[nysbirds-l] Black-headed x Ring-billed Gull hybrid & more gulls, Brooklyn Bridge Park

2021-12-29 Thread Doug Gochfeld
The Brooklyn Bridge Park gull roost is, as usual, providing good
entertainment for all wholehearted and would-be larophiles this winter.

Yesterday evening, among the 3,000 or so Larus gulls roosting at the park,
there was a beautiful, crisply plumaged juvenile Iceland Gull
(Kumlien's-type), as well as a subadult Lesser Black-backed Gull. Despite
their increasing numbers in the region, and their relative local abundance
compared to Iceland Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull has actually proven to
be the less common of the two at this site through the last few years of
intermittent-to-semi-regular gull roost watching.

Photos of these two individuals here:
https://ebird.org/checklist/S99612810

Today, it hosted what is undoubtedly the rarest gull that has yet to be
detected at the site. Early in the evening, Jer Thorp and Mike Yuan found
an adult Iceland Gull on the Pier 1 pilings, and then a bit later, as light
was truly failing, they found an adult* Black-headed Gull x Ring-billed
Gull hybrid!* I came over from the marina, where I was looking at
Ring-billed Gulls, and much to my delight we were able to re-find the bird.
It was (and presumably still is) roosting on one of the pilings about
midway between the north and south ends of the pilings.

Photos and video of the bird, taken under poor light conditions, can be
seen here:
Mike Yuan & Jer Thorp's checklists: https://ebird.org/checklist/S99659899
My checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S99658765

This site, while sometimes hosting single uncommon gulls for much of a
winter, has lots and lots of turnover from day-to-day, providing a "you
never know what you'll see" feel to each evening's roost watching. This was
evidenced by today's absence of yesterday's Iceland and Lesser Black-backed
Gulls, and the appearance of a new adult Iceland Gull today, as well as a
change in the numbers of Great Black-backed Gulls using the pilings from
the single digits yesterday, to 35-40 this evening, and a reduction in the
Ring-billed Gull count by almost a thousand birds between last night and
tonight.

For those wishing to gull at the site, there are two night roosts: the Pier
1 pilings, which tend to host a much higher percentage of larger gulls
(Herring and Great Black-backed), as well as the marina between Piers 3 &
5, which usually features between 1,500-4,500 Ring-billed Gulls, depending
on date, weather conditions, tides, and surely many other things we do not
yet fully understand.

The gulls begin to arrive en masse right around sunset, with many
continuing to pile in after official sunset. A scope is particularly
helpful once night falls, and the ambient light at the park makes some gull
identification feasible well beyond nightfall.

The park is accessible by public transportation, and very limited metered
parking is available along Furman Street, with more expensive parking
garages also very close to the park. There are more parking options
available in Brooklyn Heights or near Atlantic Avenue, a short walk away
from the park.

Good gulling!
Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Townsend’s Warbler, Brooklyn

2021-09-09 Thread Doug Gochfeld
We just found a female Townsend’s Warbler at Green-Wood Cemetery in
Brooklyn. Loosely associating with large roving warbler flock here
40.6550003, -73.9905200


We are not on the bird right now but the flock is generally moving south.


Enter at the 25th St. main entrance to the cemetery.


Good Birding

Doug Gochfeld, George Armistead, Chris Bell

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[nysbirds-l] Connecticut Warbler, Brooklyn - Green-Wood Cemetery

2021-09-07 Thread Doug Gochfeld
This morning, Tripper Paul and I came across a *Connecticut Warbler* in
Green-Wood Cemetery. It flushed out of a patch of unmowed grass at the base
of the slope on the north side of the Dell Water, and flew into the woods
on the slope. We quickly re-found it in the dark understory (seemingly
better habitat for CONW than where it originally was), where it perched in
one place for a minute or two, as the species often does after flying off
the ground. We saw it one further time a short while later, similarly
perched a foot or two off the forest floor, before it dropped down and
melted back into the woods.

The cemetery was very active in general, with other low density migrant
highlights being a very active *Yellow-bellied Flycatcher* adjacent to the
Crescent Water, and at least 3 *Bay-breasted Warblers*. Other species with
relatively strong showings were American Redstart, Red-eyed Vireo, and
Common Yellowthroat (all three were abundant), and Eastern Wood-Pewee and
Veery.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Hudsonian Godwit, White-faced Ibis, JBWR now

2021-07-09 Thread Doug Gochfeld
There is currently an adult male Hudsonian Godwit along the east side of
the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens. It is just north of
the Raunt, and visible from the overlook at the end of the Big John’s Pond
trail.

There is also an adult White-faced Ibis (presumably the continuing bird)
that was initially at the south end of the pond, then in the same vicinity
as the godwit (presumably the same individual having relocated), and now
not currently in view from my vantage. A Gull-billed Tern is also foraging
around the pond.

I recommend knee-high rubber boots for anyone wanting to actually walk the
edge of the pond from either south or north ends, though they are not
necessary to view the pond from the south end or the Big John’s Pond trail.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.



——



Douglas Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.
Field Guides Birding Tours
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https://www.instagram.com/douglasgochfeld/
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[nysbirds-l] Prospect Martin NOW

2021-04-03 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Progne being seen around Duck Island on the east side of the lake, now.

Good Luck
-Doug Gochfeld

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Re: [nysbirds-l] Prospect Park Progne summary 04/02/21

2021-04-03 Thread Doug Gochfeld
As far as I am aware, the martin has not yet put in an appearance this
morning. People are spread all around the lake searching, including where a
few swallows are perched at yesterday’s morning martin perch spot. Others
are also looking at other potential sunbathing perched around the park’s
waterbodies.

