Sunday, June 26, 2016

June 26 - Old Mine Road

With Spring Migration over and Fall Migration still weeks away I turned my attention to the local breeders that we're fortunate to have in our area.  My friend Bill E.  joined. It is an hour drive from my home to the Delaware River, but the birding is quite good.  We mostly heard, but saw a few, about 25 of the Hooded Warbler during our 15-mile drive today.  There were several Louisiana Waterthrushes, some well into their molt.  Acadian Flycatchers were plentiful. We heard then saw a pair of Red-Breasted Nuthatches, which was a first for both of us this year.
Along the River, we saw a pair of young Bald Eagles, still all brown.  In the trees along the reiver we also spotted a Porcupine !

Credit: Bill Elrick

We saw several warbler species, the aforementioned Waterthrush and Hooded, along with Chestnut-Sided, Yellow, Common Yellowthroat, Black-Throated Green, Blackburnian, Cerulean, Redstart etc
Many thrushes were seen with Veery being dominant, but Wood-Thrushes were also found.  A pair of Spotted Sandpiper were along the river, as was Belted Kingfisher.

Here's a view of the lovely scenery in this area.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

June 18 - Jamaica Bay Goodies

Today we tried a seawatch out at Robert Moses State Park at Field 2.  We did not see many ocean birds at all, but we did eventually see a handful of the Wilson's Storm-Petrels.  So we decided to head back west toward home and try Jamaica Bay's East Pond.  Here Andy was able to locate the White-Faced Ibis which has been sighted here over the past week or more.

We then too a walk over to Big John's Pond and the viewing blind which is there.  Here we were treated to incredibly close views of the lovely Yellow-Crowned Night-Herons, and then we got to see the Barn Owls in the nest box which is across the pond.  We could see there were at least 2 young birds (later I found out there are actually 3 young this year) and also the Adult inside the box.
Here is some digiscope photos taken by esteemed East Pond Marsh Warden Andrew Baksh.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

June 11 - Garganey

A mega-rarity of Garganey was reported from the Finger Lakes Region of New York State this past Sunday afternoon.  Unfortunately for me it was a very busy week at work so I could not try until today, Saturday June 11.
My regular group of friends were not available so I was unsure if I would even try for this bird.  I awoke around 4 a.m to find I did not have the desire for the 4+ hour drive up to the Montezuma NWR in Seneca Falls, NY.  I guess it was on my mind as I woke again about 45 minutes later with the will to take the trip !  I left home at 5 a.m and started on my drive west into Pennsylvania and then north into Central New York.  Fortunately 3/4 of the drive was on Interstates so the ride was relatively easy.  More good news was received when a birder posted online that the bird had been seen around 8:00.
I arrived on site at the Knox-Marsellus Marsh just past 9 a.m, and went to East Road. After parking,   a nice birder about to depart was able to immediately get me on the Garganey !
This is my 644th ABA-area species.
Click to enlarge
Credit: Jay McGowan (finder of the bird)

The bird was moving amongst the small brush at the edge of the marsh, with mostly it's head and neck in view for almost 30-minutes.  The bird the disappeared for bit and I took a short ride to the Knox-Marsellus Overlook.  Here is saw some lovely Black Terns, a pair of Caspian Terns, and a Trumpeter Swan.  I had previously only seen the Trumpeter Swan in New Jersey, so this was a bonus NY State Bird for me. In addition to the Life Bird of Garganey, my NY State List is now at 365.

Here is some pics of the Marsh

After returning from the overlook, I joined other newly arriving birders in the search to re-locate the Garaney.  I then spotted the bird swimming in open water, which gave me a complete view of the bird.  We enjoyed this view for about 5 minutes before the bird once again went into the marsh vegetation.

The next day I read that the bird was not spotted until after 2 pm on Sunday, so I was lucky that I went on Saturday and saw the bird as soon as I arrived.