on Some Special Birds for June
While driving home in the evening of June 15th on Waterbury Hill Road,
I saw a bird perched on a wire in front of a house at the corner of
N Parliman Road. It was 8:45pm, dark enough to need headlights. On
the wire was a long, slim bird with a broad head with "ears." I
turned around and passed by it twice more, stopping right under it
I had no binoculars, but could see the bird well, silhouetted against the
sky. It had dark, vertical streaks on the chest and belly and dark eyes.
Through all this driving past and stopping, the bird just sat there, looking
around. It was slimmer than a Barred Owl and definitely not a Great Horned
Owl. Even the young Great Horned Owls I've seen were chunkier than this bird.
This was a Long-eared Owl. They are normally associated with conifers, which
I thought were absent from this area. But I noticed later that the yard across
the road is bordered on two sides by closely-spaced spruces.
An e-mail came from a fellow doing bird surveys for The Nature Conservancy.
He'd heard a Sedge Wren near Millerton. Was I interested? I met him at the
wren spot (State Line and Rudd Pond Road intersection) on June 27th early
in the morning. We heard it from several places along State Line Road, but
never saw it. This is consistent with the secretive nature of this bird.
The wren was in a large area of tall (4-5 feet) grass with a few scattered
bushes. The land slopes gradually from a hayfield down to a wet area with
cattails. We visited the area a few weeks later, but no wren called.
Over Dutchess, September