Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ruff Day On Long Island...

I was at Alley Pond Park in Queens this morning (as I wrote this post the time rolled over to Sunday, so it meant Saturday morning) on one of those off beaten paths looking at a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher when I received word of a Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) on Long Island. Michael McBrien and his dad had found a Ruff at Timber Point Country Club Golf Course in Suffolk County Long Island. I was excited, a Ruff in April. And so I hurried out of Alley to my car and battled the traffic into Long Island. It seemed too long, but I finally made it to the location joining several Long Island birders already present. Shai Mitra who was there pointed out the location on where to look and after a few minutes of looking a nice looking Ruff walked into view, but not for long as it walked back into the grass and kept on doing its peek-a-boo routine all afternoon. Eventually, the Ruff changed its location and those of us who had stuck around got better looks.

After a while the crowd thinned out until there was Dale Dancis, Diana Teta and I alone observing the bird. Soon a few other birders joined us including Sam Janazzo and we continued to get decent looks of the Ruff. Sam left and so did Dale and Diana just as another birder John Gluth arrived. By this time the Ruff had flown into the Northen Marsh and was not being seen for a while. I decided that I would stick around and help John to re-find the bird. While looking for the Ruff, John and I incredulously found a second Ruff. This second Ruff lacked the black from the first Ruff and was deemed a female (Reeve) as it seemed a bit smaller than the "black Ruff; however, it is not easy to tell the Reeve from the "Faeder" type male. See here for a more thorough explanation on the "Faeder Type Ruff". Some additional photos are presented below.

Reeve or Faeder Type Ruff behind a Greater Yellowlegs.

Ruff - this bird reminds me of Rufus Ruff from Jamaica Bay last year.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very good photos of birds