A Travellerspoint blog

Jamaica Bay After School!

Queens, NY

rain 72 °F

Today after school I took the train and the bus to Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Queens in search of shorebirds, and particularly one would-be life bird: the Stilt Sandpiper.

I arrived around 5:30pm and birded for a bit over an hour in off-and-on rain showers, which was annoying — there were birds around though, such as these expansive flocks of BRANT geese as well as DOUBLE-CRESTED & GREAT CORMORANT & GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL:
large_5BCA9445-59E7-4788-A792-6FD6DD2CEC2D.jpeg

BRANT again, this time with GREAT EGRET and AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER:
large_E02A29A7-9988-4FF6-9730-D802EE44B1D7.jpeg

GREATER YELLOWLEGS flyover:
large_12071F90-F0C8-4465-9389-5C81E40689E1.jpeg

At one point, I played the Clapper Rail call in a good-looking section of the salt marsh, and lo and behold, my life bird CLAPPER RAIL called back to me! Score! Its elusive reputation preceded itself as I was never able to see it, though.

SNOWY EGRET, nice:
large_6EA97DD5-CAC1-430B-BCEA-652D050FB6F5.jpeg

AMERICAN BLACK DUCK:
large_EEFF094F-741A-47A1-870E-BB2A06A140B7.jpeg

Some sort of Turtle poking its head out of the water. Any ideas as to the species?
Edit: I figured out this is a Diamondback Terrapin, a “life turtle” for me — how cool!
large_53692CBF-4D5E-4CA0-95CE-868DDA297578.jpeg

MUTE SWAN:
large_746D0E14-15E7-40B7-B56C-74B259CFBD18.jpeg

GREEN-WINGED TEAL:
large_8582CDA0-8C1D-427C-A629-40CE86F6420C.jpeg

COOPER’S HAWK:
large_337D268E-178A-47AE-9AFB-AF7ACB21FC95.jpeg

A better look at the BRANT geese:
large_93D5AFD5-4F4C-447D-A06A-1B83B5755FD8.jpeg

PEREGRINE FALCON, cool!
large_103F5957-04A2-46F0-9949-06B7A4AD7A00.jpeg

And one last bird, an immature BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON:
large_75A2F768-0920-489C-89AE-62833657C495.jpeg

Alas, I never found the Stilt Sandpiper, so maybe next time! Bird-of-the-day to the Peregrine Falcon and Clapper Rail gets bumped to runner-up because it didn’t allow for views.

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 954 Species (1 life bird today: Clapper Rail)

Posted by skwclar 18:37 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Central Park North with Maddie!

New York, NY

On saturday I visited the beautiful woods of Central Park with my girlfriend, Madeline Casagrande! We had quite an exciting time admiring the beautiful nature and being together for the weekend!
large_5D0CA12E-B7BA-427B-9FB7-1A8CF0742722.jpeglarge_E0F6B686-D27E-40B9-91FE-25311B6E3466.jpeglarge_5574D319-7B2E-47B7-BC71-239FF3AD8FA0.jpeg

Female BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER:
large_B15DAFC8-D4D4-4B03-9924-E0BD5BE813A6.jpeg

CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER:
large_A5B72A78-9B31-4C9D-9817-9927D64AA8DC.jpeg

At one point during the day, Maddie posed in front of this Puerto Rican flag — a beautiful part of her cultural background.
large_27569957-BA53-46AC-A269-DCDA40DDAC63.jpeg

SWAMP SPARROW:
large_31BE8C4A-3CEA-4F60-8CEA-DD8983681C00.jpeg

A New York City Brown Rat!
large_EF85E270-7F16-4542-8982-602BE300A0D0.jpeg

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER — warblers were all over today as the woods were absolutely hopping with birds. Maddie and I wanted to relish our time together so the entire time wasn’t spend birding, even though part of me wishes it was, haha!
large_A5668549-9783-4D44-8036-6FAC2E5BDAE8.jpeg

MAGNOLIA WARBLERS:
large_5B07D358-1294-41F6-B832-FB374B29474A.jpeglarge_170D95AC-2B97-464C-AA6A-6D1520F32B07.jpeg

BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS:
large_57686388-6A73-4041-A9F0-07AC76892CA5.jpeglarge_BB59AE8A-9029-4FEF-A90A-1FE300B8F3F9.jpeglarge_E411A434-41AA-4EFD-9062-96C2DC9B60A5.jpeg

WINTER WREN:
large_7FBB5EA5-C506-4467-A86B-440FC22E69F5.jpeg

BLACKPOLL WARBLERS:
large_D9E2A010-6A60-481A-8086-9378BC4446CC.jpeglarge_E692CB35-E3DD-4C09-8CD9-140B37DD4FDD.jpeg

PINE WARBLER:

A great day! Bird-of-the-day to the female Black-throated Blue which is always a nice find.

