Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Avalon Park Preserve, Muttontown Preserve

I went to Avalon because there was a Bobwhite seen there the day before - I did not locate it.  Saw Baltimore Orioles, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warblers, House Wrens, the Comorant colony and a female Wood Duck with it's chicks.

I stopped at Muttontown Preserve to try to find a Kentucky Warbler that had been heard singing recently.  It thought I heard it as first but I can't be 100% sure.  I did hear Veery and Wood Thrush at least.

Wood Ducks

Friday, May 27, 2016

Jones Beach, Plumb Beach, Nickerson Beach: Roseate Tern

I started out at the Jones Beach Coast Guard Station - highlight was a Red Knot.  I went to Plumb Beach because a Nelson Sparrow was seen there and was the only report lifer seen recently.  I did not see it and came back to Nassau County.  On the way back I saw a report from Sy Schiff of a Roseate Tern at Nickerson Beach.  The reported bird had bands on both legs and a pink belly.  I did find a Roseate Tern on the east side of the colony with a Common Tern - it was not the same bird, but it was still a lifer so that's good enough for me.  : )  I also saw my FOS Black Skimmers.

Roseate Tern
Roseate Tern, Common Tern
Black Skimmers

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Jones Beach West End, Big Egg Marsh, Jamaica Bay, Massapequa: Summer Tanager

Along with Mike Z we looked around the west end for any late migrants - there were some Willow Flycatchers and Pewees, but the best find was a Summer Tanager that appeared for a short time.  I didn't get a good photo, but did see it well (it was right in front of us)

We checked out Big Egg Marsh since there were some good recent sightings there but perhaps because it was high tide, we just didn't find anything of interest.  We left and went to the west area/ "West Pond".  In the marsh we saw a Little Blue Heron and Gull Billed Tern - at the breach there were many Laughing Gulls feeding on new laid Horseshoe Crab eggs.  In the garden we saw Willow Flycatcher, Pewee, Black Throated Green Warbler and a Yellow Billed Cuckoo.

I stopped at Massapequa Preserve - not much going on except Red Eye and Warbling Vireos and a white Pigeon.

Summer Tanager
Laughing Gulls
Yellow Billed Cuckoo
Pigeon, Mallard

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Massapequa, Jones Beach West End

This morning I heard several and saw at least one Blackpoll in my neighborhood.

I took a ride through Jones Beach West End and the warbler numbers have bounced back.  Lots of Yellow Warblers, Redstarts, some Magnolias, single Chestnut Sided Warbler and a Wilson's Warbler.  Also saw flycatchers, a female Rose Breasted Grosbeak and a sparrow? that I'm not sure how to ID.  Most likely it was an Ipswich Savannah Sparrow.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Jones Beach Coast Guard

The number of warblers has drastically decreased but there was an estimated 250 Red Knots on the Coast Guard sandbar - also seen: Ruddy Turnstone and a banded Common Tern.

shorebird mix
Common Tern
shorebird mix

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Jones Beach West End: Willow Flycatcher

I had some time early Saturday morning so took a drive by West End - was obvious many of the warblers had moved on - I heard, but did not see Blackpolls.  I talked to 2 expert birders who said the same but heard a Willow Flycatcher.  I drove back to the spot and found it!

Willow Flycatcher

Friday, May 20, 2016


For the last 2 days I've been hearing a bird that I knew was unusual for my neighborhood.  I checked the oak tree across the street where I recently saw a Northern Parula and Black and White Warbler.  The mystery bird turned out to be a Blackpoll!  Later in the day a Barn Swallow flew overhead - great backyard birds.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Prospect Park: Bicknell's Thrush

There were reports of a Bicknell's Thrush at the "peninsula" at Prsopect Park so I figured it was a good chance to get a hard to find lifer.  I went with my friend Mike and searched the area the bird was reported.  It was challenging trying to sort through the Grey Cheeked Thrushes that were also there but one bird in particular seemed to stand out.  We were able to confirm the bird was our target bird even though it didn't sing from a report of ebird from another birder who heard it sing.  We were able to match up our photos to his because of a "mark" under the bird's right eye - it has been suggested it might actually be a tick.

Along the way we saw 2 Canada Warblers, Magnolia Warblers, lots of Redstarts and Blackpolls, Monk Parakeets, and a lingering Ruddy Duck.  I got a good luck of a Wilson's Warbler.  We tried to find 2 reported Kentucky Warblers without success.  We intended to find a reported Mourning Warbler but didn't have time. 

I stopped by Jones Beach West End where I only found a Yellow Warbler and a House Finch with an orange-ish head.

Bicknell's Thrush
Ruddy Duck
House Finches

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Southard's Pond, Uplands Farm Sanctuary: Olive Sided Flycatcher

I saw another report of the Olive Sided Flycatcher at Southard's Pond but did not find it.  A nice consolation were a Yellow and Black Billed Cuckoo in the same tree - I finally got the decent views I wanted for a long time.
I went to Uplands Farm because another Olive Sided had been reported on ebird the day before.  I did not see it where it had been reported but lucked out and found it in the main field!  Also saw a probable Orchard Oriole - could not get a photo but the orange seemed the color of a Robin, rather than a bright Baltimore Orange.

