I went back to New Michigan SF in Pharsalia, NY with the focus of finding Swainson's thrush. I did a survey of singing birds last week and failed to locate this species which is among my favorites. So, I started on North road coming from the south where I have had these birds in years past. After you pass Swartz Road, I saw a broad-winged hawk soaring overhead and calling. I got out to take a look and I heard a familiar call... the "whit" call of Swainson's Thrush. I eventually located the bird since it seemed to be upset over the broadie overhead. I don't believe this Broad-winged hawk had any interest in the swainson's. After finding the bird which was flying back and forth between a sugar maple and a large norway spruce I noticed another swainson's thrush on the same maple branch! Both birds were clearly not happy about the broad-winged hawk and likely a pair suggesting probable breeding. Then farther up North road before the tornado cut, I heard another whit call and again I was able to phish this bird into view, another swainson's! This bird, based on google earth, was about 400 yards away from the pair as the crow flies so it likely was another one.
So I had 3 SWTH along North road before the tornado cut. The exact location of the pair of SWTH was 42.578680° N and -75.719517° W or 360 yards north of Swartz Road on North Rd. Then, the third Swainson's Thrush was at 42.581763° N and -75.721425°W or 780 yards north of Swartz Road. Jeremy Collison had one SWTH on CCC road on June 22nd this year which likely was another bird suggesting at least 4 SWTH persisting at New Michigan SF. I was unable to find any other SWTH. Of note, none of the birds I found were singing, instead just calling. The rest of the thrush species were not singing much either. This is probably because it was late morning. Given the 2011 tornado destroying so much norway spruce and DEC logging to manage the forests, the habitat at New Michigan SF is diminished for SWTH. So having 4 still present is awesome. Before the 2011 tornado I once counted 12 and 9 SWTH in these general areas. Now 3 or 4 is decent given loss of habitat. I wonder if there are other reliable places in Chenango Co for SWTH? The 2000-2005 Breeding Bird Atlas had this species over several blocks around New Michigan SF. So for the next Birding Bird Atlas 2020-2025, I hope we can find this species in other nearby locations as there are still many plots of mature norway spruce that look good for SWTH and other northern breeders. I was unable to find or hear any Red Crossbills again. But like my previous trip to this forest, warblers were abundant. Blackburnian and Magnolia warblers were all over as usual along with Ovenbirds. I did get an excellent view of a mourning warbler as it sang right by the road in the tornado cut on CCC road. The bird responded to phishing and literally was several feet away from my car! I didn't do an extensive count this time of most species and estimated many numbers. My list is here...https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S57844652 Best, Dave Nicosia -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://firstname.lastname@example.org/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --