Monday, March 21, 2016

Long Island Beaches - 21st March

A winter storm made this second day of spring very wintery, but the wind was low so we decided to brave the Long Island beaches to see what was about. Jones Beach coastguard Station had 4 American Oystercatcher, as well as 11 Common Loons, Long-tailed Duck, Surf Scoter, Slavonian Grebe as well as other commoner species.

Point Lookout had a similar spread, with 10 American Oystercatcher, as well as 13 Common Loons, 9 Slavonian Grebes and 2 Long-tailed Duck. A couple of Northern Gannet were off-shore.

Nickerson Beach had as many as 48 American Oystercatcher, 16 Sanderling, and a scattering of gulls and other birds, including at least 4 flyby Northern Gannets.

American Oystercatcher, just arrived to find the beach covered in snow!

Long-tailed Duck still here, but not for long I imagine.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Jamaica Bay - 18th March

The last few weeks have been busy ones on the domestic front, the only birding I've been able to get in has been a trio of failed twitches (Bullock's Oriole in  upstate NY, Barrow's Goldeneye at Pelham Bay Park and American Woodcock at Bryant Park in Manhattan). Today was a short day at school, and both of my classes were cancelled, so I headed to Jamaica Bay for yet another twitch, and to do some general birding. The twitch was immediately successful, a pair of Barn Owls which have taken up residence in the nesting box at Big John's Pond. They didn't come out to play, but were visible as they moved around inside. Barn Owls are surprisingly scarce in New York, this spot is the most reliable site in the whole state. The best of the rest was the 300 or so Snow Goose that were moving around between the west and east ponds.

Snow Goose are brilliant!
Only one blue phase bird.

Barn Owl in a nesting box