This morning friends & I went out to Suffolk County's Blydenburgh Park in Smithtown. Our target was the Tufted Duck which has been found here earlier this week. Although most of the lake's water is frozen over from the recent cold snap a few sections remain open. It was in these pockets that we found the group of Ring-Necked Ducks and amongst them was the target bird of Tufted Duck.
This was just my 3rd sighting of this uncommon visitor to North America. My first was back in 2001 in Rumson, New Jersey and that was followed, many years later, by a 2008 sighting in Providence, Rhode Island.
On the return trip back west we stopped at Jones Beach. Here while at the Coast Guard Station we had nice looks at the beautifully-colored plumage of a Lapland Longspur.
Alas, we could not spot the near-adult Snowy Owl which has been here for some weeks now. Note to self -- don't try to find a white bird on the beach after a snowfall...