Sunrise Birding – New York State Weekend May 15-17

18 05 2009
Yellow Warbler - Luke Tiller

Yellow Warbler - Luke Tiller

Lots of traveling has meant a break from blogging for a few days. I just got unpacked after an amazing trip to NY State for the weekend with a group of really fantastic birders. It really was action packed and great fun all around with lots of amazing views of great birds, many good laughs and a couple of memorable meals along the way. I am just writing up a full report but wanted to post a few highlights from the trip. Co-leading on the trip was Joe Bear (so many many thanks go out to him for his invaluable eyes and ears) and I had some excellent behind the scenes assistance from Curt McDermott (see Hawk Owl Gallery here) and Chrissy Guarino (see Hawk Owl trip here).

Birding highlights were numerous but special mention has to go to seeing a Ruby-throated Hummingbird giving it’s ‘swinging’ display flight, a Scarlet Tanager popping up in a flowering dogwood just a few feet from the group, as well as hundreds of migrant swallows, comprising 5 species, strung out on the telephone wires at the Basha Kill. As for the top birds, they were legion: Virginia Rail out in the open at our feet, an inquisitive Sora skulking through the marsh just yards away, 2 Bitterns (one booming hauntingly at dusk and the second in flight past us), scope views of Kentucky Warbler and a jaunty Red-headed Woodpecker frolicking on a nearby fence.

Throw in Olive-sided Flycatcher, 3 Upland Sandpipers, 2 Grey-cheeked Thrush at our feet, point blank views of Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Black-billed Cuckoo, Common Nighthawk hunting and calling overhead, more Hooded Warblers than you could shake a stick at as well as Cerulean and Golden-wing and, as a finale, being serenaded by multitudes of Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks at Galeville and you can tell it was quite a weekend. Simply outstanding! Thanks to everyone who came and made the whole thing so special!

Check out all of our forthcoming trips here. Check out the full trip report here.



3 responses

18 05 2009
Dawn Fine

Oh my goodness..I am glad you came over to my blog..because I have missed a few of your posts…how did that happen??
Wow..what a trip! I sooo want to see a Cerulean! and Upland Sandpiper,golden winged Warbler.

20 05 2009
Bev P.

Thanks Luke for an extraordinary first birding trip for me.
Your patience and expertise in pointing out the birds was much appreciated. Plus I met such wonderful people, all of whom shared the birding passion. We were all non-stop birding chatter. I added many birds to my life list and I will always carry the memories with me.

21 05 2009

Hi Bev,

It was a pleasure to have you on the trip. As you say wonderful people, wonderful birds and lots of great memories. It’s the reason I got into guiding.

All the best – Luke

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