A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: skwclar

Wigeon or What?

Brooklyn, NYC

overcast 45 °F

Today before my last day of school leading up to Thanksgiving Break, I went birding at Marine Park in Brooklyn in hopes of finding my life bird Eurasian Wigeon, a casual vagrant which has recently been seen there. Tonight, I’m flying back home to Chicago for Thanksgiving!

SWAMP SPARROW:
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This MARSH WREN was a fantastic surprise, a wonderful species that is quite unexpected this
late in the fall!
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HOODED MERGANSERS:
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COMMON GOLDENEYE:
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Another surprise was this COMMON RAVEN, although this species is slowly gaining a foothold here in New York City:
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MUTE SWANS with BRANT:
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GREAT BLUE HERON:
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RUDDY DUCK:
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BUFFLEHEAD, my favorite species of duck!
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AMERICAN WIGEON, the close cousin of my hoped-for Eurasian Wigeon:
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AMERICAN BLACK DUCK:
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Alas, I never found the Eurasian, but it was not for a lack of trying — I scanned every inch of water there was to be had at Marine Park and thoroughly picked through the thousands of Brant and other waterfowl that populated the preserve today. That’s just how it goes sometimes!

Bird-of-the-day to the Marsh Wren with runners-up to the Common Raven and the Bufflehead. A solid morning of birding here in NYC!

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 956 Species

Posted by skwclar 08:36 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Cold, Windy Birding

NYC & NJ

semi-overcast 47 °F

Yesterday, I visited Jacob Riis Park in the Far Rockaways in search of marine birds and the Hudson River Walkway in the Bayonne Golf Club in New Jersey along the Hudson River in search of wetland birds including the Clapper Rail.

As stated in the title, it was very very cold and windy which made for tricky viewing and photography conditions but isn’t necessarily a bad combination for watching seabirds.

There was a fairly average amount of birds feeding and flying offshore at Jacob Riis, including many BLACK and a smattering of SURF SCOTERS. Here is a Black Scoter:
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ROYAL TERN, nice for this late in the year:
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Always a treat to see these NORTHERN GANNETS feeding offshore, as they are one of the most reliable “pelagic” species that can be seen from shore, albeit with a powerful zoom or scope.
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Then, a large, dark gull-like bird flew overhead. Juvenile Great or Lesser Black-backed? Or Herring Gull? Or (very unlikely) possibly Great Skua??? Let me know if anyone has ideas!
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Then, in the afternoon, I visited the Bayonne Golf Club’s Hudson River Board Walk. Upon arrival, I found these LESSER YELLOWLEGS — surprising they are still here in numbers because it is becoming quite late in the season.
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GREAT BLUE HERON perched atop a shopping cart:
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BRANT, there are so many of these cute geese!
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RUDDY DUCKS:
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AMERICAN BLACK DUCK:
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GADWALL:
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Bird-of-the-day to the Northern Gannets at Jacob Riis with runner-up to the unidentified bird — watch for an update to this post once the species is identified. Stay tuned — November is “vagrant month!”

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 956 Species

Posted by skwclar 20:08 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Central Park Before School

New York, New York

overcast 47 °F

Today, I went birding at Central Park before school in hopes of finding two uncommon species which have recently been seen in the vicinity of the Ramble: Barred Owl and Evening Grosbeak.

HERMIT THRUSH:
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WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH:
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Beautiful fall foliage:
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TUFTED TITMOUSE:
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Male NORTHERN CARDINAL:
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DARK-EYED JUNCO:
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Unfortunately, I dipped on both target species which I knew would be hard-to-find anyway, so this nice little RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH I found in the Pinetum will be my bird-of-the-day:

Stay tuned — tomorrow I will probably be commuting out to Montauk at the far tip of Long Island to hopefully find a vagrant Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, as well as several marine species which have been seen from there recently.

Happy birding,
Henry
World Life List: 957 Species

Posted by skwclar 05:48 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Jacob Riis Park & Plumb Beach

New York, NY

overcast 59 °F

Today, I went birding at Jacob Riis Park in search of Parasitic Jaeger & Plumb Beach in search of Seaside Sparrow & Red-necked Grebe, all of which would be life birds.

As soon as I arrived to Jacob Riis, it was evident that the sea was absolutely crawling with birds — scoters, gulls, gannets, you name it! This is a COMMON LOON:
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WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS:
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BLACK SCOTERS:
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NORTHERN GANNET:
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SURF SCOTERS, completing the “scoter trifecta” for the day!
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Unfortunately, I dipped on any jaegers despite thorough scanning of the ocean.

Next, it was off to Plumb Beach—

NORTHERN HARRIER:
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AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER:
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DUNLIN:
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Although I failed to find my target Seaside Sparrow, this SALTMARSH SPARROW (first photo) and NELSON’S SPARROWS made up for it because they are quite uncommon and shy! Very cool, and giving their usually partially-hidden looks in the tall saltmarsh grasses.
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DUNLINS & SANDERLINGS:
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DUNLINS & BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER:
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TREE SWALLOW — always good to check for vagrant Cave Swallows which occasionally show up here on the East Coast this time of year:
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So, none of my target birds accomplished, but admittedly they’re quite hard ones to find. Bird-of-the-day to the Saltmarsh & Nelson’s Sparrow, absolutely not species one sees very often!

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 957 Species

Posted by skwclar 23:34 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Owl I Want

Midtown Manhattan

overcast 64 °F

Today, I visited Lincoln Center & Central Park in hopes of finding two owl species: Northern Saw-whet, and Long-eared, which have been photographed by others at the respective locations in the last few days.

After getting off the train at 66th and looking on the appointed scaffolding for finding the owl, it was bad luck for me with the Saw Whet.

Then, I hustled over to the Ramble in Central Park where a Long-eared had been seen yesterday.

The fall colors were spectacular!
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I spent some time, along with looking for this elusive owl, experimenting with dark light condition non-flash and flash photography on some common passerine migrants. HERMIT THRUSH:
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WHITE-THROATED SPARROW:
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The sparrows in particular were abundant — there were hundreds upon hundreds of them, everywhere I walked in the park this evening. I finally quit my search for the owl around dusk — the Long-eared admittedly was like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but hey, it was worth the try! Stay tuned because tomorrow I’m waking up early to go look for Red-necked Grebe, Parasitic Jaeger, & Seaside Sparrow among other things!

Bird-of-the-day goes to the HERMIT THRUSH & WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, common but charming migrants.

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 957 Species

Posted by skwclar 16:21 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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