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


Dave Nicosia


Cayugabirds-L List Info:

1) http://www.mail-archive.com/cayugabirds-l@cornell.edu/maillist.html
2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds
3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html

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