Best
-Doug Gochfeld



On Sat, Apr 3, 2021 at 08:22 Robert Lewis  wrote:

> How do birders in Brooklyn communicate with each other rapidly?
> Whatsapp?  Twitter?
>
> Bob Lewis
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Friday, April 2, 2021, 9:27:27 PM EDT, Doug Gochfeld <
> fresha2...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> This morning, the Progne was perched in a tree at the NW corner of
> Prospect Park Lake with a dozen Tree Swallows and a single Northern
> Rough-winged Swallow. It stayed perched in the tree, puffed up in the
> sub-freezing temps, for several hours, only occasionally sallying out over
> the lake before returning to its arboreal perches. It finally went out to
> forage for the day around 11 AM.
>
> From what I gather, it was putting on an excellent show for much of mid
> day around the cove at the SW corner of the lake, best viewed from the
> nearby gazebo. Around 16:00, it relocated to the area between The Peninsula
> and Duck Island (both labeled on Google Maps), and it was there through
> 17:30. I am not aware of other sightings past this time, though it was
> getting darker, cooler, and presumably less insect-heavy around the lake by
> that time.
>
> If it continues to follow today’s pattern, the NW shore of the lake, where
> the sun first hits, closest to the park entrance at Prospect Park SW and
> Vanderbilt Ave., would be the place to be early in the morning. It is
> supposed to be not quite as cold as last night here, and we’re slated for
> sun in the morning, so it should warm up more quickly than this morning.
>
> The bird continued to strike me, and others, as smaller and shorter-winged
> than a Purple Martin, perhaps bringing Gray-breasted Martin into play as
> one of the more likely candidates.
>
> Good Birding!
> -Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.
>
>
>
> --
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[nysbirds-l] Prospect Park Progne summary 04/02/21

2021-04-02 Thread Doug Gochfeld
This morning, the *Progne *was perched in a tree at the NW corner of
Prospect Park Lake with a dozen Tree Swallows and a single Northern
Rough-winged Swallow. It stayed perched in the tree, puffed up in the
sub-freezing temps, for several hours, only occasionally sallying out over
the lake before returning to its arboreal perches. It finally went out to
forage for the day around 11 AM.

>From what I gather, it was putting on an excellent show for much of mid day
around the cove at the SW corner of the lake, best viewed from the nearby
gazebo. Around 16:00, it relocated to the area between The Peninsula and
Duck Island (both labeled on Google Maps), and it was there through 17:30.
I am not aware of other sightings past this time, though it was getting
darker, cooler, and presumably less insect-heavy around the lake by that
time.

If it continues to follow today’s pattern, the NW shore of the lake, where
the sun first hits, closest to the park entrance at Prospect Park SW and
Vanderbilt Ave., would be the place to be early in the morning. It is
supposed to be not quite as cold as last night here, and we’re slated for
sun in the morning, so it should warm up more quickly than this morning.

The bird continued to strike me, and others, as smaller and shorter-winged
than a Purple Martin, perhaps bringing Gray-breasted Martin into play as
one of the more likely candidates.

Good Birding!
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Prospect Park Progne

2021-04-02 Thread Doug Gochfeld
A group of birders is currently looking at the intriguing Progne martin in
Prospect Park. It is perched in a tree overhanging the NW corner of the
lake. Nice comparison showing its apparently relatively small size for a
martin.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Prospect Park Progne

2021-04-01 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Here are two eBird lists with a couple of sets of photos of the
intriguing *Progne
*martin from Prospect Park today. The first checklist is from the rainy and
overcast conditions of the morning, and the second is from the considerably
brighter afternoon. The bird was last seen flying over the lake ~15 minutes
past sunset, after which it was too dark to keep track of it well.

https://ebird.org/atlasny/checklist/S84571274

https://ebird.org/atlasny/checklist/S84575730

I imagine that there will be plenty of people on site in the morning to see
if the bird is still present despite the near-freezing overnight low.

Good luck if you go
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Prospect Park (likely) Caribbean/Cuban Martin continuing

2021-04-01 Thread Doug Gochfeld
The apparent “Snowy-bellied” Martin on Prospect Lake has been continuing on
and off in Prospect Park all afternoon, since my last message. It is
ranging widely around the lake from end-to-end, but the base and tip of the
peninsula remain good general vantage points. It spent a long time at one
point at the SW corner of the lake.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Prospect Park Progne Martin

2021-04-01 Thread Doug Gochfeld
This morning I came across a Progne (genus) martin flying over the lake in
Prospect Park. It struck me as very odd, and resembling martin species
other than Purple Martin. After viewing it for a while in the rain, trying
different vantage points around the lake, I left the park, guessing that
the null hypothesis of Purple Martin was the likely answer.

After reviewing the photos, it is still unclear to me whether this falls
into the vast range of variation of Purple Martin, or is something like a
Caribbean Martin.

Not a definitive identification by any stretch, but it is intriguing, so
worth a look for those interested. I’m on my way back right now to try and
get more views.

Good birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Common Gull Prospect Park - now

2021-03-04 Thread Doug Gochfeld
After a week or so absence, the Common Gull (Mew Gull) is back on the
limited ice edge at the SW corner of Prospect Lake in Prospect Park,
Brooklyn.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Le Conte’s Sparrow - Queens

2021-02-16 Thread Doug Gochfeld
I found a Le Conte’s Sparrow in the ocean-side dunes at Breezy Point in
Queens. It was 100+ meters west of where the 4x4 trail hits the beach, at
the southernmost dune line. It was exceptionally skulky and difficult to
locate, even after I was aware of its presence. An Iceland Gull on the
water in the inlet was the only other unusual bird I detected in my midday
circuit.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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Re:[nysbirds-l] Common Gull viewing logistics

2021-02-15 Thread Doug Gochfeld
I also meant to add that in this Common Gull search situation a telescope
is crucial- perhaps essential.