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 954 Species

Posted by skwclar 18:37 Comments (1)

Birding Across NYC!

New York, New York

semi-overcast 72 °F

Today I spent almost the entire day birding around NYC and I had a blast!

The morning was spent in Central Park, where I started off with this beautiful and obliging NORTHERN PARULA:
large_A16E6C52-56CB-4D38-9F70-98B230F9C043.jpeg

Very soon after arriving, my highlight of the morning was FINDING a rare CONNECTICUT WARBLER — a bird that only comes through New York in the fall, and in very small numbers! This find created a sensation among the birders in “The Ramble” of Central Park. I had particular fun meeting two other young birders, Ryan and Cole, who were also delighting at the migrants passing through.
large_15CE8626-F61C-41F6-8676-BC7F1B8CBB94.jpeg

One section of a trail through the Ramble had this OVENBIRD:
large_458D838E-0415-41C0-8D86-35937FE5D7D4.jpeg

As well as a cool BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER:
large_058259C4-CA98-4B33-9952-EAE6C1DCF51D.jpeg

Then, a large, long-tailed form flew through the canopy and I found my first YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO of the year — whew! I thought I was going to miss this one as they will soon be gone for the tropics.
large_D5F04EDF-11D2-40F9-936B-AEA14883967B.jpeg

A very obliging CAROLINA WREN:
large_FD085A02-F7FC-4F67-AAA5-5AFC6E0387E2.jpeglarge_CA0CB9D7-05B8-4740-81FD-080D3B787E1F.jpeglarge_1E6BEABA-5A6F-4D08-848A-389ECDC6AEC8.jpeg

SWAINSON’S THRUSH:
large_70F1D9C5-2395-4CC8-8547-0081C5946C76.jpeg

EASTERN PHOEBE:
large_1E8C36F5-391B-406D-A558-E216DDD25C53.jpeg

BROWN THRASHER:
large_1DFC2848-0754-4EEA-8DCB-EE94B8671387.jpeg

BLACKPOLL WARBLER:
large_1E9C0143-DBD3-4DB2-85EB-D433846394A9.jpeg

PALM WARBLER:
large_4E095A9A-CF65-4CC7-A947-52C06555DF17.jpeg

Overall, it was a stupendous morning of birding in the park. Then, I took a few subway trains and a bus to visit Marine Park in Brooklyn in search of a would-be lifer Clapper Rail.

Almost immediately upon arrival, a VERY uncommon species flew over — this GREAT CORMORANT, a bird I have only ever seen in the Old World before.
large_5EBB48B0-8BC7-4CB4-A730-33C461F4CCA9.jpeg

GREAT EGRET:
large_8BA76306-9D0A-43F7-BC73-61A7A1F3E7F4.jpeg

COMMON YELLOWTHROAT:
large_CAF3A27B-1C67-41A2-9178-2D3247D79D8D.jpeglarge_970FD739-BFC1-4580-9E12-619D3FBC40EE.jpeglarge_3312FFB6-D186-419A-8593-771085C4A418.jpeg

SAVANNAH SPARROW:
large_B77C2F54-01F4-4644-9D26-C7A5C41EDFF8.jpeg

AMERICAN KESTREL:
large_DBE5B34E-0665-4370-8609-390C306E16AD.jpeg

Unfortunately, despite trying very hard, the rails were nowhere to be found.

Next was Far Rockaway Beach where I wanted to check for any migrating marine birds. Nothing of note bird-wise was seen, but my best sighting was a pod of Dolphins! Birding has many advantages, including becoming an overall more observant person which can yield great results such as finding these Dolphins.
large_50625410-1045-444B-88D4-A33860343611.jpeg

And my final birding stop of a long day of birding was at Broad Channel off of the A train where I looked for, and after only a few minutes of searching, found this BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE, another species I’ve never seen in the US before.
large_41240021-237C-43FB-BA1B-0B55709DB7E8.jpeg

What a view from the train! This is overlooking Jamaica Bay by JFK Airport.
large_F8E09D83-D7F1-4F68-A7C3-4E6FB8CA6E5C.jpeg

My final avian sighting of the day was a quick view of a flock of MUTE SWANS in the bay from the train, props to you if you can spot them through the shrubbery!
large_284ABED0-40A1-4944-A052-269E0B959337.jpeg

My commute for the day: 4 buses, 7 trains, and multiple miles of walking — what a journey!

