A Travellerspoint blog

November 2021

Shopping for pink feet on Black Friday

Dutchess County, NY

snow 44 °F


I shot out of bed this morning upon learning of a Pink-footed Goose in Wappengers Falls, NY that was associating with a flock of Canadas in a residential pond. Free day + life bird + (somewhat) accessible by public transit = twitch! I say somewhat accessible because the walk from the train station to the bird was just under an hour and I was not optimistic that taxi or uber service would be readily available. Nevertheless, my hopes were high for this bird because I had dipped on this bird a in the past in Connecticut so it was not my first twitch for the species (which is a somewhat more “regular” yet still-exciting vagrant to the northeast).

Upon arriving at the desolate New Hamburg train station, my hopes for a taxi or uber further diminished but by some miracle there was xfinity wifi available and I hadn’t used my monthly allotment, so I called an uber from my ipad (another complication of the day was that I lacked my iphone; it was in the shop for repairs the entire day). After having a driver cancel on me and after about a thirty-minute wait, a driver thankfully picked me up, saving me the hour-long walk over to the town of Wappengers Falls.

Upon pulling up to the appointed city park, sure enough, there was a flock of (car) birders…and a gaggle of geese! Yep, the brown-headed, PINK-FOOTED GOOSE was mingling with its Canada cousins in the water! Yippee! My first life bird since May!!! Frigging love a successful twitch. Unfortunately, I am having problems with Travellerspoint not allowing me to upload photos — I have reached out to them about this issue but in the meantime I will simply link my eBird checklist with my photos here:


Pretty soon I got tired and cold (yet extremely excited) so I walked back into town in hopes of tracking down the local Starbucks in order to get wifi to call an uber from my ipad. In my last stroke of luck for the day, I saw a local bus approaching so I bolted to the nearest stop, asked if it was headed to the train, and got on, relieved to avoid the task of calling an uber for a second time on Black Friday.

A to-the-point and excellent twitch for a superb life bird! Bird-of-the-day to the Pink-footed Goose — nothing even comes close for a runner-up bird today.

Happy birding,
World Life List: 1126 Species (1 life bird today: Pink-footed Goose)

Posted by skwclar 05:30 Archived in USA Comments (2)

Pelham Bay Park

Bronx, NYC

semi-overcast 64 °F


Today, I headed over to Pelham Bay Park for birding and herping since today and tomorrow will be the last couple warm days of the year here in NYC.

I was hoping to see marine birds off the shore of Pelham, and maybe possibly luck out with some herps since it warmed into the 60’s today. I started out with a SONG SPARROW on the path ahead of me:

As well as a soaring RED-TAILED HAWK:

Of which I later got a very close perched view:

A NORTHERN HARRIER also soared over the landfill I was standing nearby.

A few GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS twittered in the nearby trees, not affording great looks, but it is always nice to see these nevertheless:

Then, I headed to the shoreline and started scanning the water.

Almost immediately, I found my yearbird RED-THROATED LOON! Awesome!

A pair of MALLARDS flew over:

And on the walk back through the more forested section of the park, I did manage to find a single herp: this teeny-tiny Eastern Red-backed Salamander, my first Bronx County herp!

The sun was setting quickly so I headed back to the 6 train and back to school. It was great to finally get out once again. Bird-of-the-day to the Red-throated Loons with runner-up to the Northern Harrier.

Good birding,
World Life List: 1125 Species

Posted by skwclar 04:24 Archived in USA Comments (2)

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