Best
-Doug Gochfeld



On Mon, Feb 15, 2021 at 14:09 Doug Gochfeld  wrote:

> Prospect Lake (in Prospect Park) is mostly frozen over, but has an opening
> in the center, where the geese roost overnight. This opening is south of
> The Peninsula meadow and north of “The Peristyle” (labeled on Google Maps).
> This open water is the main attraction for gulls, which are using it to
> bathe. The bulk of the Ring-billed Gulls tend to stand on the ice northwest
> and west of this open water, while most of the larger gulls tend to stick
> closer to the open water.
>
> The best vantage point will depend on where the bird is, and what the wind
> direction is. The south side of the lake is usually closest, but in a north
> wind (which we seem to be in a never ending period of), the gulls will
> often be facing north, and you will be looking right into the wind. The
> western shore has some raised spots where you can see into the flock more
> easily (the Common Gull was obscured by other gulls for a long time for
> people looking from the southern vantage, which is low). The Peninsula
> meadow edge can be good too, though also low. There is plenty of street
> parking around the SW corner of the park. I believe, but am not certain,
> that the parking lot on Breeze Hill is open (enter at Lincoln Road/Ocean
> Ave.).
>
> Good luck if you go for this understated but excellent bird.
> -Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.
>
>
>

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[nysbirds-l] Common Gull viewing logistics

2021-02-15 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Prospect Lake (in Prospect Park) is mostly frozen over, but has an opening
in the center, where the geese roost overnight. This opening is south of
The Peninsula meadow and north of “The Peristyle” (labeled on Google Maps).
This open water is the main attraction for gulls, which are using it to
bathe. The bulk of the Ring-billed Gulls tend to stand on the ice northwest
and west of this open water, while most of the larger gulls tend to stick
closer to the open water.

The best vantage point will depend on where the bird is, and what the wind
direction is. The south side of the lake is usually closest, but in a north
wind (which we seem to be in a never ending period of), the gulls will
often be facing north, and you will be looking right into the wind. The
western shore has some raised spots where you can see into the flock more
easily (the Common Gull was obscured by other gulls for a long time for
people looking from the southern vantage, which is low). The Peninsula
meadow edge can be good too, though also low. There is plenty of street
parking around the SW corner of the park. I believe, but am not certain,
that the parking lot on Breeze Hill is open (enter at Lincoln Road/Ocean
Ave.).

Good luck if you go for this understated but excellent bird.
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Common Gull Prospect Park now

2021-02-15 Thread Doug Gochfeld
The young Common Gull is on the ice on Prospect Lake this morning. Showing
well at the moment after being completely obscured by other gulls for quite
some time earlier.

-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Mew Gull Prospect Park - right now

2021-02-10 Thread Doug Gochfeld
There is currently a Common Gull (European subspecies/version of Mew Gull)
standing on the ice on Prospect Lake in Prospect Park in Brooklyn right
now. Seems likely to be the same individual that had been intermittently
seen at the Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier.

All the gulls flushed and resettled a short time ago, but luckily the
Common Gull remained, so it seems to be settled at the lake for the moment.

Good luck if you go
Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Least Flycatcher (probably) Prospect Park, Brooklyn

2020-11-20 Thread Doug Gochfeld
I had an Empidonax flycatcher this morning in Prospect Park. I was first
alerted to the bird by its incessant "whit" calls, and eventually got some
looks at it as it actively foraged fairly high in the treetops. Between the
vocalizations and the views I got of it, the only contenders seemed to me
to be Least and Dusky. All the factors as I assessed them in the field
pointed towards the much more expected (even at this late date) Least,
which is what I called it in the field.

Given, however, that these two species can be exceptionally difficult to
tell apart, I figure it warrants a posting here should anyone want to try
and follow up on it.

It was along the path that goes uphill from the Dongan Oak Monument, just
north of the NW corner of the zoo. It was in the treetops right over and
just north of the monument, roughly at these coordinates:
40.666282, -73.966670

Other birds of some interest amid the throngs of dogs walking their owners
were an *Orange-crowned Warbler* on the Peninsula's thumb, a *House Wren*
behind the Wellhouse, and a half dozen *Rusty Blackbirds* feeding around
the pools in the Vale of Cashmere.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Cave Swallow and Barn Swallow in Brooklyn now

2020-11-17 Thread Doug Gochfeld
There is currently one each of Cave Swallow and Barn Swallow flying around
the hangar at the boat launch parking lot at Floyd Bennett Field in
Brooklyn. It seems possible, given their behavior and the lateness in the
day, that they will attempt to roost there this evening.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Western Rockaway Peninsula: 2 different King Eiders

2020-11-16 Thread Doug Gochfeld
A quick note of interest about the King Eider at Breezy Point and Fort
TIlden. This is not one bird moving back and forth, but two separate
individuals: the one that was posted here over a week ago is remaining
faithful to the Common Eider flock just east of the Breezy Point jetty, and
another one (found by Lisa Scheppke and Eric Miller, I believe) is being
faithful to the groin jetties off the Fort Tilden.

In addition to the face pattern being a bit different, the orange frontal
lobe/shield on the bill of the two birds is very obviously differently
shaped- being much larger and more bulbous on the Fort Tilden bird. This is
viewable on photos embedded in various eBird checklists from the two
locales.

Thanks to Lisa for prompting investigation of how many individuals are
involved.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld

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[nysbirds-l] Western Tanager at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn Now

2020-11-16 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Enrico Leonardi briefly spotted a Western Tanager in Green-Wood Cemetery a
couple of days ago but it wasn’t re-found that day. Rob Jett re-located it
a little while ago today and it is still present with many birders
attending. It is in-and-out of view and mobile within a couple of hundred
yard radius around these coordinates:
40.6511892, -73.9856404
(Near Vine and Cypress Aves.)

The only entrances open to car traffic on weekdays right now are the ones
at 5th Ave. and 25th St., and the Sunset Park entrance, both on the north
side of the cemetery.

Good birding,
Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Brooklyn & Queens weekend migration and rarities

2020-10-25 Thread Doug Gochfeld
The last three days along the Brooklyn and Queens coast have been a great
study in the dynamism that is bird migration in late October.


On Friday morning, I birded an exceedingly foggy Plum Beach in Brooklyn
after a modest night flight overnight (visible on Nexrad radar). The dunes
had a surprising amount of passerines, with Yellow-rumped Warblers
dominating (as seems to always be the case at this date), with several
flocks surreally moving westbound through the dense fog as they searched
for more suitable land. The marsh had its usual excellent array of marsh
sparrows with at least four taxa tallied (*Seaside*, *Saltmarsh*, and
*Nelson’s* (both Interior and Atlantic Coast types). Passerine rarities
that were likely thanks to the weather were a *Dickcissel* feeding in the
marsh as if it were one of the marsh sparrows, and a *GRASSHOPPER SPARROW*
seen nicely (once the fog lifted) in the dunes along with plenty of
Savannahs and Songs. A rare-for-Brooklyn *LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER* appeared
out of the fog with a small flock of Greater Yellowlegs but they continued
on to the west.


I spent the past two mornings at Breezy Point in Queens, to see what the
visible migration situation would be like during these two opposing
wind conditions on back-to-back days. Yesterday, the moderate SW wind
produced a very good waterbird flight of westbound birds over the ocean,
with the highlight species being a group of *3* *HARLEQUIN DUCKS* amidst a
large migrating flock of Black Scoters (of which more than a thousand
passed through the morning).

The passerine flight was also interesting, with double digit numbers of
both Pine and Blackpoll Warblers jumping off into the headwind to migrate
across the bay, a few Cape May Warblers, and an unseen *Lapland Longspur*
flight calling its way through, and over *2,300 Pine Siskins*. The coolest
event (and the one I've seen fewest times) for me, however, was watching a
group of 25 Black-capped Chickadees take flight from the western end of the
dunes and get up high in an abortive attempt to migrate across the bay.
After this, chickadees sporadically flew up into the headwind towards the
jetty before returning to the dunes, but eventually at least four set sail
into the wind and continued over the bay.


Today, after a much more classic big post-cold front nocturnal flight, the
dunes and scrub were pulsating with birds first thing in the morning,
mostly sparrows (White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos dominating).
Migration was very dispersed and multi-directional due to the easterly
component of the wind (it was Northeast for most of the morning), and many
birds were very high. It was while looking for these high flocks that I
came across what turned out to be a *SANDHILL CRANE* hauling westward very
high up. When it got well out over the mouth of lower New York Bay it
circled for a minute or two and then headed south towards Sandy Hook. This
was interesting timing, because there has been a Great Blue Heron at Breezy
Point for the past two days which has been flying around only with its neck
fully extended, and I had been meditating on how superficially
similar-looking to Sandhill Cranes they can be when doing this. That heron
is likely still around.


As I was returning to the parking lot later on, I encountered a *HENSLOW'S
SPARROW* which flushed out of a patch of bluestem grass and perched in a
Bayberry Bush for a minute or two. After it vanished, I tried to re-find
the bird with another nearby birder for about 40 minutes but we sadly came
up empty despite an intensive effort. There are a lot of dunes for such a
skulky species to disappear into.


Afterwards I swung by Riis Park, where walking various excellent looking
patches of weedy habitat and dune scrub yielded *Marsh Wren *(Neponsit
field)*, Nelson’s Sparrow, Orange-crowned Warbler*, and 3 Eastern
Meadowlarks.



Viva la migración

-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY

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[nysbirds-l] Sooty Terns NYC

2020-08-04 Thread Doug Gochfeld
A short time ago a Sooty Tern flew west at Coney Island Creek Park in
Brooklyn, heading back out towards the ocean, apparently. Earlier another
or the same was see. By Sean Sime viewing from Gravesend. I have heard two
other reports so far today- of 3 Sooty Terns now southbound on the Hudson
in Manhattan (70th St.) (Ryan Zucker), and much earlier amidst the heaviest
of the storm Shane Blodgett watched 3 “Tropical Terns” (likely Sooty) come
in off the ocean and headed south over land at Riis Park.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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Re: [nysbirds-l] Oystercatcher nest in unprotected area

2020-05-20 Thread Doug Gochfeld
For the record, American Oystercatcher has nested at this site annually for
the past 5 years or more, with the nest typically being right in the area
Gus described.

Here is a checklist with photos (by Bobbi Manian) of two recently hatched
young from this site in 2015:
https://ebird.org/checklist/S23762945

It is most excellent that they’ll have some protection for the nest this
year.

