It was in the mid 50s as we arrived at RamsHorn-Livingston Sanctuary just south of Catskill early Saturday morning. Birds were fairly active on the way in, more so on the way out. The path is flooded about 100 yards past the observation tower, so we spent half an hour up top overlooking the marsh and surroundings.
A pair of Eastern Phoebes were flitting about near the tower, including one carrying nesting materials. There were a few Wood Ducks in the flooded creek. Pileated Woodpeckers were calling back and forth, and we saw three Red-bellied Woodpeckers in the same tree. A Wild Turkey called in the distance as well.
As the sun got a little higher, and it warmed up a bit more, the birds really started singing and moving around. Swamp Sparrows were flying around the marsh as we headed back in. Two male cardinals were dueling from adjacent treetops, one doing a call that sounded something like a car-alarm; I have never heard a cardinal make that sound before. The highlight of the morning was a Golden-crowned Kinglet in with some chickadees, followed a few minutes later by a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, who flew right next to us as if we weren't there.
At Vosburgh Marsh there were Green-winged Teal present with the Wood Ducks. A word of caution to all birders, ticks are out in numbers already. We scraped and flicked at least ten off of us after bushwacking a short distance next to the marsh.
It was fairly quiet at The Coxsackie IDA Grasslands around noon, except for quite a few Killdeer in the gravelly areas at the Serta cul-de-sac. Be careful where you step in that area. A Black Vulture was seen from the Exit 21A Travel Plaza, over the ridge to the west. Finally, a Great Blue Heron was fishing in a small marsh off the side of Rt. 9W northbound just past Rt. 144.