Sunday, November 29, 2015

Wild Goose Chase (here we go again)

On Friday and Sunday I took a drive through Farmingdale and stopping at Belmont Lake looking for rare geese - there had been reports by Riverhead of Ross's (hunter got it), Cackling and Pink Footed and at Hook Pond, East Hampton of Tundra Swans and Greater White Fronted Geese.  I figured there was a good chance of finding some nearby but had no luck.  There was a report of Greater White Fronted Geese at Belmont Lake on Saturday so the chase begins.  Hopefully I'll see at least one more lifer goose this winter - same thing happened last year when I was chasing Greater White Fronted and a Barnacle - but I eventually did find them.

Hooded Merganser

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving - besides a turkey seen today, I went to the Massapequa Preserve with my son to find recently posted Great Horned Owls from Facebook page Long Island Wildlife.  It took some time, but I finally found one in the northern part of the preserve.

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge, East Pond: American White Pelicans

There has been reports of a White Pelican on the East Pond for a few days - right before I got over to the East Pond, there was a report of a second pelican.  From the north end, I got some decent views even though they were far away.  At one point they took off but returned back to the pond.

American White Pelican
American White Pelican
American White Pelican
American White Pelican
American White Pelican
American White Pelican
American White Pelican

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Venetian Shores, Lindenhurst: Cave Swallows

Following reports of Cave Swallows at Venetian Shores I headed over there as quickly as possible - I got there just in time and saw 2 or 3 of them.  I got a good view of one that was hovering directly overhead but didn't get a photo.  After about 10 minutes they disappeared.  I also saw the lingering few Black Skimmers.

Laughing Gulls, Ring Billed Gulls, Brant

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Jones Beach, Jones Beach West End

After seeing reports of anticipated Cave Swallows brought in by the western winds, I took a quick trip to Jones Beach - didn't find any in the short time I was there but saw 2 Great Blue Herons flying over Jones Beach West End.

Great Blue Herons

Friday, November 13, 2015


A very interesting day.

Started the day at Massapequa Preserve - highlights was the Screech Owl, Cedar Waxwings and 3? Eastern Bluebirds.  A larger hawk (Cooper's?) and a Merlin were also around.  I then went looking for rare waterfowl especially Cackling Geese in Farmingdale and Belmont Lake, but didn't find anything noteworthy.  I headed over to Santapogue Creek and Venetian Shores in Lindenhurst to look for recently reported Long Billed Dowitchers and lingering Black Skimmers.  After a search down the creek I found a Green Winged Teal and eventually found the Long Billed Dowitchers among a large group of Yellowlegs.  I also found the (juvenile) Black Skimmers but the highlight was a lifer juvenile Franklin's Gulll ponted out by another birder.  Little did I know it would be one of 5 lifer Franklin's Gulls for me that day - 2 more at Captree (intentionally flushed by another birder), and another 2 at Robert Moses.  The strong western winds brought these birds to Long Island and as far as I know, they were only seen today.

Other stops included Jones Beach West End, John F Kennedy Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary/ Tobay, Sunken Meadow, "Chalet Pond" Centerport, and Caumsett State Park.

the "grey one" is back
Greater Yellowlegs, Long Billed Dowitchers
Franklin's Gull, Black Skimmer
Franklin's Gull
Horned Larks, Black Bellied Plover
Franklin's Gull
Franklin's Gull
Horned Larks
American Robins
mostly Canada Geese, a few Bufflehead

Monday, November 9, 2015

Jones Beach/ Point Lookout, Cold Spring Harbor/ Lloyd Harbor

Started the day at Massapequa Preserve where I found the Wood Duck in the stream by Clark Street - a quick check at the Pittsburgh Avenue pond produced a FOS Bufflehead.

At Jones Beach Field 10 I found a few Boat Tailed Grackles - my target bird for this location.  At Jones Beach West End by the Coast Guard Station I saw Oystercatchers, Dunlin, Black Bellied Plover, Sanderling, Comorants, Brant, and 2 Black Scoters - I heard I just missed some Red Knots which was my target bird at this location.  The highlight was 2 Yellowlegs along Short Beach.  I tried to search for songbirds by the hedgerow but the mosquitoes were out in full force.

At Point Lookout the only highlight was a Common Loon and a seal.

I head to the North Shore where I stopped at St John's Pond, Cold Spring Harbor - found American Wigeons, Gadwall and Canada Geese on the lake.  Overhead was an Osprey, a few Red Tailed Hawks and a quick glimpse of a Turkey Vulture.

The best part of the day was at Uplands Farm Sanctuary where I saw at least 3 Eastern Bluebirds and a female Northern Harrier doing what Harriers do but also perching a few times posing for photos.  I still have no idea why my camera wasn't focusing on her but I won't get into that.  It was a treat to get great looks at a great bird.

Lloyd Neck Beach Club and Caumsett State Park was unproductive except for a large group of Buffleheads in the "marsh" by the entrance to Caumsett.

Wood Duck
Boat Tailed Grackle
Double Crested Comorant
Northern Harrier
Northern Harrier
Northern Harrier
Eastern Bluebird

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Jones Beach West End, Smith Point State Park

I took a quick drive through Jones Beach West End and stopped at the Coast Guard Station - only saw a few sparrows (Song) and Yellow Rumped Warblers.  The Coast Guard sandbar was covered with shorebirds and waterfowl- Oystercatchers, Comorants, Gulls, Dunlin, Sanderlings, Black Bellied Plovers (lots), Brant, and a few Forster's Terns.  There were also some Forster's Terns feeding in the bay as well as some scoters - I was able to ID a Black Scoter at least.

At Smith Point State Park, the lot hosted some gulls and around 10 Black Bellied Plovers.  I was surprised to also find 3 Semi-Palmated Plovers still around.

Black Bellied Plover, Dunlin, Forster's Terns
Black Bellied Plover