Sunday, December 27, 2009

December 27 - Long Island birding

This morning my friend Bill E and I went to Southampton, Long Island to try for the Black Guillemot tha has been seen there for more than a week. We arrived just past 8 and ran into Sean Sime who reported seeing the bird about an hour earlier flying in off the ocean to the calmer bay.
We then waited in heavy fog for the bird and during this time met another birder who had driven from Maryland. After about an hour the fog lifted and Bill located the bird next to a seawall only about 30 feet offshore ! We had tremendous looks at the bird for about a quarter-hour before it swan farther offshore. We were able to see it eat a very large fish as well.

More images can be seen here, at Shai Mitra's website.

Next we stopped at Capri Lake in West Islip. This brackish pond has a wonderful diversity of duck species each winter, and today was no exception. Canvasbacks, Red-Headed Ducks, Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, Black Duck, Mallard, Lesser Scaup, Ruddy Duck, Hooded Merganser were all seen well.
Our next stop was Massapequa Preserve where we tallied 4 Tundra Swans.

The Tundra Swan & Guillemot bring my NY State Life bird list to 300 !

Friday, December 18, 2009

December 12 - Brigantine & Barnegat Light

With friends Bill E and John W a trip was made to two coastal spots to view some seasonal specialties. First up at Brigantine NWR we spotted a pair of Tundra Swans. Nearby we had very fine views of American Bittern, as well as, five Wilson's Snipe.
Later we saw Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, a late Osprey, numerous Dunlin, a lone Sanderling, a few Greater Yellowlegs, Long-Billed Dowitcher, and a Great Egret.

Barnegat Light produced several handsome male Harlequin Ducks, plenty of Common Eider - and possibly 3 King Eider females, but they were quite far away to be 100% certain. Also seen were Purple Sandpipers, Ruddy Turnstone, more Dunlin, Great Cormorant, both Loon species, and the Ipswich subspecies of Savannah Sparrow. A nice surprise was 3 American Oystercatchers, quite late to still be seeing these birds !

Saturday, December 05, 2009

December 5 - Spotted Towhee

This morning my friend Rob took me to Palmyra Cove Park, which is along the Delaware River near the town of Cinnaminson.
Upon arriving we ran into another friend Rick who was already spying the bird. We got quick looks at it and then it disappeared. It would reappear every 20-30 minutes, so we got to see it several times over the next 2 hours or so.

The rain then changed to snowflakes, so we headed home with another New Jersey rarity (I believe this is just the 5th record ever) on our life lists.
Here is the Range Map: