Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Black Brant on Long Island...

On Sunday, my friend Patricia Lindsay found a Black Brant (Branta bernicla nigricans/orientalis) at Heckscher State Park. Not having seen one, I took a chance with the Easter Sunday traffic and left Queens in search of the bird. After spending an hour unsuccessfully searching for Brants in the park, I was on my way out when I spotted a flock of Brants near field 5. Unfortunately, a family visiting the area felt it was fun to have their kids run at the Brants, so I never got a chance to look at the flock for my target bird as they all took off.

On the advice of Pat, I subsequently visited Timber Point Country Club Golf Course, which is located nearby and is known to host flocks of Geese when they are not at Heckscher. I did not find any, but the next day, two Long Island birders, John Gluth and Derek Rogers individually saw the Black Brant on the Golf Course. So, I was back on Long Island today, and went straight to Timber Point Country Club Golf Course. After about 20 minutes, I found a (the) flock of Brants (estimated at about 600) and after patiently working the flock, finally spied my target bird as I spotted a near complete white collar from one of the raised head. I spent some time working the flock studying and enjoying this bird.  My first Black Brandt and another to add to my collection of rare geese. Here are some photos.

I cropped this photo to make it easier to see the Black Brant in this flock?

Here is a nice look at the almost complete white collar.

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