Thursday, July 31, 2014

Jones Beach West End

I made another attempt locating the recently reported Baird's Sandpiper but didn't have any luck - either I'm going at the wrong times, need higher powered binooculars, need to spend more time, or a combination of all 3.  On the ponds in the dunes, I did see several sandpiper species, Yellowlegs and a Black Crowned Night Heron.  Before leaving, I stopped at the Coast Guard Station where I found the "new usual suspects".  In addition I saw one Piping Plover which I haven't seen recently on the sandbar.  (I know they are around but not always out on the flat)  Was there from sunrise to about 7AM.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Jones Beach West End Part 2

I returned to the West End to try for the reported Baird's Sandpiper but could not locate it - I stopped by the Coast Guard area where I found 4 Black Scoters.

Black Scoters
Common Loons
Black Skimmer, Oystercatcher

Jones Beach West End

I visited the Jones Beach Coast Station this morning before sunrise to check on the shorebird numbers and diversity - numbers are down considerably from Saturday so either many of the shorebirds have moved on their migration or just weren't at the sandbar yet this morning.  I saw Semi-palmated Sandpipers and Plovers, Sanderlings, Spotted Sandpiper, Terns, Comorants, Gulls, Great Blue Heron, Great Egrets as well as Red-Winged Blackbirds flying in decent numbers.
I headed over to the West End II lot to make a modest attempt to find the recently reported Baird's Sandpiper but the area is roped off as restricted so I respected the boundaries and didn't cross it.  There were Tree Swallows in the lot and at the Teddy Roosevelt path I saw Horned Larks and a young Mockingbird was charging at me so it was my cue to leave.

Great Blue Heron, Great Egret

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Jones Beach Coast Guard area

 I was at the Coast Guard area before sunrise to 6:30 AM this morning.  There were numerous amounts of shorebirds all over the sandbar and surrounding shorelines - it was actually overwhelming.
Most were Semi-Palmated Sandpipers - rest were Sanderlings, Short Billed Dowitchers, Ruddy Turnstones  -all in great numbers.  Other species included American Oystercatchers, Black Skimmers, Semi-Palmated Plover (1), Spotted Sandpiper (1, summer resident), Common and Least Terns, Common Loons (2, there were 4 a few days ago), one each of Black Crowned Night Heron, Great Egret and Snowy Egret.
I tried to find more uncommon types in the mixed flock but did find any.  I did find a tagged Semi-Palmated Sandpiper - blue tag with "UCH" on it.  It seemed to have a problem with one of  it's legs.

Coast Guard Sandbar
Short Billed Dowitchers, Ruddy Turnstones, Semipalmated Sandpipers
Oystercatchers and Sanderlings
Ruddy Turnstone and Semipalmated Sandpipers
Common Loon
 Per, this Semipalmated Sandpiper was banded January 29, 2013 at Coroa dos Ovos, Maranhao,  Brazil: -1.447344 -45.161111. It’s very exciting to have the first report for this bird since it was banded!

Massapequa Preserve

I went back to the preserve at the "dirt area" by the game fields to try to relocate the sandpiper I saw the other day. I didn't find it, but saw lots of Song Sparrows, a Mourning Dove with a lot of white on the tip ot it's tail, Blue Gray Gnatcatchers, and a Hummingbird.

Friday, July 25, 2014

recent sightings from Massapequa, Jones Beach Coast Guard Station, Massapequa Preserve

I didn't have my Canon camera on these occasions but wanted to note a few recent sightings especially with the recent reports of shorebirds not being seen in great numbers:  over the weekend I saw 3 Monk Parakeets fly over my yard (they were quite vocal).  On Wednesday I stopped at the Jones Beach Coast Guard Station - only additions were Ruddy Turnstones by the Coast Guard Station (on the pilings), Sanderlings sporting reddish heads, and 2 additional Common Loons (total 4). 

