Friday, March 19, 2010

Birding Sunken Meadow State Park LI NY...

White-throated Sparrows, American Tree Sparrows and Cardinals forage.

On Saturday March 6th, I headed out to Sunken Meadow Park in search of a Barnacle Goose that was reported earlier in the week. Unfortunately, I got on the road much too late than I would have liked, and hit the dreaded Southern State Parkway traffic, which cut into my arrival time. However, by 10:00 a.m. I was cruising into the park and browsing the flocks of Canada Geese. I could not find any presence of a Barnacle and ran into a few other birders who told me the place was dead. Now, I had planned on only spending about 1 hour at that location, but the comment on how dead the place was, well...don't laugh, but I decided to take this on as a bit of a challenge. Deciding that I would bird the park to see how "dead" it really was and to see what I could find.

Rusty Blackbird

After working over the flocks of Canada’s, really closely for any possible Cackling Goose, I headed over to field 4 where I found a nice little flock of birds working the ground near a wet area. They turned out to be White-throated, American Tree and Song Sparrows with Cardinals in the mix. I patiently worked that area; at times, just pausing to listen, enjoying the sounds of nature. My patience was rewarded with the sounds of Red-bellied Woodpecker and an Eastern Towhee. An hour well into birding that location I heard the chuck calls of a Rusty Blackbird, I counted about 3 present. As luck would have it, one of them landed right next to the spot where I was observing the flock of Sparrows and Cardinals earlier and I was able to get good looks. Next to the Merlin, that I found later on, this was arguably my best bird of the day.
Ring-billed Gull

From that area, I worked the other fields adding to my day list and ended up doing a sea watch at two locations. On the beach, I spent some time checking out the mostly Ring-billed, Herring and a few Great Black-backed Gulls. My day list ended up at 45 species…not bad for a place that was supposed to be dead :)

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1 comment:

Kerri said...

Way Cool!! LOVE the Rusty Blackbird!!