A full, long, but successful day of birding! Bird-of-the-day to the Connecticut Warbler which was truly a magical experience, and runners-up to the Great Cormorant and Boat-tailed Grackle.

Good birding!
Henry
World Life List: 954 Species

Posted by skwclar 17:18 Archived in USA Comments (1)

A Wild Eider Chase!

New York, NY

all seasons in one day 72 °F

Today I woke up before 6am, rode five subways, two ubers, and walked/ran a total of 2.5 miles in order to find a prospective life bird, the Common Eider, a species of subarctic duck. They are fairly easy to find in the winter in this area but I prefer birding when it is warmer and I wanted to switch it up a bit today and bird before school. Note that this odyssey was entirely accomplished prior to classes at 11am!

When I arrived to Breezy Point along the coastline southeast of Brooklyn, I immediately spotted this OSPREY:
large_8F2B3204-CEC5-494A-BF49-222579AC7869.jpeg

GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS such as this specimen were pleasantly abundant:
large_8B629F68-16B1-44BA-AC3B-F0569691FA95.jpeg

FORSTER’S TERN:
large_11C8F7D3-04FB-49C8-88C9-36BF7BE10608.jpeg

AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER:
large_6F362F6E-5CC7-4ABF-AA48-F100D79AA25C.jpeg

First-winter LAUGHING GULL:
large_DEE5C75B-B1A2-48A6-A27F-D83B001FC48F.jpeg

It seemed like the walk through the sandy dunes and beach was taking forever, and I was on a time crunch. Now, I was starting to worry if I would even have time to walk all the way to the jetty for the Common Eider or not. It was certainly close!

Finally, at the base of the jetty a few cute SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS poked around:
large_C4B0C276-6C9E-412E-961F-E5BE4D9B15B7.jpeglarge_C8F69BA6-3543-4587-8D39-C105D99E1427.jpeglarge_127102DE-25AF-4AB8-A6E0-556C64FB0B0C.jpeglarge_844B61CF-ADFB-4DE9-A0F9-61481E2CE91D.jpeg

Then, I spotted it — a large, dark, regal-looking diving duck — this was the female COMMON EIDER! My first life bird since moving to New York and my most recent life bird since the Cassia Crossbill!
large_672095C3-7728-49C8-BBB6-7E8E1A701901.jpeg

I looked at the time, though, and had to leave after less than a minute of observation! Crazy fast twitching!

The uber ended up taking almost thirty minutes to arrive since it was such a remote corner of the city, and I observed a little flurry of bird activity while waiting for the car. NORTHERN FLICKER:
large_DBC99BB0-EAD4-427B-8309-0846F6B1AA0A.jpeg

NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD:
large_61750857-B885-47AA-9EC1-2D3BCA6EC2CE.jpeg

Female HOUSE FINCH:
large_ADD217E0-DD1A-4BED-8A7E-6718C0F857FA.jpeg

Then, I had a fantastic treat of seeing two NORTHERN PARULA warblers, what a sweet avian surprise! Very cool!
large_AEF0E1BC-9524-4F74-BA72-21518A69FF20.jpeglarge_71D31A81-566A-4E55-BF13-9D127D49D761.jpeglarge_52E9F32E-3674-4DF7-ACD3-2FD38C8BE09E.jpeglarge_3F5CFE3B-0F38-452E-82A0-C95222134AED.jpeglarge_E1BD237C-8C42-43CB-BC82-FAA0101851CC.jpeg

And, I somehow made it to class with 1 MINUTE to spare! Whew!

Bird-of-the-day to my life bird Common Eider and runner-up to the Northern Parula warblers! Stay tuned for Central Park birding on saturday morning!

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 954 Species (1 life bird today: Common Eider!!!)

Posted by skwclar 15:16 Archived in USA Comments (1)

The Rumble of the Ramble

Central Park, NYC

overcast 69 °F

Today with my mom was an AMAZING, nearly fallout day at the ramble in Central Park! MANY, MANY birds were around, and songbirds were in abundance! I also met many, many birders who had the same idea as me, including a kind man named Richard with whom I birded for quite a while.

BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS abounded and were quite cooperative:
large_2263AC93-AEAE-43B3-B62C-A99305BF59C5.jpeglarge_4E3EAFFF-02BA-4CC0-B12E-2215FE45FE37.jpeg

SWAINSON’S THRUSH:
large_9DB5844F-C986-44D4-89A1-88E1FD4A201C.jpeg

NORTHERN PARULA:
large_B9D8F120-BFFE-45BA-913E-392241B5DB6F.jpeg

GRAY CATBIRD:
large_6FABECD2-8BBF-4743-B078-F76FC380E59C.jpeglarge_7877C07C-815C-4F9A-A719-2A1769C5E43D.jpeg

Its relative the BROWN THRASHER:
large_768B6413-5BBA-435D-829D-482320374C49.jpeg

SCARLET TANAGER:
large_170FD314-60C1-4E4C-A166-1BB2E1943F56.jpeglarge_961C583A-8337-4EB3-BFE1-B6EF3BC38032.jpeg

MAGNOLIA WARBLER:
large_D4E785F6-68B0-4ADC-8896-F0CB9461F1DC.jpeg

WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH:
large_12B8473D-1ABE-4EE3-9289-56B58C3FBFC5.jpeg

CEDAR WAXWINGS:
large_9D29FFB7-2964-4B58-8C49-513FB938AC16.jpeg

This female BLACK-THROATED BLUE was a nice surprise:
large_13F30B5C-B651-4EB8-8B74-1BC2407A709B.jpeg

And the male was even better!
large_83D6620C-D8AA-48D7-88F9-9AF8F60DCD9A.jpeg

There was one patch of The Ramble with flowering plants and RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS like this cooperative individual abounded:
large_378DB171-395D-4472-81F3-108A01F6B344.jpeg
large_145671A1-F55A-462A-A227-A9CABE32E78A.jpeg

RED-EYED VIREO:
large_02C8CF4A-8C86-43C8-B2DA-00F67C528BBB.jpeg

And its cousin, the PHILADELPHIA VIREO, which was an identification puzzle for a while but turned out to be a highlight of the morning!
large_C26BFF33-18A3-4761-BCED-787D2B1713CA.jpeg

ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS:
large_21AD50BE-7AB6-44B9-9407-4513BC46E2E1.jpeglarge_2136A5C8-F735-4ACE-AFF0-7A7BE3350D44.jpeglarge_15A96834-62C4-43EF-8818-005C072C71F8.jpeg

This WOOD THRUSH, a declining species, was also nice:
large_7C317B49-796D-41A0-A9F5-9944828B6F1D.jpeg

And its uncommon relative the GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH:
large_64502990-0E92-4B95-A373-A413201A8019.jpeg

Male COMMON YELLOWTHROAT:
large_3552EB1B-EF7F-42AA-B962-B499CAA4FF17.jpeg

NASHVILLE WARBLER:
large_5D7B7AA1-3230-49F7-81D1-5118F1F77670.jpeg

TENNESSEE WARBLER:
large_3ECA1422-1FE7-417F-8519-21CDBBC28289.jpeg

BLUE JAYS like this were very common:
large_7DCF0CF7-611F-4F77-9C69-1E93D38CAADC.jpeg

This BLACKPOLL WARBLER was nice!
large_188CD73A-D8F4-4C9B-A330-0D493A245C2C.jpeg

Then, we took the subway to the Chelsea Market and ate Vietnemese sandwiches in a small park near there. Amazingly, in the middle of Manhattan, migrants abounded — a true fallout! AMERICAN REDSTART:
large_8CEDDB2B-B6A6-4CBD-BA3A-6969DF02B133.jpeglarge_CD06177A-354E-455F-BF8C-45E839EC11E6.jpeglarge_9C128E99-2940-4CA2-B324-A7588656B0CE.jpeglarge_1D6424DC-1F2D-4144-9315-1DB57BE5BBF4.jpeg

And this secretive species, a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, was a particularly surprising find in that busy Manhattan park!
large_401CB0B3-C92F-4240-9A2D-690B2BAF948D.jpeg

Bird-of-the-day to the Black-throated Blue Warblers with runner-up to the Philadelphia Vireo. A GREAT day in Central Park! Stay tuned for more migration fun here in NY!

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 953 Species

Posted by skwclar 17:54 Archived in USA Comments (1)

(Entries 11 - 15 of 429) « Page 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 .. »