Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Massapequa Preserve

I stopped by the preserve for a little while and walked in the woods near the Walker Street lot- saw a family of 4 Great Crested Flycatchers, a Red Eye Vireo, and a Hummingbird above the stream.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Jones Beach West End

I checked out the west end around the median and thought I was seeing/ hearing Acadian Flycatchers at first but they were Willow Flycatchers and I believe I saw 4 of them. (they were moving around a lot). I came back later in the morning to see what was in the ponds- there was a sandpiper that stood out from the rest because it was plumper and had a reddish tinge to it.  We thought it could be a Western but another birder said it was a White Rumped (from Whats This Bird). I saw the continuing Pectoral again so I was happy about that.  Not much going on at the Coast Guard area except Sanderlings and 4 continuing Black Scoters.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Jones Beach West End

There was a report by a NYC birder of a Pectoral Sandpiper and possible calling from a Least Bittern.  I checked out the ponds where the birds were reported and found a previously reported Stilt Sandpiper and finally located the Pectoral.  No sign of a Least Bittern.  Also saw Short Billed Dowitchers, the usual shorebirds as well as an unidentified flycatcher - have to assume it was a Willow even though an Acadian was also reported recently.

Pectoral Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
Short Billed Dowitchers

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Shirley Marina

I had a short amount of time to check out this spot - I saw a few rowdy Royal Terns over the water by the boat ramp.  Out on the marsh I saw a large concentration of big shorebirds: Egrets, Great Blue Heron, Glossy Ibis and Little Blue Heron.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Caumsett State Park

There were recent reports of a first summer King Eider recently - I tried to find it but it just wasn't there anymore.  Birds I saw included Yellow Warbler, House Finch, Osprey and Swifts.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


I was on the way to the fireworks show at Brady Park at dusk and saw several Black Skimmers in the creek to the east of the park - also a Great Egret was there.  Might be worth checking this spot out again.  To be continued...

Monday, July 11, 2016

Edwin B Forsythe Refuge (Part 2), Atlantic County Park, Estell Manor, New Jersey: Ruff, Prothonotary Warbler, Whip Poor Whil

So I just had to go back to New Jersey - I wanted my friend Mike (the snouty one) to have a chance to see the Red Necked Phalarope and figured it's easier if I showed him where I saw it/ her the day before.  Unfortunately, we did not see the phalarope but had many great consolation prizes.  We saw many of the same birds I saw the day before - Caspian Tern, Whimbrel, Gull Billed Terns, Short Billed Dowitchers, Clapper Rails and Willets.  The Willets threw us off a bit because they seemed to behave differently than what we normally observe.

We stopped at a shrubby/ grassy area that led to a pond - we didn't see much in the pond but around in the vegetation saw a Blue Grosbeak and Orchard Orioles.  We went on a wooded path near the visitor center where we saw Indigo Bunting, Marsh Wrens and a flycatcher which we think is either a Willow or Alder. (most likely Willow since Alders summer further north).  The area around the nature center had Purple Martin nests.

We drove around the path a few more times stopping at the spot where the Phalarope was seen, but instead saw a shorebird - after some careful viewing we determined it was a Ruff!

My friend wanted to check Atlantic City Park because he had a hunch there might be some breeding Prothonotary Warblers based on some not to recent ebird reports.  We also looked around for reported Red Headed Woodpeckers.  We found Carolina Chickadees, Eastern Bluebirds, flycatchers, Yellow Billed Cuckoos, Yellowthroated Warbler, Chipping Sparrows and an unusually yellow Pine Warbler.  Before it got too dark we checked out a path that looked like ideal Prothonotary habitat and we were right - a Prothonotary appeared.  Later on we heard a few Whip Poor Whils and one flew towards us - almost landing on us. 

A great day - one of my best and most memorable.

Marsh Wren
Blue Grosbeak
Orchard Oriole
Gull Billed Terns
Caspian Tern
Carolina Chickadee
Yellowthroated Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler (bad photo)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Edwin B Forsythe Refuge, New Jersey: Red Necked Phalarope

I saw reports for a while of a continuing Red Necked Phalarope in New Jersey - I had the chance to take a day trip so figured I would go to NJ instead of back to the Adirondacks mostly because I didn't want to make the 6 hour trip again.  Upon arriving I was stunned at the size of the location - it was very impressive to say the least.  Almost immediately I saw a Whimbrel, followed by a Caspian Tern, Gull Billed Terns,  a pair of cooperative Clapper Rails, and lots of Forster's Terns.  I drove around the refuge and found another birder who had the Red Necked Phalarope in his sights. I got great views of a great lifer!  Also saw Short Billed Dowitchers and a Stilt Sandpiper.

Red Necked Phalarope
Short Billed Dowitchers, Red Necked Phalarope
Clapper Rails
Stilt Sandpiper, Red Necked Phalarope

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Nickerson Beach, Jones Beach West End

I checked out Nickerson Beach for some uncommon terns but didn't see any.  I tired the J-pond at Jones Beach West End but only found Yellowlegs.  A sea watch at West End 2 didn't produce anything either.  The only thing I noticed were Least Terns nesting at both beaches.

Least Tern

Friday, July 8, 2016


Typical birds for this location icluding Forster's Tern, Glossy Ibis, 7 Great Blue Herons and a banded Saltmarsh Sparrow trapped in a net.

Saltmarsh Sparrow

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Adirondacks Part 2: Black Backed Woodpeckers, Least Flycatcher

So I went back to the Adirondacks for my nemesis bird, the Gray Jay.  I've been told by many birders that it shouldn't be any trouble finding them -well, long story short, I struck out again.  I was by Sabattis Bog and Bloomingdale Bog where they've been seen but apparently not at the right spot.  So I guess I'll just have to make another trip up there one day - would also be nice to see Boreal Chickadees.  I did see some nice consolation birds so I didn't leave unsatisfied.  Saw lifer Black Backed Woodpeckers and a Least Flycatcher.  Other nice birds were a bunch of Blackburnian Warblers in one tree, a Cuckoo sp, Spruce Grouse, Purple Finch, Chestnut Sided Warblers, Northern Harrier, and a group of rowdy Ravens.

Purple Fiinch female
bad shot of a Least Flycatcher
Ruffed Grouse
Black Backed Woodpecker

Friday, July 1, 2016

Jones Beach, Jamaica Bay East Pond

I started the day at Jones Beach West End - saw a Black Skimmer by the sandbar, a baby Cowbird harassing a "mother" Song Sparrow for food and a flycatcher - I'm assuming a Pewee.

I went to Jamaica Bay East Pond where a on/ off continuing Ruff was reported - got there and the Ruff had already left.  The expected birds were present at the East Pond and Big John's Pond.  I tried looking for the continuing Acadian Flycatcher but no luck either.  Both of these birds have eluded me for a while...to be continued...