Friday, March 28, 2014

Jones Beach West End, Oceanside, Muttontown, Cold Spring Harbor, Massapequa Preserve

Jones Beach West End was full of birds yesterday morning: besides the usual suspects I saw a Tree Sparrow, 2 large groups of Tree Swallows (~40) - one group was on the West End 2 lot.   At the Coast Guard Station, saw 5 Horned Grebes – one was in almost full breeding plumage and a pair of Buffleheads.  On the sandbar, saw one Piping Plover, ~50 Black Bellied Plover as well as Dunlin and Sanderlings.  I tried with another birder, Stan, to find the Meadowlarks and Shrike, but no luck.

At the Oceanside Marine Study Area, my target bird was the Clapper Rail, but couldn’t locate any – I did see a Yellowlegs and the Osprey is back on the platform.

At St John’s Pond, I saw the previously reported pair of Redheads and a group of Ring Necked Ducks.

Muttontown Preserve and the Uplands Farm Sanctuary in Cold Spring Harbor were both eerily quiet – At Muttontown Preserve, I literally saw 4 birds: 2 Robins, a Starling and a Flicker so I drove back South to Massapequa Preserve which had a lot more action.   I gave a couple of tries for the Snipe, but it must’ve been hiding (per usual). There were Green Winged Teal and Hooded Mergansers on the pond that is parallel to Doris Place.  A few photographers and birders were checking out a couple of well known preserve residents.  Around that area, saw a Winter Wren and a Merlin perched overhead, but couldn’t get a great photo – a group of Wigeons touched down by the sports field for a drink at their puddle.  Before sunset, a huge mixed flock of Redwinged Blackbirds and Common Grackles arrived by the sports fields.

Tree Swallows - Jones Beach West End 2

Horned Grebe - Jones Beach Coast Guard Marina

Black Bellied Plover - Jones Beach Coast Guard sandbar

Canada Goose, Oceanside Marine Study Area

Canada Goose - tagged, Oceanside Marine Study Area

Redhead - pair, St. John's Pond

Mallard  - domestic?, Massapequa Preserve

Eastern Screech Owl - grey morph, Massapequa Preserve

Eastern Screech Owl - red morph, Massapequa Preserve

Eastern Screech Owl - red morph, Massapequa Preserve

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wantagh, Freeport: Brants heading back North

On the way to work today, I saw 3 groups of Brants heading North in the vicinity of Wantagh and Freeport: 2 groups of 100+ and one group of 10.  I’ve seen much larger groups and have seen Brants until mid-April so perhaps this is the beginning of their trip back North.

Massapequa Preserve and Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge

I was at the Massapequa Preserve for about an hour Sunday and saw the continuing grey morph Screech Owl but the red morph must’ve been tucked away.  After today, I’m no longer going to report the Screech Owls – they’ve been at the Preserve for 2 years (released from a rehab) and have made it their home.  There was a group of American Wigeons that frequent the game fields - I've seen them a few times drinking from the puddle in the nearby "lot".  I didn’t see the Wilson’s Snipe, but it’s a hit or miss thing.

I also stopped at Wertheim’s National Refuge in Shirley but didn’t see anything unusual: Red Tailed Hawk, Green Winged Teal and Hooded Mergansers were most notable.

American Wigeon

Eastern Screech Owl - grey morph

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Kaler's Pond Audubon Center, Center Moriches, Connetquot State Park, Belmont State Park

I stopped by Kaler's Pond in Center Moriches for a minute -just saw 2 Pekin Ducks at the pond. Connetquot had the normal ducks on the main pond: Scaup, Gadwall, Ring Necked, Mallards. I figured I'd try walking around the grassy areas and also look on the large trees to try for something different but didn't find anything unusual: tons of Robins, Cardinals, Chickadees, Titmouse, WhiteBreasted Nuthatch etc. It's the type of place where you need to walk around a while. I didn't find anything unusual at Belmont Lake except crows feeding among Canada Geese. There was an unsually large amount of crows there in a small area- at least 40 in the field near the exit and the neighboring pine trees. I couldn't help but think to myself that they're "refugees" from Greene County. (sarcastic smiley face)

