After watching the
wind whip up the river and a cloudburst obscure the downriver view for a
while, Stephen and I were strolling along the Newburgh waterfront on August 7th, when I stopped
to sketch a friendly duck, who was following people along the sidewalk.
While I was sketching her, Stephen asked me what some birds were down
by the water’s edge. I turned to see two striking black and white birds of a kind I had never seen before perched on rocks on the river’s edge.
The name “Avocet” immediately came to mind, but having never seen an Avocet or even a suspicion of one, I really wasn’t familiar with them. I did a couple of quick sketches,
along with some notes to help with identification, then ran to the car where I keep a
field guide and checked– they were indeed American Avocets! We went back to watch them
for a few more minutes, until they flew off low over the water, headed
down river, in the direction of Beacon or Cold Spring.
The American Avocet is not typically seen this far north along the east coast, so this is considered a rare bird sighting for our area, all the more special for us, as we were out on a dinner date for our anniversary. American Avocet Species Range Map