Saturday, August 30, 2014

Massapequa Preserve

I stopped by the preserve - I usually go when I realize I haven't been there in a while and that it's only 2 blocks from my house - there were lots of Kingbirds and a "falcon" swooped down on them but there were too many mosquitoes biting so I high-tailed outta there.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Jones Beach Coast Guard Marina

I arrived at the marina area around sunrise today - the most notable sighting were a large (easily 100+) gathering of Oystercatchers.  Other birds seen were: Black Bellied Plovers, 3 Short Billed Dowitchers, ~7 Willets (I believe some if not all were Western), 2 immature Night Herons (could not determine type), 2 continuing Common Loons, Common Tern, Spotted Sandpiper (also Pigeons and House Sparrows.)  Would have been pleasant without the small annoying angry flies and mosquitoes.

I returned in the evening and to my dismay I found the sandbar occupied by boaters who docked near the sandbar breaking almost every NY State Park rule,  (hard to resist but I'll keep my other comments to myself)  A continuing male and female Black Scoter were by the Coast Guard dock.  I headed over to my "new spot" on Jones Inlet but that was occupied by fishermen.  Common Terns were in the inlet and I saw a few Semi-Palmated Sandpipers and Gulls on the shore.  In the distance I saw some sandpipers and Black Bellied Plovers further down the inlet.  I checked out the ponds in the West End dunes but only found one Mallard since there wasn't any shoreline near the reeds.

I went back to the Coast Guard area where within 5 minutes of the disruptive sand bar occupiers departing, a large group of Oystercatchers flew back onto the sandbar.  More shorebirds were seen including Black Skimmers, Great Egret, Night Heron juveniles, 2 Semi-Palmated Plovers and a lone Dunlin.

Semi Palmated Sandpiper
Semi Palmated Sandpiper
Semi Palmated Sandpiper
Shorebird mix

Black Back Gull

Black Back Gull
Ring Billed Gull

Ring Billed Gull
Laughing Gull?

Thursday, August 21, 2014


I saw 2 small birds flying together in front of my house yesterday - I heard the distinctive call of an American Goldfinch so I initially assumed they were 2 Goldfinches, but when they landed on the telephone wire, I could see that one was a Hummingbird.  It took off and landed a few times before the 2 birds went their separate ways.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Massapequa Preserve

I haven't been to the preserve in a while so decided to stop by yesterday (by the "Pittsburgh Ave pond") to see what might be new - most of the sightings were of the expected summer residents with an increase of the flocks of Grackles typical this time of the year.  There were many Song Sparrows and Goldfinches as well as Tree Swallows, Cardinals, Catbirds, Carolina Wrens (heard), House Sparrows, Mallards flying over, Redwinged Blackbird, 2 Mute Swans and a flycatcher (Pewee?).

Song Sparrow
Flycatcher (pewee?)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Jones Beach Coast Guard Marina

I was at the marina area from sunrise to about 7am this morning - there wasn't much activity on the sandbar but still enough for a pleasant visit.  Saw the continuing Loon and 2 Black Scoters, Herring, Black Backed and Laughing Gulls, Spotted Sandpipers (one caught a spearing type fish and was protecting it from a Herring Gull), Oystercatchers, Semi-palmated Sandpiper and Plovers, Black Bellied Plovers, a Great Egret and a Short Billed Dowitcher.  There was an increased number in Black Skimmers typical of this time of year.

Semi Palmated Plover
Short Billed Dowitcher
Spotted Sandpiper

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Jones Beach Coast Guard Marina

I was at the Coast Guard Marina from sunrise to 6:30am this morning - 2 Royal Terns were on the sandbar.  Also present were about 80 Oystercatchers, a dozen Black Bellied Plovers, Short Billed Dowitchers, the continuing female Greater Scaup, Common Loons, and Black Scoters.  While leaving I saw a Peregrine Falcon fly overhead.

Royal Terns, Oystercatchers, Black Bellied Plovers

Friday, August 8, 2014

Orient Point

Just a FYI that I found a tagged Herring Gull at Orient Point tag "E85" metal tag "185" with small writing that I can't make out yet.  Will report it and see what I can find out.  Other than that, not much going on there from 6 - 8pm.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Jones Beach Coast Guard Marina, Jones Inlet

I looked around the Coast Guard Marina and sandbar area for Shorebirds - the only new additions I saw were a Western Willet and a Piping Plover that didn't have a band around it's throat - it also seemed unusally white.  Other shorebirds include Black Skimmers, Sanderlings, Ruddy Turnstones, Semi Palmated Sandpipers and Plovers, Short Billed Dowitchers, Spotted Sandpiper as well as a continuing Common Loon and Black Scoter.

I walked over to Jones Inlet and found Ruddy Turnstones, a Black Bellied Plover and was surprised by the amount of Common and Least Terns on the sand along the inlet.

Black Skimmer - almost in focus
Willet, Short Billed Dowitchers, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderlings
Short Billed Dowitchers, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderlings
Ruddy Turnstone on Jones Inlet
Piping Plover
Black Bellied Plover on Jones Inlet
Terns on Jones Inlet

Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge

I took a trip over to the East Pond this morning to find the recently reported Avocet - found it feeding and putting on a territorial show for an approaching Snowy Egret.  I got sucked into the mud a little but I'm not complaining.

Least Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper

Friday, August 1, 2014

Jones Beach Coast Guard Marina

I went out around 6:00 AM this morning making Green Island my first stop - not much going on there except some Killdeer and a Black Crowned Night Heron.  I headed over to the Coast Guard area at the West End where I saw the 2 continuing Common Loons and 3 of the 4 Black Scoters I previously reported.  Around the sandbar were a Black Skimmer, Great Blue Heron, Great Egrets and a group of 10 Snowy Egrets (around 7 were flying together at one point).  Other shorebirds included 3 Spotted Sandpipers, Semi Palmated Sandpipers and Plovers and 1 Piping Plover.

While I was scanning the shoreline I noticed an unusual shorebird on the east side of the sandbar near the tall grass/ reeds.  My initial guess of juvenile Clapper Rail was confirmed.  Fighting the biting flies, I saw at least 3 juveniles (hard to determine exact number since they were coming in and out of the grass) and one adult.  I've seen a Clapper Rail one other time, but this was the first time I was able to observe them for a decent amount of time and get a photo.

Clapper Rail
Clapper Rail