Yellow Billed Cuckoo (calling)
Black Billed Cuckoo
both cuckoos
Olive Sided Flycatcher

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Jones Beach West End, Southard's Pond: Wilson's Warbler

Jones Beach was just like yesterday - saw the same exact birds plus a second Blackburnian female and a lifer Wilson's Warbler - did not get a photo and was only a brief glimpse, but I did see the black cap - also got to hear it sing.  I saw a report of a Olive Sided Flycatcher at Southard's Pond but could not find it.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Jones Beach West End: Bay Breasted Warbler

I had my son with me and it was too windy for him to be out so I decided to drive around the west end slowly looking for birds.  Lots of warblers were out especially Magnolias.  Other birders ointed me to a female Blackburnian and lifer Bay Breasted.  Also seen were Yellow, Common Yellowthroat and Prairie.

Prairie, Magnolia
Common Yellowthroat
Bay Breasted
Bay Breasted

Friday, May 13, 2016

Massapequa Preserve

I stopped at the north end of the preserve and around the "Doris Place" pond - did not see anything unusual: highlights were Warbling Vireos, Red Eye Vireo, Yellow Warbler, and Great Egret.

At home I heard and saw a female Rose Breasted Grosbeak across the street.

Great Egret

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Massapequa Preserve

Was by the sw corner of Massapequa Lake this morning and saw a Blackburnian Warbler.  There was a report of a White Winged Dove and Bay Breasted Warbler at Jones Beach so I rsuhed over there but they were not refound.  Went back to Massapequa Preserve but this time by Pittsburgh Ave. and saw the typical birds for this spot: Osprey, lots of Baltimore Orioles and Yellow Warblers, Black and White Warbler, Northern Parula, Warbling Vireo, Red Eye Vireo.  Heard but did not see a Black Billed Cuckoo.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area, Hempstead Lake, Massapequa, Stillwell Woods

I decided to check out Oceanside if only to see a reported Tri-Colored Heron that had been reported for a few days of the ever-elusive Clapper Rails that are "rumored" to live there - I saw neither but did see a Saltmarsh Sparrow, Yellow Crowned Night Herons, Willets, Yellowlegs, Glossy Ibis, Semipalmated Plover, Least Sandpiper and my FOS Green Heron.

I heard there was a Black Billed Cuckoo at HLSP but I couldn't locate it - my consolation prizes were a great looking Indigo Bunting and Redstart.

Across the street from my house I heard and saw a Northern Parula and saw 2 Black and White Warblers.

There was a report of both cuckoos and about 15 Bobolinks at Stillwell Woods in Syosset - I went there later in the day and was able to find some Bobolinks - about 7 at least.  Also heard a few Wood Thrushes.

Saltmarsh Sparrow
Yellow Crowned Night Heron
Indigo Bunting
Northern Parula

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Jones Beach, Hempstead Lake, Valley Stream, Heckscher State Parks: Black Throated Green Warbler

Started out at Jones Beach West End and the Coast Guard Station - besides expected shorebirds for May, 2 Short Billed Dowitchers, Common Yellowthroat, Towhees and Brown Thrashers, there wasn't much action.  I got a text from Rob P that Valley Stream had a good amount of my "nemesis bird" the Black Throated Green Warbler.  Not a lifer for me since I've briefly saw on last year but it always bothered me that I didn't get a great look at it.  When I arrived Rob P got me a Black Throated Green Warbler high up but I got good looks at it - it was actually then when I realized that I can take photos of birds high up that aren't just silhouettes if I use my manual setting.  Spent some time at Valley Stream and then checked out Hempstead Lake where I found some more Black Throated Greens on my own.  Between these 2 spots I also saw: Baltimore Orioles, Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Warbling Vireos, Solitary and Spotted Sandpipers, a great looking Indigo Bunting, House Wren, Ruby Crowned Kinglet, Great Crested Flycatcher, Northern Parula, Black Throated Blue, Yellow Rumped, Ovenbird, Magnolia (FOS), Yellow, Black and White, Prairie, Redstart, and heard a Blackpoll in the same spot where I saw one the day before.

I went to Heckscher Park because a Bobwhite was seen the day before - didn't find it.  Since I was in the area I stopped by Timber Point Marina and was pleasantly surprised to see about 12 Short Billed Dowitchers, breeding pluamge Dunlins as well as Willett and Yellowlegs.  On the way back, I checked out Captree Island where I saw Yellowlegs, Willett, and a group of about 20 something Glossy Ibis.

Black Throated Green
Black Throated Green
Prairie Warbler
Rose Breasted Grosbeak
Tree Swallow
Short Billed Dowitchers
Glossy Ibis
Black Throated Blue

Monday, May 9, 2016

Hempstead and Valley Stream State Parks: Blackpoll

There was a major Spring migration fallout yesterday so I made sure I got out to look around if only for a few hours.  My first bird of the day was a Baltimore Oriole in my neighborhood so I figured I was off to a good start.  When I was at Hempstead Lake State Park I was a bit disappointed - only bird of note was a Great Crested Flycatcher.  A friend of mine was at Valley Stream where he saw 3 Yellow Billed Cuckoos and my "nemesis bird" the Black Throated Green Warbler.  I saw one last year but was only a quick glimpse.  I headed over to Valley Stream where I was again disappointed - didn't see much at first except for another Great Crested Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Northern Waterthrush, Hermit Thrush and a bunch of Yellow Rumped Warblers.  My luck changed as I was leaving when I found a Scarlett Tanager, Wood Thrush (heard also), Northern Parula and a lifer Blackpoll - all by the playground where my son was enjoying the nice day.

Baltimore Oriole (Massapequa)
Canada Geese
Scarlett Tanager
Wood Thrush
American Goldfinch
Blackpoll on bottom left?