Sunday, February 15, 2009

February 15 - Blitzkrieg Birding

Today my friends and I did some hit & run birding. We started out in the eastern Long Island town of Yaphank. Here at Camman's Pond we saw the pair of Trumpeter Swans that had been found earlier this week. While this species is not yet on the official New York State list I have to believe that these birds will be countable.

Click on images to enlarge
Credit: Byron Y

credit: Utah's Hogle Zoo

Next we made a brief stop in Babylon at Capri Lake. This place never disappoints in mid-winter and today we saw numberous species of duck. Redhead, Canvasback, Ruddy, Shoveler, Black & Mallard, Green-Winged Teal, both Lesser and Greate Scaup and Pied-Billed Grebe.

After that we headed to Jamaica Bay Refuge near Kennedy Airport. Here we were able to locate the male Barrow's Goldeneye at a distance out in the bay. This is the first male for me since December 2002 at Sandy Hook.
Credit: Shane Blodgett

A closeup image of the species:
Credit: Brian Currie

Lastly we visited Orchard Beach and finally were able to see the Saw-Whet Owl:

And later we saw a Great Horned Owl. An excellent day of birding today !

Sunday, February 08, 2009

February 8 - The Good, The Bad, and The Gully

The morning started out great as when I was driving to my friend's house just after 6 am I had an Owl fly down the road and land in a tree right next to the road. It was a Barred Owl, and I got very nice views of it because it was lit up by my headlights.
Credit: Steve Sleep

Later we went Media, Pennsylvania for the Le Conte's Sparrow that has bee reported for two weeks. Unfortunately for 2 of the 3 of us that needed this species as a life bird, the bird was not seen. We spent 3 hours in the field trying for it, and only one person had a quick glimpse at it. Oh well, that's the way to cookie crumbles.

On the drive back we stopped at Round Valley Reservoir for another look at the Eared Grebe, and today we also saw 3 Iceland Gulls, and up to 8 of the Lesser Black-Backed Gulls. Iceland Gull credit: Jerry Smith

I hope the Le Conte's is seen again in 2009 so I can give it another go !