Monday, April 27, 2015

Late April Updates: South Shore Long Island

Normally I don't like to lump locations together but figured I would make a general post of the species seen as the Spring Migration begins to heat up.  I saw a few lifers - most notable for me were 3 Whimbrels - one of my target birds for 2015.  I also saw my lifer Cape May Warbler who at first was shy but then allowed for some decent shots.  Also worth mentioning was a partially leucistic Boat Tailed Grackle, but took off before I could get a picture.  The white was mostly concentrated on the back of the wings near the wingtips so made for a really stunning bird.  Other birds I've seen recently include (some already seen this season):
*FOS or somehow significant to me personally

Common Loon, Red Throated Loon, Gadwall, Greater Yellowlegs (one at Massapequa Preserve)*, Least Sandpiper, Great White Egret, Snowy Egret,Glossy Ibis, Laughing Gull*, Forester's Terns*, Double Crested Comorants (in large numbers), Bald Eagle (juvenile), Turkey Vulture (over Massapequa Preserve)*, Red Screech Owl (original #1 at Massapequa Preserve)*, Turkey, Yellow Rumped Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Eastern Bluebird, Common Grackle, among many others

Yellow Rumped Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Boat Tailed Grackle
Great White Egret
Tree Swallow
Glossy Ibis
Canada Goose
Eastern Bluebird
Great White Egret
Turkey Vulture
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Downy Woodpecker
Yellowlegs, Massapequa Preserve
Brant, Killdeer
Eastern Kingbird
juvenile Bald Eagle
Mallard pair

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Massapequa Preserve, Jones Beach West End

I spent about an hour Saturday morning at Massapequa Preserve - not much going on - a Ruby Crowned Kinglet, Goldfinches among the usuals, but a singing bird caught my attention - turned out to be House Wren - hard to get a photo but some patience paid off.

After seeing reports of a Western Tanager at Jones Beach West End on Sunday, I decided to try my luck, but couldn't find it.  Not much going on there either besides a few Common Loons near the Coast Guard Station.

House Wren

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bryant Park, NYC, Chuck-Will's Widow

After seeing a report of a "nightjar" on ABA seen by local NYC birder Gabriel Willow, I rushed over to Bryant Park at lunch.  There was a small group of birders gathered under it- if I didn't know, I might have assumed it was a pigeon.  It was determined to be a Chuck-Will's Widow.(another lifer)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Valley Stream and Connetquot State Parks, Massapequa Preserve - Yellow Throated Warbler

I got up around sunrise to find the recently reported Yellow Throated Warbler at Valley Stream State Park - didn't see it.  Consolation birds were a pair of Muscovy, Goldfinches, Towhee, Brown Creepers, FOS Towhee etc. and a Ruby Crowned Kinglet or two.

Feeling defeated, I tried my luck at Connetquot State Park where another was recently seen - 2 other birders were near it and I spotted it flying around in a tree.  Got a few good shots before it disappeared. (great looking warbler)  Also seen were Pine Warblers (quite jumpy), Yellow Rumped Warbler, and what could have been Bald Eagles in the distance.  On the lake were some Scaup with some Tree Swallows flying around.

Last stop of the day was Massapequa Preserve where I saw another Pine Warbler, FOS Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher along with the usual Redwing Blackbirds and Grackles.

Muscovy pair
American Goldfinch
Ruby Crowned Kinglet
Hairy Woodpecker
Brown Creeper
Yellow Throated Warbler
Yellow Throated Warbler
Yellow Throated Warbler
Pine Warbler
Tree Swallow (I think)
Blue Gray Gnatcatcher
Pine Warbler (Massapequa Preserve)

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Nice, but windy day - I was in my yard playing with the kids and saw something large flying overhead - looked up and was surprised to see 2 Turkey Vultures - they "drifted" northeast.  A little later, I saw an Osprey overhead.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Bryant Park, NYC

Quick walk through the park revealed a Hermit Thrush - likely my FOS migrant - I've seen Hermit Thrushes earlier in the year but they were overwintering.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Massapequa Preserve

I had some time this morning so took advantage of it and stopped at the preserve before going to work.  I was only there for less than 20 minutes but was better than nothing.  I checked out the Pittsburgh Ave pond - saw a nesting pair of Mute Swans, 2 Ospreys looking for breakfast, Wigeon, Mallards, Song Sparrows, Redwing Blackbirds, Gulls, Blue Jays, and Robins aka the new "usual suspects" for this time of the year.  It's cool to think that Ospreys are the usual suspects.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Bryant Park, NYC

Another American Woodcock sighting - south side of the lawn - resting.  Was seen around 2pm and then again around 6pm- moved from east to west between that time.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

While getting ready for Easter dinner and putting out my patio furniture, I saw a Merlin swoop down trying to get the songbirds.  It stopped on my neighbor's fence, but not long enough to get a photo.

There were also pastel colored eggs all over my yard.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Massapequa Preserve

After realizing that Jones Beach West End had zero visibility, I went to Massapequa Preserve starting at Linden Street heading south to the pond parellel to Doris Place and back.  Saw 2 or 3 American Woodcocks right away.  There were lots of Song Sparrows, Robins, a handful of Phoebes, and a Yellow Bellied Sapsucker and Fox Sparrow were nice to see.  The biggest surprise were the Golden Crowned Kinglets - they were by far the most numerous bird.  A conservative estimate was at least 150 in a 2 hour period.

Also saw my FOS Catbird, Chipping Sparrows, numerous Red Wing Blackbirds and Grackles.

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker
Wilson's Snipe
Golden Crowned Kinglet
Chipping Sparrows