That said, the post-hatching stage seems to be the especially problematic
period of time at this site, as I don’t know that any of these successfully
hatched chicks have made it to the point of fledging/flight.

Good Birding
Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.



On Tue, May 19, 2020 at 15:47 Gus Keri  wrote:

> Hi everyone,
>
> I know we are not supposed to reveal nesting locations but I think
> everyone who is going to visit Plumb beach should be aware of this one. I
> have never seen a nest in this place which is not protected and have many
> people and dogs roaming the beach.
>
> Today, I found an Oystercatcher nest in a very open area where birders
> walk sometimes. I know because I walked this area many time before,
> particularly, in search of Sparrows. And it is very easy for any one to
> step over the eggs accidently.
>
> The nest is located at the far east end, near the large wooden board. I
> posted few photos on my eBird list to make it easy to find the nest.
> You can see them here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S69331372
>
> Unfortunately, nothing can be done about off-leash dogs which is a common
> problem in this place. Although, for some reason, I have not run into any
> dogs during my last two visits. I don't know if the social distancing
> secondary to the Coronavirus has any thing to do with.
>
> I have a reason to believe that social distancing and stay-at-home policy
> have allowed for the Oystercatchers to build a nest on this beach.
>
> So, please, If you are planning to go to Plumb beach, watch your steps.
>
> Gus Keri
>
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[nysbirds-l] (Over)Certainty in eBird reports (Brooklyn Painted Bunting info)

2020-02-12 Thread Doug Gochfeld
While the specifics below directly pertain to one individual vagrant, the
overall take home message should be valuable to anybody who tries to
classify natural organisms.

This winter’s incursion of Painted Buntings into the region has brought
delight to many New York birders. All three of the lingering Long Island
individuals are green. The bunting that was found at Brooklyn Bridge Park
by Heather Wolf in late December has been seen by hundreds of people at
this point, and eBirded perhaps a couple of hundred times.

Of those reports, many have comments regarding the age or sex of the bird,
and of these, a not-insignificant portion refer to the bird with certainty
as a female and a an immature male, virtually none of which have any
discussion as to why it is being classified as such.

In January, I E-Mailed Peter Pyle some photos, to see if he could make
sense of it. He sent me a detailed analysis, which I have pasted as the
bottom of this E-Mail, but the concise version is this: *The bird IS an
immature (hatched in 2019). It CANNOT, in its current plumage, be visually
identified to sex*, and it seems most likely that it is a young male (as so
many vagrants are) if he had to guess.

On that note, and given that eBird reports become a part of the permanent
record, it would be great if the comments, when people look back years from
now, were not just consistent, but accurate. Rather than having the very
careful and earnest eBird moderators (a wholly volunteer and typically
thankless job), in this case Sean and Shane, whom many of you know, reach
out to every single person who writes “female” or "_ male" in the comments,
it would be great if those reporting the bird going forward make comments
that reflect only the highest level of certainty, rather than assumptions
or guesswork. Also, if you have gone to see the bunting, please also check
your prior observations to see if your comments can use some amending.


In the meantime, the young Painted Bunting does indeed continue at Brooklyn
Bridge Park, seemingly becoming more acclimated to passers by as time goes
on. Here are some photos and video of it from a couple of days ago, where
it seems, though it may be my imagination, that there are some brighter
green feathers and a bluish tinge starting to appear around the nape:

https://ebird.org/checklist/S64302675


*Full text from Peter Pyle:*




*"So you are correct, this is a first-winter bird (SY now). The rectrices
have been replaced during the preformative molt, so shape and condition
of these are no longer useful for ageing. However, you can see molt limits
in the remiges indicating an "eccentric" preformative molt, which
confirms SY. It looks like p5-p9 and s5-s9 or s6-s9 have been replaced
leaving p1-p4 and s1-s4 or s1-s5 as juvenile. I can't quite decide on s5 in
the photos you sent but the limit is easiest to see on image 3563 between
the green tertials/s6 and  the browner s1-s4. The limit in the primaries
is also subtle here but seems to be between p4 and p5.So, reliable sexing
in formative plumage is not really possible, but its brightness and
the relatively big bill suggests male to me. If it winters, keep an eye out
for some blue and/or red featherd to come in within the next 4
months. These would probably be accidentally lost and replaced feathers
rather than molt. If it gets away without replacing any feathers like this,
best to leave it as sex unknown.Hope this helps and feel free to re-post
these comments."*

Good Birding,
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Black Brant/Razorbill- Brooklyn

2020-01-30 Thread Doug Gochfeld
A short time ago a *BLACK BRANT* (the western form-currently considered a
subspecies-of Brant) landed at the mudflats adjacent to the boat launch at
Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. A short while later it took off and flew
to the east, well out over Jamaica Bay. While I was watching it fly away,
it flew over an alcid floating on the water at some distance, which turned
out to be a *RAZORBILL*.

Good Birding!
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Brooklyn Bird Spectacle & Recent Rarities

2020-01-05 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Hey all,

One of my favorite, and one of the most generally overlooked relative to
accessibility for birders, winter birding activity in Brooklyn is watching
the gulls come in to roost at Brooklyn Bridge Park. One could (and I
may...) argue that this roost has one of the most awesome backdrops of any
gull roost in the country (with the full acceptance that I don't know the
settings of a good many), with the lower Manhattan skyline, Brooklyn
Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and often-gorgeous sunset. Watching 4,000+ gulls
fly in around dusk in this setting is a one-of-a-kind juxtaposition, and
one I never tire of (despite how numb my fingers may get in the cold on
some evenings).

