I ran my Roughleg route this morning. I started at the Shawangunk Grasslands at 6:28AM and then hit eight stops in the Black Dirt Region.
The Shawangunk Grasslands were very quiet. In order of appearance, I observed 3 SHORT-EARED OWLS (one of which dive-bombed a perched GHOW), 2 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS (two light morphs), and 2 NORTHERN HARRIERS. You never get the full Short-eared show here in the morning. I think most of them slip into roost, when it's still too dark to see well. Early to mid-winter Rough-legged Hawk counts here usually aren't too impressive. The Harrier count was abysmal! At Black Dirt I tallied (a mere) 4 NORTHERN HARRIERS, 16 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS (eleven light, five dark), and 2 AMERICAN KESTRELS. Unfortunately for wintering raptors, the composition of the landscape here changes winter to winter. This year a lot of sod was rolled, so there is lots and lots of bare dirt. Since we're dealing with thousands and thousands of acres here, there's always enough fallow land and drainage ditches to support some birds but my money is on the coastal marshes this winter... Michael Britt Bayonne, NJ -- NYSbirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsWELCOME.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsRULES.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L 3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01 Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --