Saturday, September 26, 2015

SPECIAL POST- Upstate New York: Glen Spey, Forestburgh, Sullivan County

This is considered a special post since it's outside Long Island and the location is personal to me because my Grandparents retired up in Glen Spey.  My brother and I have been planning on returning to visit the area for years and long story short have finally made it.

We visited Mohican Lake in Glen Spey first - beautiful lake a few blocks from my Grandparents' house - a lot of memories there.  At first, the lake and area around it seemed lacking in birds, but little by little they "appeared": Great Blue Heron hiding in plain sight, Goldfinches, Flickers, Chickadees, Downy? Woodpecker, Red Bellied Woodpecker, Yellow Rumped Warblers, Robins, Mourning Doves and several Hermit Thrushes by the stream.

Next stop was Mongaup Reservoir (we called it Echo Lake or Forestburgh Lake)...I told my brother Billy that it's possible we may see some Bald Eagles there...sure enough, we saw an adult fly over as soon as we got there.  We tallied about 4-5 total as we went around the lake during the day.  Also seen were Turkey Vultures, a smaller falcon or hawk and possible Raven soaring with an Eagle.  A surprising sighting was my FOS Junco!

Driving between Mohican Lake and Mongaup Reservoir we saw a bunch of Turkeys along the road.  Stopping at Hawk's Nest and other spots on Route 97 (up to Narrowsburgh) we didn't see any more Bald Eagles, but did see some Canada Geese.

It's not Long Island where we have lots of shorebirds etc, but definitely a beautiful place to be and relax.  I included a few "scenic" pics for nostalgic reasons.

Mohican Lake, Glen Spey
Great Blue Heron, Mohican Lake
me at Mohican Lake
Flicker, Glen Spey
Junco, Mongaup Reservoir
Bald Eagle, Mongaup Reservoir
Mongaup Reservoir
Mongaup Reservoir
Mongaup Reservoir - signs posted along the lake
Mongaup Reservoir - leading to the dam
Bald Eagle, Mongaup Reservoir
Bald Eagle, Mongaup Reservoir
Bald Eagle, Mongaup Reservoir
Mongaup Reservoir - leading to the dam
Hermit? Thrush
Wooly Bear that "attacked" my brother
Bald Eagle, Mongaup Reservoir
Mongaup Reservoir Bald Eagle sign
Mongaup Reservoir - another photo leading to the dam
Hawk's Nest, Delaware River, outside Port Jervis
Canada Geese, Delaware River, outside Port Jervis
seen from Hawk's Nest, Delaware River, outside Port Jervis

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Robert Moses, Jones Beach West End: Dickcissel

I started the day looking for a continuing reported Dickcissel at Robert Moses, but didn't have any luck - there were however, a good number of Phoebes, Flickers and Song Sparrows.  Leaving Fire Island, I saw a large flock of terns in the bay.

I headed over to Jones Beach West End where there wasn't many shorebirds on the sandbar - there was at least some diversity including Oystercatchers, Black Skimmers, Black Bellied Plover, Semi Palmated Plover, Piping Plover, and Sanderlings.  A few Merlins were around also.  Most of the shorebirds seemed to be on the other side of the bay heading towards Point Lookout but were too far to ID except for a good sized flock of Great Egrets.  The ponds on the dunes were empty.

Right after leaving I saw a report of a Dickcissel by the Fisherman's path so I went back in the afternoon and was able to find it since other birders were on it.(lifer)   On the sandbar, some more Black Skimmers had arrived as well as 2 FOS Common Eiders.

Black Skimmers
Black Bellied Plover
Great Egrets
Common Eider
Semi Palmated and Piping Plovers

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Jones Beach West End: Blue Winged Teals, Black Scoters/ Bryant Park: Ovenbird

I checked out the Coast Guard Sandbar - just Oystercatchers, a quick look on the bay by the Commercial Fishing Spot had 2 Black Scoters.  The ponds didn't have much diversity this time - just one Yellowlegs, Canada Geese, Blue Winged Teals, Mallards and Black Ducks.  Not sure if some of the migrant birds moved on or if I just wasn't there long enough to get a decent look.  Also saw a Flicker on the median.

On the way to work I walked through Bryant Park and saw an Ovenbird and female Common Yellowthroat.