I took the Painted Bunting that Heather Wolf found recently at the park as
an incentive to get to the gull roost a bit earlier than usual on Thursday,
and after seeing the greenie (as well as the Field Sparrows and a pile of
White-throated Sparrows- the habitat at the park is really getting better
by all the time!), turned my attention to the gulls. While I didn't find
any unusual species amid the ~4,000 Ring-billed Gulls roosting in the
marina between Piers 3 & 5, a couple of different visits to the pilings
just west of Pier 1 turned up first an adult BLACK-HEADED GULL, and then
later, when it was positively nighttime, a juvenile ICELAND GULL. One of
the great things about this roost is that you can continue to observe and
scrutinize the birds well past dusk--while the light does get progressively
worse past dusk, it never gets un-birdable. It's a very fun experience that
I recommend for those who haven't seen it. If you find yourself chasing the
Painted Bunting in the afternoon this winter, stick around to dusk and
watch the gulls stream in!

On a different note, after twitching the HARLEQUIN DUCK found in Sheepshead
Bay by Daisy Lane Paul this morning, I hung around for a while (in another
oft-overlooked place, given how many birds concentrate here in winter), and
a very crisp-looking, and cooperative, juvenile ICELAND GULL appeared, and
delighted the folks who were still lingering and those arriving to see the
duck.
As for said duck: Despite being an annual winter visitor to various jetties
and breakwaters of the southern shore of Long Island, it is very rarely
observed in Brooklyn. This is only the 4th record in the county in the last
20+ years, as far as I am aware.

eBird checklist with a couple of context photos of the BBP gull roost:
https://ebird.org/checklist/S62934732

eBird list from Daisy's duck at Sheepshead today:
https://ebird.org/checklist/S63051166

Good Urban Birding!
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Bronx- Baird’s Sandpiper and Pectoral Sandpipers

2019-09-14 Thread Doug Gochfeld
There is currently a juvenile Baird’s Sandpiper and at least 12 juvenile
Pectoral Sandpipers at Jerome Reservoir, among around 70 shorebirds. Also
roughly 200 Chimney Swifts flying around fairly low.

Viewing from Webb Ave. and Reservoir Ave., with plenty of street parking.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] NYC Connecticut Warblers Yesterday (including 2 together)

2019-09-13 Thread Doug Gochfeld
After volunteering at the Tribute In Light in lower Manhattan overnight
September 11-12, I drove straight to Coney Island Creek Park in Brooklyn on
Thursday morning to see if the overnight cold front had produced any
turnover.

There was a modest flight of songbirds evident at the park, with dozens
each of warblers, Bobolinks, and Cedar Waxwings. The lack of volume wasn't
terribly surprising given the late passage of the front and the light radar
signature overnight. Though from a favorable direction, the wind was light,
and this conspired with the steadily clearing skies to allow migrants to
stay fairly high in the sky, with plenty of warblers going by unidentified
(including some calling overhead unseen).

A second motive for checking the park rather than collapsing into bed was
that pre-dawn rain (which was evident yesterday morning looking south from
Manhattan and at the radar) often produces interesting birds on the ground
in Coney Island, even in the absence of a visible diurnal migration flight.

Indeed, as I birded my way through the woods between the beach and the
street, I came upon a *CONNECTICUT WARBLER* foraging in the open
understory. After a while I was able to confirm *TWO* slightly different
looking individuals when they were cooperative enough to both be in view
simultaneously. One of them was apparently a young male, and in addition to
some chip notes, it was doing a half-hearted whisper song- a behavior I
haven't experienced from these seldom seen fall skulkers.

An eBird list with a couple of low quality but demonstrative recordings of
the vocalizations (and some photos of both individuals) is here:

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59724410

This is the fourth new species added to the park list for this tiny patch
since southbound migration started this year, after Prothonotary and
Cerulean warblers and White-winged Dove in August.

While running through my photos yesterday afternoon from the Tribute in
Light memorial the night before, another Connecticut Warbler materialized
on my computer screen. Poor photos of that can be found on eBird by
searching for the Tribute in Light hotspot and looking at the recent
checklists.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Brooklyn - White-winged Dove & Morning Flight

2019-08-11 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Another night of favorable migration winds led to yet another morning vigil
at Coney Island Creek Park monitoring the visible migration. It was similar
in many ways to yesterday, with the clear blue skies making high warblers
calling overhead virtually impossible to see, and varying numbers of
icterids (more than yesterday), kingbirds (fewer), swallows, and swifts
(fewer) moving as well.

The distinct highlight was a *WHITE-WINGED DOVE* that was in view for a
minute or so as it flew over Sea Gate to my southwest. It made a couple of
high loops (seemingly trying to decide what to do once it came to the end
of the land) before I lost sight of it.
This is only the 2nd record of the species for Brooklyn, despite its
essentially annual appearances on the outer barrier beaches of Long Island.

