Monday, August 31, 2015

Jones Beach West End, Lido Preserve, Hempstead Lake State Park: Buff Breasted Sandpiper, Black Throated Green Warbler

Started out at the weedy area at the Jones Beach Coast Guard area - highlight was a male American Redstart.  Lido Preserve wasn't noteworthy.  I met Michael Zito at Hempstead Lake State Park to check out warblers - now that was noreworthy...had lots of Black Throated Blues, juvenile Chestnut Sided, Redstarts and a lifer Black Throated Green.  Also saw a Hummingbird, Kingfisher and Red Eyed Vireos.

Long story short, later on I saw a report of 2 Buff Breated Sandpipers at the "reverse J pond" at Jones Beach West End - another lifer for the day.

American Redstart female
Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut Sided Warbler juvenile
Buff Breasted Sandpiper
Buff Breasted Sandpiper
Buff Breasted Sandpiper
Buff Breasted Sandpiper

Friday, August 28, 2015

South and North Shores: Clay Colored Sparrow

I started out looking for a previously reported Lark Sparrow at Robert Moses Field 2 but no luck.  I decided not to waste any more time and went to my favorite spot at the Jones Beach Coast Guard area.  There wasn't much going on at the sandbar so focused on the weedy spot and the median.  Highlight was a Blue Winged Warbler.  I walked the median without much excitement and then decided to look in the area north of the median zig-zagging through the small pine trees - I was rewarded with an unexpected daytime sighting of a Common Nighthawk - got killer views, but a photo that didn't do it any justice.  I was later joined by Michael Zito where we added Phoebes and Pewees to the list.

The North Shore was very unproductive - Cold Spring Harbor, Muttontown Preserve and Sunken Meadow - was lucky to get a White Eyed Vireo and Black and White Warbler at Sunken Meadow.

I headed back to the south shore and tried my luck at Gardiners County Park and Southards Park Pond without much success either.  I saw a report of a Clay Colored Sparrow at Captree State Park and was able to see it at the edge of the parking lot (lifer).  A stop at at Captree Island produced Great White Egrets, a few Little Blue Herons and Yellowlegs.  A quick stop at the north end of Massapequa Preserve was nice but not noteworthy.

Towhee juveniles
Baltimore Oriole female
Prairie Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Common Nighthawk
Eastern Wood Pewee
unknown - assuming juvenile
Blue Headed Vireo
Clay Colored Sparrow

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Jones Beach West End, Jamaica Bay East Pond: Prairie Warbler, PECTORAL SANDPIPER, Black Tern

I started the morning with a walk at Jones Beach West End on the ocean side - I walked from the SW corner of the West End 2 lot down to the jetty and up along the inlet.  On the shore, there were hundreds of Sanderlings and Common Terns as well as a Least Sandpiper and Short Billed Dowitcher.  A Peregrine Falcon was sitting on the beach and then chased the Sanderlings.  A few Ruddy Turnstones were along the inlet on the rocks.

I checked out the Coast Guard area where I saw another birder by the brush area - I went over and saw lots of warblers darting between the shrubbery - Magnolias, female Redstarts, Common Yellowthroat females, Yellow, and lifer Prairie Warblers.

I proceeded to Jamaica Bay East Pond to try for my target "nemesis bird", the Pectoral Sandpiper.  Overall number of shorebirds were very low, however there were some good ones in there... but you had to work hard to find them.  Highlights were some Short Billed Dowitchers and 2 juvenile Black Terns (lifers) on the North End.  After trudging through the mud, I had enough of Jamaica Bay and headed back to the car, but then I saw a report of a Red Necked Phalarope on the south end.  I rushed over, and walked up from the south end - no Red Necked Phalarope in sight.  I did see around 3 Western Sandpipers, a few Semi and Leasts, a Brant and Pied Billed Grebe.  Feeling somewhat disappointed I walked back out - right before I got out of the pond I spotted a distinctive sandpiper - I knew right away it was my lifer Pectoral!  Got killer views of it feeding with a Lesser Yellowlegs and Least Sandpiper - mission accomplished!  Also visited Nickerson Beach and Seaman's Neck Park.

