The Basha Kill Wetlands, about a half-hour’s drive above Port Jervis, NY, is a special place of beauty and adventure. The 3,000 acres are home to more than 200 species of birds, 30 varieties of fish including the prehistoric bowfin, and many plants, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and insects. It is the largest freshwater wetland in southeastern New York and is a peaceful place for bird watching, wildlife viewing, wildflower observation, fishing, boating and photography.
In May many wildflowers are in bloom, including Lily-of-the-Valley, Red Trillium, early Azalea, Lady’s Slippers, White Anemones, Wild Geraniums, and White Dogwood.
May is also the time for bird migration. You may see Scarlet Tanagers, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Gray Catbirds, Baltimore Orioles, over 30 species of warblers, Bald Eagles, herons, and Osprey.
Dragonflies and damselflies can be seen, yellow water lilies bloom in the water, little goslings swim behind their parents, American Bitterns call in evening, Wood Ducks are nesting, Yellow Warblers and American Redstarts take spider webs to build their nests. You may hear the whiny call of the peewee and “cher TEA-cher TEA-cher” call of the Ovenbird from the forest floor.
The Basha Kill is a magical place in the spring. Join us when we go there on May 4, 2013, for a real treat. The last time we went, we found 5 active nests and many birds. Come see what we discover this time. Call Bob at (570) 676-9969. For more information about the Basha Kill Wetlands, please visit www.thebashakill.org.
– Bob Campbell