Black Scoters

Monday, September 14, 2015

Massapequa Preserve: Owl heard, not seen

I heard an owl hooting - coming from the preserve around 11pm - seemed to be on the move.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Jones Beach West End, Massapequa Preserve: Blue Winged Teals, Yellowlegs, Clay Colored Sparrow

I went to Jones Beach West End after seeing reports of Blue Winged Teal in the "new" ponds  - I "think" I've seen them before but never got a good photograph to document it.  On the way I  saw there were some shorebirds on the Coast Guard Sandbar so I stopped there first - lots of Oystercatchers, Black Skimmers and some Black Bellied Plover. I headed over to the ponds and parked at the West End 2 lot  - saw some gulls so I scanned them as I always do "just in case" - I was pleasantly surprised to see an adult Lesser Black Back Gull - I found out later on that the other were probably juveniles.  Once I got to the ponds I spotted what I thought were Blue Winged Teals.  Trying to get a better look, I spooked them into flying away.  Later on a few landed and I got some shots and also saw 2 female Green Winged Teal.  There were lots of Canada Geese and a surprising amount of Yellowlegs around the pond, a Short Billed Dowitcher, Black Black Bellied plover, as well as some smaller sandpipers - definitely Semi Palmated, perhaps some Least.

I went back to the Coast Guard Station sandbar where I met up with Paul ("GK") - he saw the same shorebirds I did as well as one Red Knot.  When we were leaving I spotted a sparrow that seemed unsual - turned out to be a Clay Colored Sparrow - got some good looks, but was too fast for a photo.  There was a Chat by the Coast Guard/ Fishermans path but I did not get to see it - saw Cedar Waxwings and a Pine Warbler while trying to find it. As I was driving along Ocean Parkway, I saw a few Merlin?  - one was chasing a flock of birds around.

Later on in the evening, I stopped at Massapequa Preserve  - most of the action was by the entrance along Pittsburgh Ave: Catbirds, Robins, Mourning Doves, Black and White Warbler, Warbling Vireo and I presume a Blue Headed Vireo.

Good day to be out - nice variety of migrants stopping by as well as winter residents coming back.

Black Skimmers, Black Bellied Plovers
Lesser Black Backed Gull
Lesser Black Backed Gull
ponds have water again
tagged Canada Goose
Blue Winged Teal
Green Winged Teals, Canada Goose, Semi Palmated Sandpipers
Green Winged Teal
Short Billed Dowitcher, Greater Yellowlegs

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Jones Beach Coast Guard Area, Timber Point, Seatuck

After having unexpected free time, I took a drive down to Jones Beach West End  the sandbar at Jones Beach was the worst I've seen in a long Black Bellied Plover and a handful of sandpipers scattered around Short Beach.  The consolation was a single Whimbrel circling around trying to land - there were people "camped out" on the north side of the sandbar so I think that scared it off.

Timber Point had a few sandpipers on the gold course and Sea Tuck had a few Yellowlegs (and lots of mosquitoes)

Met up with Michael Zito to help him find the Buff Breasted Sandpiper at the "reverse J pond".  Got some good views...then checked out the swale and ocean shore - nothing noteworthy but still had a good time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

EPCAL/ Calverton, South Shore: Blue Grosbeak, Grasshopper Sparrow

I thought it was a good idea to try birding in a new environment - namely the "prairies" at EPCAL/ Calverton.  It was nice to be in an open area,,,,on the east end of the property, I saw hundreds of Tree Swallows.  In the main area south of Rte 25 I saw lots of Chipping Sparrows, Horned Lark, a Red Tailed Hawk and Northern Harrier.  Some of the better action was actually in the area north of Rte 25 at a section of eye level high shrubs - saw Baltimore Orioles and a lifer Blue Grosbeak.  On the way out I noticed a sparrow on top of a shrub - got a good look and was another lifer, a Grasshopper Sparrow.

I stopped at a nearby preserve that trails through the Pine Barrens - another new environment for me - highlight was an Ovenbird.  I was checking out the sod farms along the way - in a field being plowed I saw gulls and Killdeer and a Turkey Vulture overhead.

At Sans Souci Preserve, Sayville, I found a few warblers including a juvenile Blackburnian.  Stops along the Peconic, Sunken Meadow and Makamah Preserve were unproductive so I stopped again by Jones Beach West End to see the Buff Breasted Sandpipers - only saw one this time.

Tree Swallows
Red Tailed Hawk
Blue Grosbeak
Baltimore Oriole female
Grasshopper Sparrow
Gulls, Killdeer
American Redstart
Blackburnian Warbler  - juvenile
Fish Crows
Common Yellowthroat
Buff Breasted Sandpiper
Black Bellied Plover
Northern Waterthrush