Scaup, Gadwall - Connetquot State Park

White Breasted Nuthatch - Connetquot State Park

Canada Geese, Crows - Belmont Lake State Park

I stopped by Kaler Park in Center Moriches for a minute -just saw a Pekin
Duck on the pond. Connetquot had the normal ducks on the main pond: Scaup,
Gadwall, Ring Necked, Mallards. I figured I'd try walking around the
grassy areas and look on the large trees to try for something different but
didn't find anything unusual: tons of Robins, Chickadees, Titmouse, White
Breasted Nuthatch etc. It's the type of place where you need to walk
around a while. I didn't find anything unusual at Belmont Lake except
crows feeding among Canada Geese. There was an unsually large amount of
crows there in a small area- at least 40 in the field near the exit and the
neighboring pine trees. I couldn't help but think to myself that they're
"refugees" from Greene County - See more at: http://birding.aba.org/message.php?mesid=651659&MLID=NY01&MLNM=New%20York#sthash.pnr3VKv8.dpuf

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Massapequa Preserve: North end to South end

I searched the Preserve for 12 hours from Southern State Parkway to Merrick Road and continued south to the bay finding 59 species.  Red Winged Blackbirds, Robins and Common Grackles were found throughout the Preserve. On the pond by Brady Park was the continuing Red Necked Grebe, an Osprey catching a fish, a Muscovy and a few interesting looking domestic Mallards. There seemed to be a high concentration of woodpeckers on the North end of the preserve by Linden Street.  Massapequa Lake had an impressive number and variety of ducks (both Scaups, Ring Necked Duck, Shoveler, Mallards, Black Ducks, Hooded Merganser, Green Winged Teal, American Wigeon, Ruddy Ducks, a Red Breatsed Merganser, and a Double-Crested Comorant.)

Other highlights were a Hermit Thrush, Brown Headed Cowbirds, the red and grey morph Screech Owls and Horned Grebes on the bay.  I didn't find my target birds Rusty Blackbirds, and was surprised that I didn't see many hawks.  Besides the Osprey, I saw an unidentified falcon type and another that looked like a white hawk but didn't get a great look.  Some other birder asked me if I saw the Snipe which I hadn't but moments later, along with Mike and Michelle, 2 wonderful fellow birders, we found a Wilson's Snipe right around sunset.  Signs of Spring were Skunk Cabbage and Spring Peepers.

Wilson's Snipe

American Wigeon

Woodpecker

Red Breasted Merganser

Duck mix

Horned Grebe

Starling

Cardinal

Muscovy

Hermit Thrush

1st Winter Ring Billed Gull

Eastern Screech Owl (grey morph)

Eastern Screech Owl (red morph)

Brown Headed Cowbird

Green Winged Teal

Mallard (domestic)

Mallard (domestic, hybrid?)



Red Winged Blackbird

Osprey with trout?

Red Necked Grebe

Pied Billed Grebe


video

I searched the Preserve for 12 hours from Southern State
Parkway to Merrick Road and continued south to the bay finding 59 species.
Red Winged Blackbirds, Robins and Common Grackles were found throughout the
Preserve.
On the pond by Brady Park was the continuing Red Necked Grebe, an Osprey
catching a fish, a Muscovy and a few interesting looking domestic
Mallards. There seemed to be a high concentration of woodpeckers on the
North end of the preserve by Linden Street. Massapequa Lake had an
impressive number and variety of ducks and a Double-Crested Comorant.
Other highlights were a Hermit Thrush, Brown Headed Cowbirds, the red and
grey morph Screech Owls and Horned Grebes on the bay.
Signs of Spring were Skunk Cabbage and Spring Peepers.
Along with Mike and Michelle, 2 wonderful fellow birders, we found a
Wilson's Snipe right around sunset. - See more at: http://birding.aba.org/message.php?mesid=651241&MLID=NY01&MLNM=New%20York#sthash.YKWQF34P.dpuf

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Massapequa Preserve

I stopped at the pond by Brady Park right before sunset to find the recently seen Red Necked Grebe  - I found it right in the middle section of the pond.  Also saw and heard lots of Red Winged Blackbirds and 2 Hooded Mergansers. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Massapequa Preserve

After seeing the Screech Owl last week, I've been following reports of a red morph so I figured I would try my luck - I found it in the same hole as the previous owl.

