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

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