Saturday, January 31, 2015

Massapequa Preserve

On Saturday, I checked out some of the ponds and streams at the Preserve - the temperature was in the teens and the birds looked like they were trying their best to stay warm.  I saw a report of a Muscovy hybird on Long Island Wildlife (FB page) and did connect with my target bird.  A group of ~ 6 Red Winged Blackbirds was a treat - giving hope that Spring might actually come.

Gulls, Comorant
Muscovy hybrid
Red Winged Blackbirds
Black Duck

Monday, January 26, 2015

Massapequa, Massapequa Preserve

Massapequa Preserve was relatively quiet on Sunday - a few American Wigeons, Hooded Mergansers, Mallards, a Great Blue Heron - only thing a little unusual was a Hermit Thrush.

At my house, there were some American Goldfinches at the feeders - the black and white back pattern was impressive up close.  While outside taking down the Christmas lights I heard a metallic "scratching noise" then saw a Sharp Shinned Hawk or a Merlin swooping down the street.  It must have been perched on my chimney cap or gutters.

American Goldfinch
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Massapequa - Backyard Birding

I was checking out the action at my feeder - always nice to see "something" outside my window - but this time I noticed what resembled a "house sparrow with a junco tail"  - not a hybrid, just an unusual specimen.  Also saw a Fox Sparrow which is always a treat.

House Sparrow female with aberrant tail feathers
Fox Sparrow

Massapequa Preserve

I went back to the preserve today to check out the Orange Crowned Warbler in particular.  When I went looking for it and the Nashville Warbler on a previous occasion I only "saw" the Nashville - it wasn't until I looked a photo that I realized I accidentally captured the Orange Crowned too - so long story short, I observed the OC this time so it actually counts as a "sighting".

Later on, I took my daughter to show her the red morph owl - always a good time looking at the owl and my daughter enjoyed the experience as well.

Red morph Screech Owl

Red morph Screech Owl
Red morph Screech Owl

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Long Island - Early January Updates

Normally each time I post I'll list the locations but since I was all over Long Island I'll make a generalization showing the recent sightings.  Highlights for me were some "lifers" including American Bittern, Nashville and Orange Crowned Warblers, Eurasian Teal and Blue morph Snow Goose.  I got a photo of the Barnacle Goose from the side.  Some things not photographed but worth mentioning were 2 Hermit Thrushes seen and chirping to each other, Great Horned and Screech Owls were heard.  Many duck species were seen including a pair of Mergansers.

Snow Buntings
Glaucous Gull
Boat Tailed Grackle - one of 2 seen at Jones Beach Field 10
Eurasian Teal, Green Winged Teal
Snow Goose, Blue Morph, Canada Geese
Barnacle Goose
American Bittern
Common Eider
Purple Sandpipers
Red Breasted Merganser
Mute Swan
Common Eiders
Greater White Fronted Geese
Bald Eagle - juvenile
Nashville Warbler (left), Orange Crowned Warbler (right)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Jones Beach Field 10, West End...first 2015 lifer...Black Headed Gull

After seeing reports for a few days of a Black Headed Gull, I headed down to Jones Beach Field 10 where a few other birders pointed it out to me - it circled around the bay and landed in the water long enough for me to get a decent shot.  I also stopped by the Coast Guard Marina where the highlights were a good number of Bonaparte Gulls.

Black Headed Gull
Bonaparte Gulls

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Massapequa Preserve

I started the new year off birding Massapequa Preserve - beautiful but cold morning and lots of birds were out.  My first photograph for 2015 was a Grackle - common birds were abundant in the preserve  - about 25 species in the 90 minutes I was there.  Highlights were around a hundred Robins north of the Doris Place pond, 3 woodpecker species and a Hermit Thrush.

Hermit Thrush
Hairy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Mallard and Wigeon
Wigeon pair

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Looking back on 2014 it was a very lucky year for me with 62 "lifers" which brings my life list to 240 species seen in the United States.  I tried to pick a top 5 list but it was difficult for me to pick just 5.  So this is my "Unoffcial top 5 list" for 2014:

5. Northern Wheatear
4. Cassin's and Couch's Kingbirds
3. Long Billed Dowitcher
2. Rusty Blackbird
1. Marbled Godwit

I will also make a special note about the Red and Grey Screech Owls I've seen at Massapequa Preserve.  I've seen the Grey one recently, but the Red one has been MIA for some time.

Looking ahead to 2015, I'm going to make the same prediction I made last year and say that I'll see 10 new species in the upcoming year.  I'm not going to bet whether I reach this goal because I'm superstitous about these sort of things.  My target birds for the year are American Bittern, Pectoral Sandpiper, Whimbrel, and Bicknell's Thrush.