Birders follow spring migration at the Bashakill
By Linda Fields
Spring is an opportune time to see migratory birds as they make their way back to their breeding grounds. A small group of birders led by Gifford Pinchot Audubon Society past-president Peter Wulfhurst took advantage of the seasonal migration recently by visiting the Bashakill wetlands north of Port Jervis.
The wetlands are part of a nearly 3,000-acre conservation area, an important habitat for many bird species. Wulfhurst, standing with his spotting scope pointed at the water, called out some of the waterfowl he noticed: “Black ducks, wood ducks, hooded mergansers, buffleheads, green winged teal...."
He was particularly excited to see the rusty blackbird, an uncommon marsh-loving bird that has been on the decline and is becoming rare.
Paul and Chenita Brooks of East Stroudsburg were among the birders.
“We love to come out and look at the birds and get educated," said Paul.
Chenita said she was there because of her husband, but her questions showed her curiosity was piqued.
“I truly do enjoy it," she said.
Wulfhhurst's day job at Milford’s Penn State Extension office focuses on economic and community development. He has a life list of birds that totals more than 500 species. He conducts group field trips four to five times a year.
“I’m a big bird watcher, and I like to share my knowledge with those on the trip and get them hooked so they’ll go out on their own," he said.
There's also the hope that an interested and caring public will “keep habitats available for these birds so that they’ll survive.”
The Gifford Pinchot Audubon Society has a Facebook page that offers information on field trips and other events.
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