Monday, September 16, 2013

September 15 - Garret Mountain

I only had a few hours this morning so I went to the local spot of Garret Mountain.  It was a pretty good morning flight, but quite short.  The highlight was the Vireos with Red-Eyed, Yellow-Throated, Warbling, and Philadelphia being the highlight.   I had missed seeing the Philadelphia Vireo the past two falls.

In the pockets of birds we located we saw some nice warblers, including Cape May, Nashville, Blackpoll, among the more numerous Black-Throated Green, Black-Throated Blue, Magnolias, Redstarts, Chestnut-Sideds, and Parulas.  Singletons were had for Pine and Tennessee.    

September 14 - Central Park

As there were northwesterly winds last night, we decided to bird in Central Park today.  There was quite a bit of activity in the North Woods at first light.  We had nice looks at Bay-Breasted Warbler here.  Among the more common Black-Throated Green Warblers & Chestnut-Sided Warblers, Redstarts, and Magnolia Warblers, we also had warblers of Wilson's, Blackpoll, Palm, Black-Throated Blue, Northern Parula, and Black-and-White.

Later in the morning at the Maintenance Field, near the Ramble Shed, we did get looks at a Yellow-Breasted Chat, and a Black-Billed Cuckoo.  A pair of Olive-Sided Flycatchers put on quite a show here as well.

In the late morning sky we saw a kettle of over  100 Broad-Winged Hawks, an Adult Bald Eagle, and Osprey.

We dipped on seeing the Virginia Rail, but on our walk out past the Jackie Onassis Reservoir it was Andy who spotted a Connecticut Warbler just past 88th street.  We got fine looks at this bird in the Cherry trees that go alongside the Reservoir.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September 7 - Overnight Pelagic trip

After several years of trying to get on this trip I finally was able to set the date and make it !   This trip departs the marina at 10 pm and then powers out over 6 hours to reach the Continental Shelf just before dawn.
At first light we had several Wilson's Storm Petrels, and a Band-Rumped Storm Petrel that I missed.  Fortunately I was able to get a fair view of this species later in the morning, thanks to trip leader Paul Guris showing us the bird.    We also got brief, but definitive, views of three of the Leach's Storm Petrels.   We came across some small flocks of Red-Necked Phalaropes in their basic plumage.

The day was filled with Cory's Shearwaters & Audubon's Shearwaters, but unfortunately we didn't come across any of the Great Shearwater.   The bird of the day has to be the adult Pomarine Jaeger that came very close to our boat.  Here's a fantastic pic taken by Larry Scacchetti.  It captures the bird's eye looking in our direction, as if it were viewing our boat.

click to enlarge
credit:  Larry Scacchetti

Another highlight occurred with the juvenile Long-Tailed Jaeger that also made a close pass at the boat.  This was ABA Lifer# 627 for me !

Finally, a huge treat was seeing several Bridled Terns.  I had not seen this species since a brief view back in 2003, so it was great to see a handful of these birds and to see them at close range while in flight, as well as, perched on some flotsam.

click to enlarge

credit: Larry Scacchetti

Friday, September 06, 2013

September 6 - Forsythe NWR a/k/a Brigantine

On my way down to Cape May for tonight's pelagic I made a stop at Brigantine.   Here I was able to see numerous Caspian Terns, a "late"-ish Gull-Billed Tern, and a pair of Buff-Breasted Sandpipers, along with a single Baird's Sandpiper.  Other shorebirds seen were American Oystercatcher, Black-Bellied Plover, Semi-Palmated Plover, both Yellowlegs, Semi-Palamated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper. both Dowitchers, and an early Ring-Necked Duck !

Monday, September 02, 2013

September 2 - Pine Island birding

Today I went in search of "sodpipers" which is the term used for the Sandpipers that visit the sod farms in our area during the bird's migration south from their Arctic breeding grounds.

I started out at the Pine Island Turf Farm and quickly got caught in a 30-minute torrential downpour.  Although sitting out that rainstorm was quite boring, the after-effects were good as the fresh puddles attract lots of birds.   Here I found the expected species of Killdeer, Least Sandpiper, and Semi-Palmated Plovers. 

My next stop was the Camel Farm and here I had an exciting find of a Black Tern hawking insects over the large pond there.  This is my first Orange County record for this species ! 
credit: unknown

On the pond were several Blue-Winged Teal, and along the edges I found Lesser Yellowlegs and  Spotted Sandpiper, while a few Bobolink flew overhead sounding off with their "pink-pink" calls.

Afterward I visited Skinner's Lane and here too I had another Black Tern !   Also seen here were Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, both Yellowlegs species, Least Sandpiper, Cooper's Hawk, Peregrine Falcon and American Kestrel.

My last stop was on Turtle Bay with John Haas, and he showed me an American Golden Plover amongst the other species we saw of  Killdeer, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, both Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpiper and a few Swallow species.

Overall a pretty good morning out after the rain.