Sunday, March 31, 2013

Breezy Point Field Notes 3-31-13...

Not wanting to get in the way of the folks working on the disaster recovery efforts at Breezy Point in Queens, I stayed away as long as I could. Today, I finally visited the area to do some Spring Shorebird reconnaissance. I was not surprised at the loss of habitat. Breezy Point, is "duneless". No more dunes to keep out excessive high tides or storms. If the area is hit with anything the likes of Hurricane Sandy, I am afraid the damage will be worse!

One positive (if there is one) out of all of this, is the vast expanse of beach front that Piping Plovers, Terns and Oystercatchers have at their disposal for nesting sites. Piping Plover monitors are going to have a tough time tracking and monitoring PIPL this season.

Here are some additional photos taken today from a total of 39 species.
Eastern Phoebe
Piping Plover

Sanderlings and Dunlin at Breezy Point

American Oystercatcher

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Van Cortlandt Bird Walk Report 3-23-2013...

An enthusiastic group gathered at the usual meeting location (the nature center) and then it was off on our Saturday morning Van Cortlandt Park walk in the Bronx. After scanning the Parade Grounds, we headed into Vault Hill looking for early migrants. It turned out to be rather uneventful save for two Golden-crowned Kinglets. From Vault Hill we then did the loop around the lake and picked up a couple of good birds including Black-crowned Night Heron, Green-winged Teals and a lone female Ring-necked Duck on the lake. The latter an unusual one for Van Cortlandt Park. We ended up with 37 species, which was not a bad number for this time of the year. Hopefully our next walk will turn up a few more migrants.
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Today's Photo - Banded Peregrine Falcon...

Banded Peregrine Falcon in Queens NY, very likely one that was banded by my friend, Chris Nadareski, a scientist from DEP. This would make the third banded Peregrine that I have photographed that was banded by Chris. The last one I photographed was in the Bronx.

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Varied Thrush AKA Alaskan Robin shows up in Prospect Park Brooklyn NY...

I opted not to go for this bird on Friday when it was reported from Prospect Park, but instead decided to get work done. That might have cost me the great looks and photo opportunities that some were presented. Nevertheless, I was grateful yesterday to have enjoyed extended looks at a very nice male Varied Thrush that sometimes was hard to find as it worked its way among leaf litter.

Many birders came out for this rarity in Prospect Park in Brooklyn and I enjoyed sharing and helping others get the bird. The only downside was not being able to get the bird for 9 year old Gabe who was unable to get on the bird before it disappeared for the afternoon. Hopefully Gabe returned at some point and got the bird. Here are some photos taken under tough conditions as the bird was partially obscured all afternoon.

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I Spy a Pink-footed Goose - really it does have pink feet...

Sure this view was nothing like the excellent looks of the Pink-footed Goose I found in Queens last year, but I am not complaining.  Last Sunday I was lucky to see a Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus) in Orange County.  Even more so, I was in the good company of friends, Tom Burke, Gail Benson and Angus Wilson.  This PFGO was my first in Orange County and my third of the state.  Note: the bird has not been seen since that day, so it could have moved on.  Here are some distant but identifiable photos and yes, it does have pink feet.

No kidding, there is a Pink-footed Goose in the image above.  Look carefully and you should be able to pick it out.  Don't believe me?  Okay, see the next image which I cropped.

Believe me now?  Still having doubts because the feet does not look pink in the above photo?  Okay, then try the next one.

A badly digiscoped photo of a Pink-footed Goose. Tags: ,

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