Saturday, September 26, 2015

Eastern Whip-poor-will in Central Park - 26th Sept

A quick twitch to Central Park for an Eastern Whip-poor-will which was found roosting in tree adjacent to The Loch in the North Woods.

Eastern Whip-poor-will, my third nightjar in New York...

Earlier in the week I found my first Yellow-rumped Warbler of the autumn in Central Park

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Blue Grosbeak at Greenwood Cemetery - 23rd Sept

Eid Al Adha coincided with Yom Kippur this week, which meant another holiday during peak migration season! I headed off to Greenwood Cemetery to try and connect with the Clay-coloured Sparrow that had been hanging around a drying pool called Dell water. No luck sadly, though we were compensated with a great little Blue Grosbeak, as well as a procession of warblers and other migrants. Best of the rest included Blackpoll, Canada and Palm Warblers, Northern Parula, Northern Waterthrush, Swainson's and Wood Thrushes, Veery, Brown Thrasher, Blue-headed, White-eyed and Red-eyed Vireos, Eastern Phoebe and Eastern Wood-Pewee.

First year Blue Grosbeak
Canada Warbler
My second Blackpoll Warbler of the week
Northern Waterthrush

Monk Parakeet. Quite a large colony breeding on the fancy gatehouse at the entrance to the cemetery

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Connecticut Warbler in Trinity Church graveyard - 22nd Sept

One of two birds found on 21st Sept in the graveyard of Trinity Church. I took advantage of a late start at school to head down to Wall St. and very quickly found a couple of birders who put me onto my first Connecticut Warbler.

Other migrants in the small cemetery included a Black-and-white Warbler, several American Redstart, at least two Common Yellowthroats, a Northern Waterthrush and a Brown Thrasher.

Probable 1st year Connecticut Warbler.
This individual seems to have picked up a tick. This wasn't seen by observers earlier in the day.

What a set of spectacles! On several occasions the bird approached to within 2m, much too close for my lens.

The bird was very active, walking quite quickly, and regularly jump/flying off the ground a few inches, presumably catching insects.
The walking action was quite pronounced, rather like a Waterthrush (without the tail wagging) or an Ovenbird (without the head-bobbing). At times it was quite definitely running, interesting behaviour for a warbler.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Jamaica Bay - 14th Sept

Monday being a school holiday (Jewish New Year) I spent it at Jamaica Bay trying to pin down some migrants that I'd missed. After something of a run-around I finally tracked down a party of 11 Blue-winged Teal. Other migrants included 8 Green-winged Teal, many Gadwall and Northern Shoveler, a confiding Northern Waterthrush, an Empidonax sp. which I narrowed down to Alder or Willow Flycatcher, and a very nice group of 6 Pied-billed Grebes performing outside the hide on the East Pond.

One of 6 Pied-billed Grebes near the hide on the East Pond
Northern Waterthrush at Big John's Pond
Empidonax sp. (Either Willow or Alder Flycatcher)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Long Island migrants - 12th Sep

Migration has kicked in with a vengeance, so I decided to head to the sod farms of eastern Long Island to look for the grassland specialists, "grasspipers" in the local vernacular. The farms north of Riverhead are the most reliable spot, and the first birds I found were 12 American Golden Plovers, in amongst the 50+ Killdeer. They were joined after an hour or so by a Buff-breasted Sandpiper. All the birds in the area were scattered by a hunting Merlin so I moved to the other side, where the first bird I looked at was a gorgeous juvenile Baird's Sandpiper! 3 Target birds achieved before 7:30am!

A lovely trio of birds too, each with a particular significance. The AGP is my last Pluvialis, Baird's has been a bogey bird for me ever since I dipped one on my local patch, Marievale, in about 2000, and the first vagrant I ever saw was a Buffy, at Cley in about 1981/82 (shown to me by Brian Bland).

I moved on the EPCAL to look for a Common Gallinule (Moorhen), which didn't co-operate, though there were 5 Solitary Sandpipers, a Spotted Sandpiper and a Fish Crow there.

Last stop was Jones' Beach. This was quite good, with several recently arrived migrants including; Common Nighthawk, Dickcissel, Northern Parula, Blackpoll Warbler, Yellow Warbler, American Redstart, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Baltimore Oriole and Eastern Towhee.

American Golden Plover. Much closer than the birds at Riverhead, this was at a small pond in the car park at Hickscher State Park
Greater Yellowlegs
I initially identified this as a Pine Warbler, however the streaked upperparts should have given the game away.... should the bright yellow feet! Blackpoll Warbler every day of the week!

Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler

Friday, September 4, 2015

American Bittern in the front garden! - 4th Sept

American Bittern ... in a very slightly unnatural setting. Now that is what I call a garden tick!

The view from the main bedroom.
...and from the deck.

You have to admire his faith in his camouflage

...and in the back garden the Woodchuck!