ground.  I didn’t see any waterfowl there, but the Rondout Lighthouse will always be there!  For more photos from the day, check out the gallery.

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New (Old!) Bird Photographed – White-winged Scoter

White-winged Scoter

White-winged Scoter

As the ice finally started melting on the rivers and creeks at the end of March, we made it out to Sleightsburgh Park to look for waterfowl.  The variety was excellent, but there was one in particular that was a new one for me.

I almost dismissed it as a more common american black duck, but on closer inspection with a spotting scope, it turned out to be an immature white winged scoter!

Winter/Spring waterfowl spotting is somewhat new to me, so I was glad that I was able to successfully ID him.  With adding a spotting scope to my arsenal, it was only a matter of time before I started finding new species around the area.

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