Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Hike...

I stopped by Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens NY, yesterday morning to check out the water level on the East Pond, which has become a focal point of concern for many birders. Last year, it was felt by many that the pond was not managed very well during peak shorebird season and so folks are extra sensitive about it this year. From my perspective, the refuge management are doing what they can to ensure the water level is managed effectively. I have had several conversations with them recently and they have indicated that the water level is already being reduced in anticipation of the shorebird migration. I would hope folks exercise patience as the architecture of the drainage system depends on less or no rain to be effective. Hopefully if all goes as planned, we will have decent amount of mudflats opening up within a few weeks.

Getting back to my visit; I hiked the West Pond a little past Terrapin Trail and saw the current usual species. I did get some interesting photos of non breeding Forster's Terns, something I find quite useful for my birding ID education. Over at Big John's, I had excellent looks at Black Crowned Night Herons and 1 Green Heron. Further out on the East Pond, I scanned the far shore thoroughly and sure enough, I found what I was hoping for. Signs of early shorebird arrivals in Greater Yellowlegs (6), Lesser Yellowlegs (13) and Shortbilled Dowitcher (6). Tags: , , ,
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8 comments:

LadyWoodpecker said...

Oh! I love that photo of the Black Crowned Night Heron. Such a beautiful bird! Very nice BLOG post :)

BIRDINGDUDE said...

@LadyWoodpecker - Hi, thanks for stopping by and posting a comment. Always good to have an acknowledgment on one's work. The Black Crown Night Heron is indeed a beautiful bird and I was lucky to get the shot that I did.

On the East Pond - I wanted to comment on the water level at the East Pond because it seems that a lot of folks are calling into the refuge and some are not being civil about it.

julia said...

Thanks! Your support always gives us a warm fuzzy. Plus, it helps get what is going on out there with the hope of the same underatsnding you have.

dAwN said...

Great photos! Very cool that the birds are coming south...time to bird every day!

BIRDINGDUDE said...

@ Julia - Hi Julia, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Sometimes, impatience impede judgment which leads to hasty conclusions. I did what I could in offering a viable explanation.

BIRDINGDUDE said...

@Dawn - Bird everyday like it is the last day of your life. That is my motivation.

Cindy said...

I love your pictures- the oystercatcher's beak is a beautiful shade of red/orange. I'm new at birding and want to go out to Jamaica bay refuge is it a pretty safe place for a woman to walk alone like at 8:30 on a Sat morning?

BIRDINGDUDE said...

@Cindy - Hi thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment and a nice compliment at that. The first bird on this post is a Common Tern and the second is a Black Crowned Night Heron.

On safety at the Refuge. I don't guarantee anything because nothing can be taken for granted these days. However, I have not heard of any shenanigans at the Refuge that would be cause for concern. There are usually folks already hitting the trails by 8:30 AM and the Visitor's center is open by 9:00 AM, if that makes you feel any better.

I have birded the trails as early as 6:00 AM and sometimes even earlier. Lately, I have been getting there as late as (7:30 AM). If you plan on going I recommend doing the West Pond trail first as it is more user friendly and probably better for you at 8:30 AM

Note, you should get maps of the refuge. If you need additional information feel free to send me an e-mail with your questions and I will be glad to help out.