A Travellerspoint blog

Mega: Lapwing chase!

Babylon, NY

rain 41 °F

Today, I had to slightly alter my plans in order to carve a window of time just big enough to chase a bird out on Long Island. When I woke up, I learned **the** Northern Lapwing that had previously been seen in Connecticut had moved to a creek in Babylon, NY so my mission was to find the bird between my 10:45am doctor’s appointment and my 5pm Mass I was singing.

So, I got out of the appointment at 11:40am and saw the next train out to Babylon was at 11:57. I high-tailed it to Penn, barely made the train, ordered and uber to the golf course (as apparently the Lapwing had moved), and arrived by 2:10. When I got there; however, the birders told me the bird hadn’t been seen in hours. Damn it!

So with a couple other birders we scoured the golf course for about 45 minutes, seeing nothing but CANADA GEESE and MOURNING DOVES. One birded named Bill said he was going back over to the creek where the bird was first found and I thought that was a reasonable idea so I hitched a ride over with him.

Again, negative reports from birders but at least there were some more interesting birds around, namely the wintering LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS that oddly enough return to this very site every year.

As well as a pod of GREATER YELLOWLEGS:






And a COOPER’S HAWK, maybe a contributing factor to the Lapwing’s absence?

Soon, I had to order an uber back to the train station, but just before my uber arrived, the birders around me perked up because apparently the Lapwing had been seen again at the golf course! Aaaaargh! I should have just stayed there. Crap.

I could not cancel the uber because I had to make this train back to Manhattan due to the 5pm Mass I was singing, so I instructed the driver to make a slight detour to the golf course on the way back to the train. My hopes were high he could pull up, I could get the bird, and all would be well…

As luck has it sometimes, the bird apparently had simply dropped down from the sky and disappeared behind a hill on the golf course, obscured from sight. So, I stayed for thirty seconds but had to get back to the uber because my train was in 6 minutes! I was unbelievably frustrated and also stressed about possibly missing the train. Luckily, this uber driver knew the city of Babylon like the back of his hand and he positively zoomed to the train station, allowing me to at least make the train back to the city. Whew.

Still one of the most frustrating birding experiences ever. Had I just stayed at the golf course instead of going to the second location, I very well could have got the bird. Such is the sport, though — at least I saw this bird back in 2014 in London.

World Life List: 1126 Species

Posted by skwclar 19:00 Archived in USA

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The usual wild ride of target birding! Great story Henry and Merry Christmas to you Tian and your mom and dad!

by Poo

I'm impressed you 'sandwiched' this in to your day! Fun to read. Merry Christmas to all in your family, home and friends near and far. I'm reading about Willets right now.

by Mary McCutchan

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