Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sunday Birding Nets Common Nighthawk and Lark Sparrow...

Yesterday, I got off to a late start, but still managed to have a fine day in the field. After fielding calls from Tom Burke and Seth Asubel who had heard about a rumored Black-necked Stilt at Jamaica Bay (so far it remains a rumor), I headed out to Jones Beach. I was drawn to the location by intelligence received on a Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) that was found in the median at West End II. As I drove to the location, I wondered if the bird would be flushed by the time I got there. Sure enough, as I neared the Jones Beach area, I received word that the bird was flushed. However, as I pulled into West End II, I noticed a few birders gathered around with their bins up; they had either found the bird or looking for it. I quickly made contact and learned that the bird was being seen. I passed on the information to Tom and headed over to the spot. Within minutes, I was enjoying first Bins and then Scope views of the Nighthawk. Tom soon arrived with Gail and they too got on the bird.
While there, we received word that a Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus) that was found the day before at Robert Moses State Park was seen again that morning. Tom, Gail and I decided to pursue finding the bird and shortly thereafter, we headed out to RMSP. I was not long after arriving at Field II that Gail spotted the Lark Sparrow feeding on grass seeds near the median. We quickly got on the bird and then passed the word on to Shai Mitra and Pat Lindsay who had looked for the bird earlier. Other birders were then contacted though not all of them responded. Those who did, got on the bird enjoying good and sustained looks. Here are some photos from the field.

Common Nighthawk at Jones Beach LI.

American Crows kept interrupting nap time.
Lark Sparrow at Robert Moses State Park.
Lark Sparrow at Robert Moses State Park.

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