Other notable differences between today and yesterday were the arrival of
numbers of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers (14 this morning, after detecting 0
yesterday), an uptick in Waterthrushes, and an Empidonax flycatcher that
looked to me to be a Willow, which would be perhaps the most expected
species here given the date.

eBird list:
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Good Birding!
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Brooklyn - Prothonotary Warbler & Morning Flight

2019-08-10 Thread Doug Gochfeld
This morning, August 10, I birded Coney Island Creek Park, with almost the
entire time spent on the dune to the northwest of the westernmost bunch of
trees. The majority of the birds engaging in morning flight were far away,
with relatively few close birds, likely due to the intensity and direction
of the wind. Most of the discernible migration was to the south of the
park, and I tallied a reasonable number of migrants heading west over Sea
Gate. The majority of these were Red-winged Blackbirds (570), Chimney
Swifts (175), and Eastern Kingbirds (68), with smaller numbers of Cedar
Waxwing, Brown-headed Cowbird, and a few warblers. 4 Cliff Swallows and a
Northern Rough-winged Swallow,

I had to leave fairly early, while the flight was still ongoing, but on the
short walk out of the park I found a PROTHONOTARY WARBLER. It wasn't acting
particularly frenetic, so it's possible that it will remain for the day
before moving on.

eBird list with photos here:
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S58879795

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Thick-billed Murres around NY - and a request

2019-01-19 Thread Doug Gochfeld
The Thick-billed Murre I found in Brooklyn yesterday is just another chip
off the very large iceberg that is the exponentially higher numbers than
usual of several species of ocean-dwelling birds close to shore. I was glad
that some of my fellow urbanites who typically don't have access to farther
afield were able to go see it before dark yesterday. That said, the murre
did not seem to be particularly content, judging but the fact that is
basically paddled nonstop for four miles, in roughly two hours, barely
foraging and occasionally being dive-bombed by Ring-billed Gulls:

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S51806842

This year's alcid irruption is yet another historically unprecedented one,
coming six years after an unprecedented Razorbill irruption. Six years ago,
Razorbills irrupted farther south than had ever been recorded. This year,
however, the largest variations from the annual norm seem to have been
around Long Island, southern New England, and the Mid-Atlantic (notably the
New Jersey coast). Even if the cause of them leaving their normal winter
haunts was the same in both cases (presumably a food shortage, though it
could be more complicated than that), there are other factors at play that
we don't fully understand yet.

To that end, I would encourage anyone, especially those who have easy
access to our local beaches on a regular basis, to keep an eye out for, and
indeed even actively search for, dead or moribund alcids washed up on
shore. If there does end up being some kind of appreciable mortality event
(as happened with Great Shearwaters two summers ago), it is possible that
analysis of the bodies will help us understand a little bit more about what
is happening. If you do find a specimen, the most helpful thing to do would
be preserving it (via freezing) for transport to an institution that could
study them, such as the American Museum of Natural History.

Good Birding (and sciencing),
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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Re: [nysbirds-l] Thick-billed Murre in Brooklyn Now

2019-01-18 Thread Doug Gochfeld
If it continues along that breakwall the next point of easy access to
intercept it after the VN bridge would be Veterans Memorial Pier at Bay
Ridge Avenue and Shore Parkway.

Good luck
-Doug Gochfeld


On Fri, Jan 18, 2019 at 14:57 Ryan Mandelbaum 
wrote:

> Back to the murre for a moment: is it still being seen? would like to know
> before paying for a cab ride out to see it. it’s definitely nice that
> there’s a thick-biled murre that’s accessible to those of us without a car
> :)
>
>
> > On Jan 18, 2019, at 2:53 PM, John Gluth  wrote:
> >
> > I’m seriously considering paying the $95 for a 10-hour codfish trip
> aboard the Laura Lee Express out of Captree. Half the price of a See Life
> trip. Two trips each weekend through the end of March. Much more convenient
> for Suffolk birders than Brooklyn. If memory serves from past cod trips
> (before birding became my passtime of choice), chum (clam chunks) is
> employed. It’s not fish oil, but couldn’t hurt.
> >
> > John Gluth, sent from my iPhone
> >
> > --
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[nysbirds-l] Thick-billed Murre in Brooklyn Now

2019-01-18 Thread Doug Gochfeld
There is currently a Thick-billed Murre in Gravesend Bay, Brooklyn. It is
close to shore, swimming NW along the rim of the bay. I was viewing from
adjacent to the parking pulloff along the eastbound Belt Parkway just west
of (before) exit 5. It has covered a considerable amount of water heading
NW and is now closer to the pedestrian overpass to the north of there, and
if it continues ln this course it will eventually pass the next lot to the
NW, which is the eBird hotspot named “Gravesend Bay—Middle Lot” or
something close to that.

Good Birding
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[nysbirds-l] Fort Tilden morning flight and Northern Shrike now

2018-11-11 Thread Doug Gochfeld
There is currently an excellent westbound morning flight underway at Fort
Tilden in Queens including an Evening Grosbeak, and many Rusty Blackbirds
and small finches. A juvenile Northern Shrike also just came in and is
currently perched in a tree due south of Battery Harris.

-Doug Gochfeld

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[nysbirds-l] 5/20- Brooklyn & Queens migration events, Bicknell's Thrush, Summer Tanager, lingerers etc.

2018-05-20 Thread Doug Gochfeld
This morning I birded Breezy Point, with the dual objective of censusing
shorebirds, and seeing what the migration situation was like, given the
very interesting and seemingly favorable conditions.

There was a great diurnal movement of birds, with almost the full spectrum
of visible migration  happening (the notable, though not surprising,
exception being raptors). In addition to these migrants, there were also a
few species that are more typical of our colder months that were still
hanging around.

Some of the sppecies on the move were:
*Brant*: More than 2,000 heading eastbound, and given the large flocks that
were barely visible in the distance off shore, I undoubtedly missed
hundreds.
Other principal movers were* Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, Great
Blue Heron, Barn Swallows, *and mixed passerine flocks.

The passerine flight was fascinating, with small groups of songbirds taking
off from the outer dunes, or the trees well off the coast, and starting to
head southwest or west, often very high. Many of them would eventually turn
and head north after they had gained a lot of altitude. Blackpoll Warblers
dominated this flight, but there was a nice mix of other species.

