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Saturday series part 2: Breezy Point…Vismig?

Queens, NYC

semi-overcast 79 °F

For the second installment of this school year’s “saturday series,” I headed to the beach once again. My hope was to catch “vismig” (visible migration) of passerines at Breezy Point in Queens since multiple birders had reported large migratory events in the early morning the last few days.

So, I was up before 5am and made it to Breezy around 7am, the perfect time to watch a morning flight. It seemed pretty birdy right off the bat, with a tree full of NORTHERN FLICKERS:

And on OSPREY:

But the songbird department really quieted down once I got closer to the shoreline. At least there was an EASTERN PHOEBE:


And I very quickly picked up a few more marine species like this flock of BLACK SKIMMERS which are great to see this late in November!

One, an immature, even landed on the shore:

The two SEMIPALMATED shorebirds were hanging out together — with many PLOVERS:

And a SANDPIPER mixed in:

Next, I watched a CASPIAN TERN hunting just offshore:

A few LAUGHING GULLS flew by but their numbers were noticeably way down from last week — I had only 5 today while I had probably nearly five hundred in similar habitat last week.

I wasn’t sure if I actually made the wrong decision in going to the shoreline instead of just staying in the dunes since I wasn’t having any flyover songbirds so I decided to retrace my steps all the way back to the parking lot and hope for more luck in that department. Well, other than an unphotographed CAPE MAY and this YELLOW WARBER, it honestly turned out to be extremely slow back in the dunes. Gah.

So, I decided to head to the beach once again to at least try for more aquatic species and I ended up walking all the way around Breezy Point Tip which was quite a hike. One nice bird I picked up right off the bat was this ROYAL TERN:

An AMERICAN KESTREL migrated over at one point:

And I had a lovely time photographing this pair of AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS:

And a flock of BLACK SKIMMERS in front of the hills of New Jersey — it was super clear visibility today which allowed for amazing clarity though these birds were absolute miles away.


I had a nice conglomeration of shorebirds near the jetty — the smallish white ones are SANDERLINGS, the slightly larger, grayer bird is a BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, the long-billed shorebird on the left is a WILLET, and the brightly-colored AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER is center.

Close-up on the Black-bellied:

And the Willet:

Down further along the beach (where there were naked sunbathers!), I had two RUDDY TURNSTONE:

A pleasant, though somewhat slow, morning.

Bird-of-the-day goes to the Royal Tern which always a nice find out here and runner-up to the Black Skimmers. It was nice to be by the sea even if it wasn’t the killer day for passerine migration. I think the others had luck earlier in the week because there had been a cold front that had just pushed through along with northwesterly winds during the night, and though the radar showed high migration last night too, the winds were northeasterly meaning the birds were probably pushed further inland. So I’ve learned my lesson that it needs to be the perfect storm (literally) in order to observe a vismig event at Breezy Point. Northwesterly winds + recent cold front, which weren’t really the conditions I had.

Good birding,
World Life List: 1139 Species

Posted by skwclar 02:38 Archived in USA

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