Eastern Screech Owl (red morph)

Common Grackle

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Argyle Lake, Babylon

Following a previous report on ABA about 2 Red Necked Grebes seen here, I was at the lake today and saw just one but that was fine with me since it was a lifer. It was my first real time at this spot and it was really nice... people were out enjoying the nice weather... also saw Mallards, Black Ducks (a lot at this lake), Mute Swans, a pair of Shovelers, 2 Coots, and about 8 Ringed Necked Ducks.

Northern Shoveler

Ring Necked Duck

Red Necked Grebe

Red Necked Grebe

Red Necked Grebe

Monday, March 10, 2014

Massapequa Preserve

At the pond by Pittsburgh Avenue, Redwinged Blackbirds were out in full force singing, as were Cardinals and Song Sparrows. I saw some Skunk Cabbage along the stream so the first flowers are starting to "bloom". On the pond were mostly Mallards, some Black Ducks, Canada Geese, Mute Swans, one female Common Merganser and a drake flew overhead. Also saw a single Wood Duck and Green Winged Teal.
At the pond by Sunrise Highway again were mostly Mallards with a few domestic types mixed in. Some Hooded Mergansers were also present. One thing that seemed odd was that I found at least 2 dead Mute Swans (possibly 3) a little south of Clark St. I just hope that they weren't killed by someone.

Redwinged Blackbird

Redwinged Blackbird

Green Winged Teal and Wood Duck

Jones Beach West End

I was at Jones Beach this morning - despite the flurries, saw a lot of birds. At the Coast Guard Marina, saw Red Breasted Mergansers, Scaup, Horned Grebes, Long Tailed Ducks, Brant, Red Throated and Common Loons.  On the median saw about a dozen Robins, Flicker, Red Winged Blackbirds, and Common Grackles. The flurries impeded looking for the Shrike, but saw a single Tree Swallow fly over the West End 2 lot.
I was at Jones Beach this morning - despite the flurries, saw a lot of
birds. At the Coast Guard Marina, saw Red Breasted Mergansers, Scaup,
Horned Grebes, Long Tailed Ducks, Brant, Red Throated and Common Loons.

On the median saw about a dozen Robins, Flicker, Red Winged Blackbirds, and
Common Grackles. The flurries impeded looking for the Shrike, but saw a
single Tree Swallow fly over the West End 2 lot. - See more at: http://birding.aba.org/message.php?mesid=641968&MLID=NY01&MLNM=New%20York#sthash.kUC7IFLc.dpuf

Massapequa/ Massapequa Preserve

Went around my house a few times for a chance to see what might be around my area (2 blocks from Massapequa Preserve) Were Song and White Throated Sparrows, and a Goldfinch at my feeders...Saw a Carolina Wren and a group of chattering? Common Grackles. I had a feeling I might see hawks today and sure enough saw a Sharp Shinned Hawk "drifting" in the wind towards the preserve.  Later on, I went to the preserve - saw a group of American Wigeons on the ground at the pebbly lot south of the baseball fields. Also saw an Eastern Screech Owl in it's home.

Sharp Shinned Hawk

American Wigeon

Eastern Screech Owl

Eastern Screech Owl

Eastern Screech Owl

Eastern Screech Owl

Went around my house a few times for a chance to see what might be around
my area (2 blocks from Massapequa Preserve) Were Song and White Throated
Sparrows, and a Goldfinch at my feeders...Saw a Carolina Wren and a group
of chattering? Common Grackles. I had a feeling I might see hawks today
and sure enough saw a Sharp Shinned Hawk "drifting" in the wind towards the
preserve.

Later on, I went to the preserve - saw a group of American Wigeons on the
ground at the pebbly lot south of the baseball fields. Also saw an Eastern
Screech Owl in it's home. - See more at: http://birding.aba.org/message.php?mesid=641360&MLID=NY01&MLNM=New%20York#sthash.BUeafFSD.dpuf