Minnewaska Early Birder Walks 2018

Image from “A popular handbook of the ornithology of eastern North America” (1896), Biodiversity Heritage Library

From Scotty Baldinger, leader of the Minnewaska Early Birder Walks:

I’m pleased to announce the start of another season of scheduled bird walks in Minnewaska State Park.

Please note that starting in July 2018 a series of construction projects in Minnewaska are set to begin. These projects are expected to go for the next 2-3 years. The Wildmere (upper parking) area will be a construction zone and the lower Awosting parking area will be a staging zone for construction vehicles. Once the summer starts and construction projects begin, there is a good chance the Early Birder Walks could be affected. I had a good meeting…with park management on some possible ideas for us to continue our walks once the work begins. These will be taken under consideration and management will notify me if we will have the possibility of continuing the walks for the July through October part of the program.

The Early Birder Walks for the months of April, May, and June will continue on same schedule as years past. We will have a walk every Tuesday (weather permitting), meeting at the main entrance to the park off Route 44/55 at 8 am (April and May) and 7 am for the month of June.

Looking forward to another great season at the Big M!

Good birding!

Breeding Bird Surveys, Sam’s Point Area, Minnewaska State Park Preserve

From Jessica Reker,  SCA-Americorps Ecosystem Steward and Education Assistant, Minnewaska State Park Preserve—Sam’s Point Area:

Sam’s Point Area of Minnewaska State Park Preserve is looking for volunteers to help with its breeding bird survey. We are looking for some experienced birders who can identify birds by sound. The breeding bird survey at Sam’s Point is important to help us understand if the composition of breeding birds changes with fire, and the impacts fire has on breeding birds. Surveys are every Wednesday and Friday, starting Wednesday, May 9 and ending Friday, June 29. The surveys begin at 6:30 am, but we ask volunteers to arrive at 6 am in the Sam’s Point Parking Lot (400 Sam’s Point Road, Cragsmoor, NY 12420). The surveys are over by 10 am at the latest. Each day 8 sites will be surveyed; some sites are right off a footpath and others require going further off trail and may be more difficult for some to access.

If you’re interested in participating, please email Jessica Reker at jessica.reker@parks.ny.gov to be added to future emails about the survey.

Bashakill Field Trip (3/17), Updated Meeting Location

Eurasian Wigeon, from “Ornithologia neerlandica” (1922–1935), Biodiversity Heritage Library

Saturday March 17, 2018: Meet Scott Baldinger (888-2333) at 8:30 AM to check out the Bashakill for ducks, grebes, Rusty Blackbirds and Fox Sparrows.

March 16 update from the trip leader: “When arriving for tomorrow’s 8:30 am field trip I am going to ask you to park at the DEC parking area along Haven Rd. I would like for our group to try for the [Eurasian] wigeon to start our trip before we proceed to the regular meeting place at the Stop Sign Trail parking area. This way we have a great chance for all in our group to see what has been the target bird for so many folks in the Hudson Valley.”