Friday, March 9, 2018

Notes from the last few weeks

Highlights were:

a Turkey Vulture flying down my block chased by Blue Jays, landed on Parkside picking on something small in the road

Jamaica Bay/ Robert Moses St Park - I went to Jamaica Bay West Pond hoping to see "lifer" Blue morph Snow Geese - I saw at least 5 among the hundreds/ thousand? white Snow Geese.  The next day I chased a Facebook posted pair of blue morphs at Robert Moses - got much better views.

Once again, I tried for the continuing 3 Black Vultures at Riverhead,,,didn't see them at first but then tried after 3pm and finally got lucky.  I saw 2 of them with Snouty on top of the Roanoke Elementary School.  I've seen Black Vultures before but only in flight so I was happy to get better looks.

Black Vultures (2 on left)
Snow Geese, blue morph
Snow Geese

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Hicksville - Tundra Swans!

Was in my hometown today and looked up and happened to see 4 Tundra Swans flying northeast.  There has been lots of reports of Tundra Swans flying over...apparently a bit off course from their normal migration route.

Delayed report - went for and saw the Little Gull (lifer) by Montauk Point..almost gave up, glad I tried again.  Also saw a continuing Iceland Gull at Gosman's.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Riverhead, Dune Road EPCAL

Very unproductive - highlights were Turkey Vultures at Riverhead and a Bonaparte Gull and Snowy Owl at Dune Road.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Riverhead, Oak Beach

I've been seeing reports of 3 Black Vultures in Riverhead so took a chance to go and try finding them but didn't see any - guess they left.  I did see lots of Turkey Vultures and 2 overhead Bald Eagles, one mature, one immature.

There were reports of a continuing female Barrow's Goldeneye and Eared Grebe at Oak Beach - fairly confident I saw the Eared Grebe but was far away.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Point Lookout King Eiders

King Eiders were reported between Point Lookout and Jones Beach...several other reports including males popped up around Long Island including Setauket? and Brooklyn.  At one point, there were 6 King Eiders reported at Jones West End off the jetty (1 almost mature male, 1 immature male, 4 females)  I went one day to Point Lookout and found the mostly mature male, 1 female.  Other birds included a Horned Grebe, Common Eider, Snow Buntings, 8 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Ruddy Turnstones, Black and Surf Scoters, and lots of Scaup, predominately Greater.

I went back with Snouty and struck out on the King Eiders, but did see 3 Harlequins.  Went back another day and had a good King Eider day - mostly mature male, immature male (seen through the scope of another birder who found it for us) and good views of a female King Eider.  Also saw 20? Bonaparte Gulls, a Common Goldeneye.  I will always remember the close up King Eider we saw in Massachusetts, but I'm not complaining about a 3 King Eider day on Long Island.

King Eider
King Eider female (wings out)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Massapequa, Jones Beach, TOBAY

I don't have the exact dates of these sightings, so I'll lump them together.  They were seen during the first half of January:

Massapequa Preserve: Wilson's Snipe (1, then saw 2 on another day), Hermit Thrush, Wood Duck pair (not "Woody")

JFK Sanctuary: Snowy Owl, 2 Harriers including a Grey Ghost, Rough Legged Hawk, likely Red Shouldered on a return visit

TOBAY Beach: 13 Bonaparte Gulls, female Goldeneye

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year

2017 was a good year - started off with a Trumpeter Swan on the Hudson, a pelagic ride thanks to Snouty, finally finding Gray Jays and some unexpected lifers and getting better looks at birds I've seen before.  Without doubt, the best sighting was Crakie...a Corn Crake that appeared on Ocean Parkway.  I ended the year with 22 new lifers, making my USA continental life list up to 353, 338 in New York State, 328 on Long Island.  Here's to a good 2018, hoping for some new lifers.  I won't set any goals about how many or what species...I'll just hope for the best.  I started the year chasing a reported Red Necked Grebe at the Jones Beach Coast Guard - not a bad sighting to start the new year.

Red Necked Grebe