Monday, October 12, 2009

Swainson's Hawk in New Baltimore, Greene County NY...


When Christine Guarino posted on the 6th, that Rich Guthrie had seen a Swainson's Hawk near the Thruway Exit 21B in New Baltimore, Greene County NY. A few days had already passed since the Hawk was found - Rich had apparently seen it two days before. When I read that post, I was thinking how lucky Rich was to have seen the bird, since I expected that bird to move on. However, after a couple of days went by and with reports of the bird still being seen filtered in, I began to toy with the idea of making the run for it. Scheduling was a little tight, so I kept my fingers and toes crossed hoping that it would still be there as the weekend neared. On Friday the 9th, when I spoke to friends Shai and Pat whom by now you should be quite familiar with as I have blogged about some good birding times with them, they gently "gripped" me. Indicating, that they were on their way back from seeing the bird. The conversation with Pat and Shai only strengthened my resolve, I was going to make a run for the bird. By the way, Gripped off - is just one of those birding terminology that means what you are when you've just dipped (missed) a bird that other twitchers (birders/chasers) that arrived earlier managed to see.

A few people were suggested by others as maybe having an interest in chasing; however, the connection was never made. Quite content with making the run alone, I was not at all dissuaded and so the gear was packed and the alarm was set. After a sleepless night, which is the norm whenever I have a mission like this at hand. I was up early on Saturday - ready, despite feeling the effects of little to no sleep. By 6:00 A.M. I was on the road listening to the sounds of Metallica, feeling that I left with enough time for sufficient light if I had to wait out the bird.

A few hours later, I was pulling through the toll way off Exit 21 B with the sign indicating Coxsackie, getting grins from the collectors as I shouted out to them that I was looking for the infamous Swainson's. Following Shai's advice, I pulled into the lot of Dr. How's Auto Repair and found a spot where I would not impede traffic coming to and from the business. There were a few birders around and a quick assessment of the situation revealed that the bird was not around - at least for the moment. I then, took the time out to walk over to the Auto shop to let them know that I was parked on their property and to thank them for their hospitality. The Auto shop, is owned by Howard and Susan Kusisto (sp) and it was Susan I spoke with. She was very appreciative that I took the time out to thank them. Susan, Howard and other local business owners have been very accommodating and tolerant to the many birders that have descended on the area. If any of you ever read this post, I thank you all on behalf of my fellow birders...and photographers - can't forget those guys.

As I headed back to the truck to get my scope and lens. The Swainson's as is if waiting on cue came right towards me. It was a breath taking sight - what a neat bird! I will stop here and let the photos do the rest, enjoy!







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10 comments:

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

EEEee! That last photo gave me goosebumps!

John said...

Congrats on the Swainson's!

dAwN said...

Metallica?

Pat said...

Metallica at 6:00 am?? No wonder you were awake enough to get these great shots. Beautiful bird!

dAwN said...

hee hee..metallica? really?
well...soo glad the Swainsons was there for you...Awesome shots Dude of the birds!

BIRDINGDUDE said...

@Lynne - I know what you mean, here I am staring at this bird through my optics and I get this look right back at me :)

BIRDINGDUDE said...

@John - Thanks, the looks were spectacular.

BIRDINGDUDE said...

@Dawn - Yep, the one thing I could listen to that would get me all alert for the run :)

BIRDINGDUDE said...

@Pat - Yep, you got it right. Metallica was just what I needed. On the way back the mood called for something more soothing, so I listened to Dominique Durand of Ivy.

BIRDINGDUDE said...

@Dawn - thanks, I figured you might get a chuckle from that. Pat was spot on, I needed that to keep awake.