At the pond by the LIRR at Massapequa Preserve I saw a few Eastern Kingbirds, and adult Redwing Blackbirds feeding their young.  I checked on the Screech Owls on the north side of the preserve but could not find them - at the dirt field I spooked a peep into flight - it circled around a few times - I believe it was a Spotted Sandpiper.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sunrise to Sunset: Jamaica Bay to Dune Road, Hampons

I was out all day starting at Jamaica Bay and went out east to Dune Road stopping at several spots along the way.  Hghlights were:

Jamaica Bay East Pond: Black and Yellow Crowned Night Herons, Glossy Ibis, Black Skimmers
Jamaica Bay West Pond: immature Little Blue Heron
marsh west of West Pond trail: Tri-Colored Heron, Short Billed Dowitcher, Clapper Rail, Yellowlegs
Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area: Saltmarsh Sparrows
Cow Meadow Park: Muscovy
Jones Beach Coast Guard Marina/ sandbar: 2 Common Loons (nonbreeding plumage), Red Breasted Merganser, continuing female Greater Scaup, Gulled Billed Tern, Black Bellied Plover
Teddy Roosevelt Preserve by Zachs Bays: Marsh Wrens
Massapequa Preserve: Goldfinch, Hummingbirds
Connetquot State Park: Blue Gray Gnatcatcher
Captree Island ~100 Glossy Ibis
South Haven County Park: Domestic Goose
Dune Road: Short Billed Dowitchers, Black Skimmers

American Goldfinch

Common Tern

Laughing Gull

Wood Duck


Gulled Billed Tern

Black Bellied Plover

Red Tailed Hawk - banded

Great Egret

Marsh Wren

Mix of shorebirds off Dune Road


Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis 100+


Green Heron


Black Crowned Night Heron

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Crowned Night Heron

Mute Swan

Saltmarsh Sparrow

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

Common Loon and Great Scaup

Little Blue Heron

Tri-Colored Heron

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pictures are coming!

For a variety of reasons, I haven't been able to promptly update my blog with descriptions or photos recently.  The descriptions are now up to date - some of the more recent posts will soon have picture updates - got a few good ones coming.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Jones Beach West End, Lido Beach Preserve

Usually when I have time for birding besides the local Massapequa Preserve I head over to the Jones Beach Coast Guard Marina with the hopes of finding something unusual - I stopped by the other day and found the continuing female Greater Scaup along with two Common Loons (assuming female)  Walking around towards the sandbar I saw a few Black Skimmers, Short Billed Dowitchers and some sandpipers - not 100% of the ID but nothing rare.  Saw a Spotted Sandpiper which I'm speculating returns every year.  The recent usuals were there: Laughing Gulls, Common and Least terns.  As per the "new usual" I saw a Glossy Ibis flyover.

I decided to try my luck at Lido Beach Preserve since I've only briefly stopped there on just a few occasions - I saw some trails that lead out by the marsh so that sparked my interest. My target bird was a Little Blue Heron, but didn't see any - instead saw Great and Snowy Egrets, 4 Glossy Ibis - one immature, Least Sandpipers laying low in the fallen reeds, nesting Osprey and Willets.  Red Winged Blackbirds and Boat Winged Grackles were flying around and landing throughout the marsh.  Was nice to visit a "new" area but a word of caution - watch for ticks.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Trip to Ocean City, Maryland

Took a family trip to Ocean City Maryland for 4th of July - somehow my binoculars and birding camera card got accidentally packed in with the bathing suits and beach stuff  : )

The area had some impact from tropical storm Andrew but didn't affect our activites too much.  Like Long Island, saw lots of Laughing Gulls, but in an interesting twist, seemed to have more Boat Tailed Grackles - from trips to Florida and St Lucia, I'm assuming they're just more common south of New York.  When the weather wasn't ideal for the beach, we took a ride through Assateague Island so the kids could visit the nature center and see the wild horses.  Saw Laughing Gulls, Willets, and were treated to some Brown Pelicans flying over from the ocean.  Over the bridge I glanced at a dark heron type bird but wasn't in the interest of the visit to go back and check it out - maybe was my new target bird, a  Little Blue Heron, but we'll never know

During the ride from Staten Island to Ocean City, I saw numerous Turkey Vultures everywhere - interesting to see so many once off  Long Island.

Jones Beach West End, Tackapausha

Had some time to visit Jones Beach West End - usual suspects.  At Tackapausha I saw some of the Yellow Crowned Night Heron colony as well as a Common Tern coming in from the bay, taking a bath and resting in the reeds.  An Eastern Kingbird was flying around - seemed to be a preserve resident.