Better late than never, but I spotted a Common Gallinule Monday afternoon
on the western shore of Massapequa Lake. It was flying out of the lily pads
towards the coves on the northern end of the lake. Maybe it was a refugee
from hurricane Florence.

I got off the Massapequa LIRR station and went to Massapequa Preserve then
down to the lake. It was very quiet, especially around the reservoir. Small
and mid-size birds were absent or very reluctant to come out. After seeing
the gallinule I took a break for lunch. When I returned I saw a reason why.
There was a pair of Sharp-shinned hawks actively hunting, flying around and
through the woods after small birds. Eventually a group of jays got
together to mob them, but as soon as that happened a merlin appeared and
the jays and sharp-shins ran for cover. Then the ospreys that live there
appeared, and they chased off the merlin.

I made my way back to the reservoir and the waterfowl had spread out more
on that pond then they had earlier, particularly the geese. They were still
skittish though, and the entire flock of geese flew away after a Cooper's
Hawk passed by.
Joseph O'Sullivan


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