Monday, February 27, 2017

Oak Beach: Eared Grebe

So,,,there were new reports of the continuing Eared Grebe at Oak Beach by the NW corner of that area.  I figured it was the only potential life bird in the local area so I gave it another shot.  I've tried many times looking for Eared Grebes at this spot but today it finally paid off.  I walked up to Sore Thumb (the inlet) and only saw 2 Horned Grebes but on the way back right where I started I saw another grebe and could tell it was FINALLY the Eared Grebe.  I watched it a bit and got good looks at it and it even was snacking on a young eel.

Eared Grebe
Eared Grebe

Friday, February 24, 2017


I started my day hearing and seeing a Robin on the neighbor's lawn - Spring is coming.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Montauk, Hamptons, East End: Black Guillemot

There has been a continuing Black Guillemot in Montauk Lake as well as a Little Gull and Black Headed Gull at Ditch Plains.  The Little Gull had not been seen the day before but the Black Guillemot was so I figured I had a good chance of at least one lifer.  I saw the Black Guillemot (lifer #340) and got close to it by driving to the other side of Montauk Lake.  I stopped at a couple places looking for reported birds on the way back but seemed to miss them.  I had some consolation sightings of other birds so it still was a good day overall.  Highlights:

Montauk Lake: Black Guillemot, Common Goldeneye, Common Loons, Tree Sparrows
Deep Hollow Ranch: Blue morph Snow Goose
Ditch Plains: Bonaparte Gulls, Purple Sandpipers
Fort Pond: Redhead
Wainscott Pond: Sandhill Crane
Riverhead: Turkey Vultures
Swan Lake Preserve: Green Winged Teal, Great Blue Heron
Jones Beach: heard a Woodcock calling

Black Guillemot
Black Guillemot
Bonaparte Gull
Snow Goose
Sandhill Crane

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Oak Beach

There were reports of an Eared Grebe so I tried to find it- I got to the spot where it was seen earlier but I got burned by this bird again.  I tried finding one in the same place last year without any luck.  (*sigh)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Massapequa Preserve

I went to the preserve because I've been seeing Grackles around my house and wanted to check if any other blackbirds were around.  At first I saw a vocal Raven by the LIRR lot (which later flew over the Pittsburgh Ave Pond) and then found about 8 Red Winged Blackbirds calling near the Pittsburgh and "Doris Place" ponds.  Cardinals were also singing...saw lots of White Throated Sparrows, some Song Sparrows and was treated to 2 Fox Sparrows.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Jones Beach West End

We got hit with a nasty winter storm so I just took a drive around the West End and other fields a Jones Beach mostly looking for uncommon gulls  - highlight was a group of Black Bellied Plovers with 13 Red Knots at the WE 2 lot.  Was crazy windy out so these guys were hunkered down behind the snow in the lot.

Black Bellied Plover, Red Knot

Friday, February 10, 2017

JFK Wildlife Sanctuary, Jones Beach Coast Station

What seemed to be a lackluster day with Snouty changed when we visited the JFK Wildlife Sanctuary where we saw a Great Blue Heron and some Black Ducks...when looking at the heron, we noticed a Bittern nearby.  The Bittern was skittish but we did get some "just ok" looks at it.  At the Jones Beach Coast Guard grassy area we found a Snow Bunting and Lapland Longspur mixed in with a flock of Horned Larks.

American Bittern
Lapland Longspur

Floral Park, Massapequa

There was a female Yellow Headed Blackbird at someone's feeder in Floral Park from Long Island Wildlife.  I didn't visit but checked out the flock of Common Grackles in the neighborhood - there were hundreds but no YH Blackbird.

Around 5pm, I saw a Sharp Shinned Hawk in a neighbor's tree (by my house).

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Cammann's Pond, Point Lookout, Jones Beach West End, Tackapausha, Massapequa Preserve

Stopped at Cammann's Pond and found the continuing Black Headed Gull.  There was too much construction going on by Point Lookout so didn't bother trying to go on the beach.  The other highlights were Snow Bunting at Jones West End and 3 Red Tailed Hawks flying over Tackapausha.  It was quiet at Massapequa Preserve but I did see the Screech Owl.

Black Headed Gull
Black Headed Gull

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


I've been hearing a Song Sparrow all morning - hopefully a sign that spring is not too far away.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Patchogue, Dune Road, Bellport

Snouty and I started out looking for a reported Tufted Duck at Swan Lake Patchogue and for gulls at Shinnecock Inlet - struck out since we didn't find our target birds, Glaucous or Iceland Gulls.  We were thinking our day was a waste until we drove down Dune Road and found an American Bittern.  Also saw a Great Blue Heron and juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron.  Things got even better when we found a Short Eared Owl.  A quick stop at the apartment complex behind the Brookhaven landfill paid off with a beautiful Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, flyover Raven and there was a large raptor-type bird by the landfill but I couldn't get a good look.

Black Crowned Night Heron
Short Eared Owl
Short Eared Owl
Glaucous Gull
Iceland Gull