Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April 15 - Chuck-will's-Widow in NYC

It was not a taxing day for me today as I finally was able to view the difficult to see species of nightjar known as the Chuck-Will's-widow !
This species gets it's name from the song which it sings at dusk.  Over the past decade I have heard this species a half-dozen times but have never been able to actually see one, until today.
This is New York State Bird # 353 for me.

credit: Jennifer Bishop

Here is another image by Matthew Wills that shows the rufous spots on the end of the wings

click on the image to enlarge.

To see more images, visit Matthew's website at the link below:
credit: Matthew Wills

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April 12 - Return of Spring & Rarity Chase

Ahhhh, today was the first day that felt like a true 'Spring' day.  There were clear blue skies and temperatures into the mid-60s by afternoon.
I began the morning at the local NJ hotspot of Garret Mountain in Woodland Park (nee West Paterson).  I saw several 'first' birds of the year in Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, and a kettle of 8 Broad-Winged Hawks  Several other good birds were still around such as Fox Sparrows, Rusty Blackbirds, Brown Creepers, both of the Kinglets were seen, as well as, many Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers.  It was a nice morning of bird and good friends in Bill, Carol, and Hank.

Later, I drove up to Montgomery, NY to try my luck at seeing the Crested Caracara which has been seen at Scotty's Golf Course over the past few days.  As luck would have it, this was a drive-up bird.  I saw the bird in flight immediately as I arrived at the parking area and I enjoyed long flight looks at this species.

Here is a picture of the bird taken by friend John Haas:

credit: Bashakill Birder Blog

This species is very rare outside of the southern US, so this was a first New York State Record for me !
New York bird # 352.