Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 31 - Kings & Queens...

With friends Andy, Jen, and Bill we made a trip out to Coney Island today and the target was the Gray-Hooded Gull. This species is typically a South American and African bird, yet there was a prior record for North America in Florida back in 1998.

We were very lucky as we expected to wait awhile for the bird, but today it was seen at 6:40 am and we got it right away as we arrived.

Here's a video taken by Bill:

For some fine photos of this bird visit Andrew Baksh's blog

We then made a quick stop at Jamaica Bay and got a look at the Hudsonian Godwit.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17 - Orange County Rarities continue

Out with  Bill E. today and we were able to get fine looks at the Sedge Wren.

Later we had great close looks at the Sandhill Crane before it flew out of the pond and to the north of the hunter's stand.

We also got to briefly see the juv. White Ibis as it took a short flight before returning to its favored pond that is out of sight from the roadway & hunter's stand

Friday, July 15, 2011

July 15 - White Ibis at Walkill NWR

After reading a report of a juvenile White Ibis being seen about 45 minutes from my house I decided to give it a go.  The bird was reported at Oil City Road which is just a few hundred yards north of the New Jersey border.  When I first arrived the bird was not i sight, but Rich K. and I used a hunter's blind to get some more elevation.  Shortly thereafter the ibis took flight for about 15 seconds before dropping back into the marsh and out of sight.
 This is my first sighting of this bird in New York.

See John Haas' website for an image of this bird

Saturday, July 09, 2011

July 9 - Cupsogue Beach terns

Out with friend Simon K. today at the Suffolk County, Long Island park at Cupsogue Beach.  Our targets today were seabirds and terns.  We started out just after 8 a.m with a seawatch from the boardwalk.  Here we met Tom B. and Gail B., along with Doug F.

Immediately we wee able to see quite a few Cory's Shearwaters as they worked the wakes left by the fishing trawlers. Along with the shearwaters we were able to get distant views of several Wilson's Storm Petrels.

Next we headed into the back bay and its sandbars to view the terns.  There we of course many Common Terns and it was nice to see them in their full summer colors.  Also seen were a few Forster's Terns, and Least Terns, along with up to 4 Black Terns ranging in variations of all breeding plumages.  The bird of the day was undoubtedly the first-summer plumaged Arctic Tern.  We saw this bird as soon as we got out onto the sandbars, thanks to Brent B. who had already located the bird.  The Arctic Tern was a life bird, # 614, for me so I was quite happy.

click images to enlarge

Visit Andrew's blog for superb shots of the bird.

Later we had fine views of a breeding plumaged Roseate Tern, and subsequently a first-summer Roseate Tern was also seen here. Note the black bill and orange legs on the leftmost bird.

Other birds seen were Black Skimmers, Little Blue Heron, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, SB Dowitchers, Pectoral Sandpiper, Dunlin. Least Sandpiper and several of the more common species.

Later that afternoon we drove a bit farther east to Shinnecock Inlet, and there too we had a few Cory's Shearwaters, and Simon picked out yet another Roseate Tern amongst the flock of Commons feeding in the inlet.  A great day to be out with friends and to make some new ones.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

July 2 - Great Kills Park

Today Bill E.and I came out for the Hooded Crow but missed it.  Although I did see a different bird that I had never seen before. This one is certainly an escapee

Pin-Tailed Wyhdah