shorebird mix
Short Billed Dowitcher
Least Sandpiper
Prairie Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Black Scoter
Red Knots, Black Bellied Plover
Ruddy Turnstone
Pectoral Sandpiper, Semi-Palmated Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs
Pectoral Sandpiper, Semi-Palmated Sandpiper
Black Terns juvenile
Western Sandpiper
Eastern Kingbird
Semi-Palmated Sandpiper and Plover
Black Skimmers
Black Skimmers
Common Terns
Black Skimmers
Black Skimmers
Monk Parakeet

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jones Beach Coast Guard sandbar/ West End 2

For the past 2 days I visited the sandbar early in the morning - shorebird numbers have definitely picked up - most of the sandbar was covered with shorebirds: Semi Palmated Plovers were abundant yesterday, both days had a good amount of Black Bellied Plovers - the "usual suspects" were also present.  Today, there were a few Red Knots as well.  Nothing noteworthy in the dried ponds at West End 2 - will have to check at high tide another day.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Greenport, North Fork

Stayed in Greenport for a weekend getaway - was right on the beach on Long Island Sound.  Didn't see much  - Comorants, Herring and Black Backed Gulls, Egrets, Ospreys, a few Least Terns.  Saw one sandpiper but could not ID it. Songbirds included Wrens, Robins, Goldfinch, Catbirds.  Highlight was a Ringed Billed Gull.  The sod farms along the way were empty.

Herring Gull taking a dip in the pool

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Jones Beach Coast Guard area, Jones Beach West End: Baird's Sandpiper Part 2

Very low tide this morning - just the usual shorebirds: Semi-Palmated Plovers and Sandpipers, a few Black Skimmers - a lot of juvenile terns on the sandbar.  Highlights were a juvenile Night Heron, Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, and a dozen Great Egrets that flew in as a group.  Found some tracks by the grass which I assume are from the elusive but present Clapper Rails.

I returned shortly before sunset to look for shorebirds especially the Baird's Sandpiper in the dried up ponds at the West End - saw mostly Least Sandpipers, Semi-Palmated Plovers, a few Killdeer, and  I was able to locate the Baird's again.  I took a brief walk around Short Beach where it was low tide again -  not many shorebirds in numbers and variety - highlights were juvenile Night Herons, some Black Skimmers, Willetts, Yellowlegs and I believe a single Short Billed Dowitcher. (low light)  I think a trip to Jamaica Bay East Pond might be in order soon  : )

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Jones Beach West End: Baird's Sandpiper

Following reports of a Baird's Sandpiper over the last few days, I headed over to Jones Beach West End around sunrise.  At first I was doubtful I would find it since a Northern Harrier was flying over the ponds.  I went into the dried up "reverse J" pond and found that the vegetation had grown considerably since my last visit.
At first I didn't see any shorebirds, but then spotted a group of about a dozen.  One look through my Vortex bins and it was obvious I was looking at the Baird's among a group of Least Sandpipers- the long tail was unmistakable.  Even though the Baird's was on the move, I was able to get some great views.

Baird's Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Jones Beach Coast Guard Station

Went before sunset  - was high tide and just the usual suspects were present - Semi Palmated Sandpipers and Plovers, 2 Short Billed Dowitchers and Ruddy Turnstone.  A juvi Night Heron flew over but couldn't get the ID.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Jones Beach Coast Guard Sandbar/ Short Beach: Black Bellied Plovers

Stopped by for about a half hour before work - walked around Short Beach and onto the sandbar. Nothing rare but there was a noticeable increase in Black Bellied Plovers.  There were mostly Oystercatchers, along  with Semi Palmated Sandpipers and Plovers, Sanderlings, Ruddy Turnstones, Spotted Sandpipers, singles of Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Black Skimmer and Short Billed Dowitcher.

Shorebird mix
Black Skimmer
Great Egret
Shorebird mix
Shorebird mix