Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April 17 - Western Long Island birding

Ed Eden, Ann and I spent a lovely Sunday birding various locations on western Long Island. We started out at Connetquot River State Park looking for the previously reported Yellow-throated Warbler. Unfortunately, the warbler eluded us, however, we did enjoy the lovely "bouncing ball" song of a Field Sparrow. From there we went to the coast at Robert Moses State Park where we were treated to forty or so Northern Gannets, most of them adults, flying and plunge diving for fish not far off the beach. A few flocks of Black Scoters were moving east, with a lone White-winged Scoter mixed in. Then it was on to the Coast Guard Station at the West End of Jones Beach State Park. In the distance across the bay we spotted about thirty Forster's Terns standing on a dock. They are my first terns of the year. Much closer to us was a male Black Scoter and a couple of long-tailed Ducks. Feding on the grass was a flock of Brant. I couldn't resist taking a portrait of one of the cooperative birds walking along.

Brant 04/17/2016 Jones Beach
Finally, we checked in at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge back in New York City. There was still a variety of waterfowl on the East Pond - Ruddy Ducks mostly, but also including Northern Shovelers, Gadwall, Green-winged Teal, a lone female Greater Scaup, plus the usual Mallards and American Black Ducks. Most of the Mute Swans were at the northern end of the pond, but one kept paddling by us in breeding display mode.

Mute Swan 04/17/2016 Jamaica Bay
Normally, I ignore Mute Swans, but this one was putting on such a show, I had to take its picture.

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