Saturday, January 28, 2017

St Charles, Farmingdale, Gibbs Pond

I stopped by St Charles to see if the continuing Barnacle Goose or any other geese were there...I found the Barnacle Goose and was able to get a photo of it on land.  I also stopped by Gibbs Pond and saw a Kingfisher and some domestic type Mallards.  I think one was a Golden type.

Barnacle Goose

Friday, January 27, 2017

Argyle Lake, Southard's Pond, Ocean Parkway

Not the best day - highlights were a juvenile Bald Eagle by Southard's Pond and a Grey Ghost by Oak Beach.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Avon Lake, Amityville

I wanted to check out Avon Lake for a while so got a chance today...was surprised to see 2 Canvasbacks and about 30 Redheads.  Best thing I found was a good plumaged Ruddy Duck.

mix of ducks
Canvasback, Redhead
Ruddy Duck

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Wainscott, Hampton Bays, Bellport, Farmingdale

There were reports of a Sandhill Crane in Wainscott,,,,I only saw a Sandhill Crane once in the Adirondacks and it was rather distant so I tried my luck to get a closer look.  I saw the crane next to a pond across a wet field so got a closer look without disturbing it.  I did spook up a Wilson's Snipe and some Meadowlarks.  On the way home, I stopped at Shinnecock Inlet, Dune Road, Bellport (saw an Iceland Gull) and St Charles in Farmingdale (saw a Ross's Goose).

Sandhill Crane
Herring Gulls
Iceland Gull
gulls at the Bellport dump
Ross's Goose

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Atlantic Ocean: Common Murre, Black Legged Kittiwake, Dovekie, Northern Fulmar, Atlantic Puffin

With special thanks to Mike Snouty, I was able to go on the Paulagic Tour leaving from Brooklyn on the Brooklyn VI.  Snouty picked me up at 3:30am and the boat left the dock promptly at 5am.  It went out from Brooklyn heading southeast and went out 50-60 miles from shore.  We spent some time out that far and headed back to about 25 miles offshore to find more birds.  Lifers seen were Common Murre, Black Legged Kittiwake, Dovekie, Northern Fulmar, and Atlantic Puffin.  Also saw Razorbill, Bonaparte's Gull, Gannett, Herring Gull, Great Black Backed Gull and a Lesser Black Backed Gull which I missed since I assumed it was a juvenile instead of the adult everyone else saw.  I also got to see Common Dolphins and Harbor Porpoises.

chumming to attract gulls and other seabirds
"the gulls"
Common Murre
Kittiwake (adult)
Kittiwake (juvenile)
Kittiwakes (adult and juvenile)
Northern Fulmar

Friday, January 13, 2017

Sicily: Yellow Legged Gulls

I went through some of my photos from some old trips to see if I had an incidental bird photos.  I did come across one of some Yellow Legged Gulls from Castellammare del Golfo, Trapani, Sicily from several years ago.

Yellow Legged Gulls

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Jones Beach West End

After all the excitement yesterday, I met up with Snouty at Jones Beach West End - no owl sightings but we did see a continuing Orange Crowned Warbler, American Tree Sparrow and a Great Comorant.

Orange Crowned Warbler
Great Comorant

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Northern Saw-whet Owl

I started the day with Snouty looking for a Greater White Fronted Goose that had been reported at Elda Lake in Babylon, then checked out belmont Park, and the cemetary/ golf course in Farmingdale.  Only found a Snow Goose in Farmingdale, then heard through the grape vine that a Saw-whet Owl was seen at Jones Beach West End.  Thinking about all the time Snouty and spent looking for one, we hurried down to Jones Beach and saw some cars pulled over passed the Coast Guard Stattion - we rushed over and got a really stunning lifer!

Saw-whet Owl
Saw-whet Owl
Saw-whet Owl
Saw-whet Owl

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


There were reports of Iceland and Glaucous gulls at Atlantic Point Apartments in Bellport - I took a drive through the area and just found one Iceland Gull and an odd Ring Billed? Gull.

Iceland Gull
Ring Billed Gull

Monday, January 9, 2017

Southold, Aquebogue: Townsend's Solitaire

Went out east to see the reported Townsend's Solitaire with Snouty and Lisa Pisani.  Found the bird, got photos and decided to visit Margaret who had been hosting the 2 Rufous Hummingbirds.  After a little wait, the 2 birds appeared.  There were numerous songbirds there as well as a Cooper's and Sharp Shinned Hawk that flew in to try to snatch a meal.  Also saw a flyover Great Blue Heron - what a terrific yard.  We stopped at Alvah's Road and saw about 10 Pipits and some Turkeys in front of someone's house.

Townsend's Solitaire
Rufous Hummingbird

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Nyack Beach State Park: Trumpeter Swan

I drove my wife to a work-related conference in Rye so I took the opportunity to go a little farther to see a reported Trumpeter Swan at Nyack Beach State Park.  Upon driving down into the parking lot I immediately saw the swan from a distance.  My kids and I got out and walked closer to where the swan was.  It wandered near us so I got good looks at it and even heard it vocalize.  It was suggested that this bird might be an escapee since it seemed tame.  I do not believe it is an escapee because it didn't have any tags on it (it showed it's legs clearly as it was feeding) and it seemed wary but not skittish of my kids as they were frolicking on the rocks on the beach.  First lifer for 2017 - hoping for a good new year.

Trumpeter Swan
Trumpeter Swan
Trumpeter Swan

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Lake Ronkonkoma, Lily Pond, Belmont Lake

Took a drive with Mike Snouty to see the reported Tundra Swans at Lake Ronkonkoma and didn't realize how big the lake is.  It's been a long time since I was there.  We found the swans as well as Hooded Mergansers, Ring Billed Gulls, Mute Swans, Canada Geese and Common Mergansers.  We visited nearby Lily Pond which was interesting since it was a series of small ponds.  Sadly we found a Kingfisher that died because it got entangled in fishing line.  On the way back we stopped at Belmont Lake and St Charles Cemetary to look for a reported Greater White Fronted Goose but did not see it.  We did see some Night Herons, Great Blue Heron, pair of Common Merganser pair.  I was mostly impressed with close up views of Coots and a Black Duck.  There was a continuing Barnacle Goose at St Charles while we looked for it but we apparently didn't see it from our vantage point. 

Tundra Swans
Black Duck

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Fort Tilden, Floyd Bennett Field, Valley Stream, Camaan's Pond

I went with Snouty to Queens to try to find Saw Whet Owls...after several hours and checking LOTS of pine trees, we came up empty.  On the way back we stopped at Arthur Hendrickson in Valley Stream to look for some continuing reported birds: the Pink Footed Goose, Cackling Goose and Red Headed Woodpecker.  Although I've seen this particular Pink Footed Goose a couple of times, these were the second birds I've seen of their species.  The Cackling Goose was hard to spot but Snouty got it.  It was interesting for me to see this Red Headed Woodpecker because the only time I saw one it was a mature one at Muttontown Preserve.  We also stopped at Camaan's Pond to look for the Black Headed Gull but we didn't see it.  I did see an interesting looking juvenile Ring Billed Gull and juvenile Yellow Crowned Night Heron.

Red Headed Woodpecker
Pink Footed Gull
Cackling Goose with Canadas
Cackling Goose

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year 2017!

Looking forward to a great new year.  I won't make any predictions about how many life birds I might see - I'll just hope for the best.

Starting this year, I'm not going to report on birds that can be described as the "usual suspects" so I won't update my blog unless I see a new life bird or find something unusual or uncommon.

Good luck 2017 birding,
"Rob in Massapequa"