Highlight species were as follows:
*Summer Tanager*
*Hermit Thrush (late!)*
*Great Cormorant*
*Long-tailed Duck*
*Purple Martins (4-5)*
*Eastern Bluebirds - *a pair near the Fisherman's lot that seemed like they
could be nesting, given the time of year and their behavior. This would be
a very notable breeding attempt nowadays.
Fifteen species of warblers were a nice bonus.

The full eBird checklist of this 89 species excursion (my personal high for
a day at Breezy) with photos is here:
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45875495


In the meantime Sean Sime had found some interesting birds at Coney Island
Creek Park, including an apparent Bicknell's Thrush. Despite the midday
hour and warm sun beating down, I went to the park to follow up, and found
the thrush on site, and doing some whisper songs. I recorded a couple of
the calls (no luck with recording the song), and they can be found in this
eBird checklist:

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45875192

Sean's more interesting and comprehensive list from the morning, including
photos and/or audio from the Bicknell's, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher,
Yellow-billed Cuckoo and much more (66 spp.) is here:

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45852906

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] May Pelagic Birding Adventure from Brooklyn still has spaces!

2018-04-30 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Calling all pelagic, birding, and adventure enthusiasts!

It's time to shake off those winter blues. Water temps are heating up and
we have less than one month 'til we board our spring overnight pelagic trip
to the Hudson Canyon and surrounding environs.

Not only is a trip out to the deep the best way to see a suite of species
which you virtually never see from land, but each trip is guaranteed to be
a unique experience, and you absolutely never know what you'll see next.
For many of us who go out often, the adrenaline and uncertainty is enough,
regardless of what birds we see. That said, these trips have an outstanding
track record of producing great wildlife across the board.

Trips in this seasonal window offer a wide variety of species, and as an
example, our last spring voyage tallied SIX South Polar Skuas, Long-tailed
Jaegers and Pomarine Jaegers, Manx, Cory's, Great, Sooty and Audubon's
Shearwaters, Wilson's and Leach's Storm-Petrels, and multiple Arctic Terns.
Throw in a breaching Basking Shark, Risso's Dolphins, Portuguese Man O'
War, and some awesome Mola Mola (Ocean Sunfish), and you can understand our
excitement when it comes to getting offshore.

Once again, I will remind everyone that one of the very first NY pelagic
trips, on almost this exact date, many years ago, tallied Yellow-nosed
Albatross. All three Jaegers, both pelagic Phalaropes (Red and Red-necked),
5 or more species of Shearwaters, multiple species of Storm-Petrels, and
lingering wintering birds are all legitimate possibilities. Also, since
it's the deep, almost any pelagic bird that occurs in the Atlantic is
possible, even if it hasn't yet occurred here!

If that's not enough to get you're blood flowing, take a look at some of
these photos (or don't look if you don't want to be guaranteed to succumb
to the temptation of coming):

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/albums/72157653910596566
and
https://www.flickr.com/photos/103866258@N08/albums/72157653758717610

Our boat is the Brooklyn VI out of Sheepshead Bay. At 110ft long with a
26ft beam she is more stable than many of the charter boats sailing in
NY/NJ waters. We depart Sunday evening May 20th at 8pm and return Monday
evening at roughly 6pm.

**We still need a few more participants in order to have enough to sail. If
you have any questions or would like to register please see the links
below.*

Trip details and cost can be found here:
http://paulagics.com/trips  (scroll down to May 20/21 trip)

*To register:http://paulagics.com/trips/register
<http://paulagics.com/trips/register>*

As always we are super excited to continue investigating the status and
distribution of New York's pelagic species in the deep, and we hope to see
many of you aboard!

Doug Gochfeld for
See Life Paulagics

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Re: [nysbirds-l] Whimbrel at Breezy Point, Queens NY

2018-04-23 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Hi Brent and all,

I think that this bird looks within range for European Whimbrel (
*N.p.phaeopus*). European Whimbrels have more extensive white on the
underwings than do our American ones, and this taxon seems an okay fit for
the bird in question. The upperwing looks okay for either species, and I
don't see anything about the bird that compellingly points towards Eurasian
Curlew.

The bill looks acceptable for Whimbrel as well, with the obvious caveat
that the angle of the photos is far less than optimal for assessing shape
and length.

All this said, the quality of the photos limits the amount that we can
definitively draw from the photos provided.

-Doug




On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 11:19 PM Brent Bomkamp  wrote:

> Not to present too provocative of an opinion, but there may be an argument
> that this bird is a Eurasian Curlew.  The second photo shows significant
> barring in the secondaries extending into the inner primaries.  This
> feature is absent in both “European” and “Eurasian” Whimbrel, which show a
> clean demarcation between the secondaries and primaries, with the primaries
> being darker and only slightly barred on the inner webs of the innermost
> feathers.  This is depicted in figures 9 and 10 on p. 110 of O’Brien,
> Crossley, and Karlson.
>
> However, this feature is obvious in Eurasian Curlew as drawn in Svensson
> and Grant.  A quick Google image search shows the characteristic as well.
> Perhaps birders with greater palearctic experience could corroborate this
> conclusion.
>
> While O’Brien et al refers to European Whimbrel as a spring vagrant to the
> east coast and Eurasian Curlew as a fall visitor, records are sporadic
> enough that no trend is obvious.  In addition, on eBird most Eurasian
> Curlew records from the Massachusetts/New York area appear to be from the
> late winter-early spring time frame.
>
> Depending on one’s perspective, the sole verbal description of the bird as
> having a “...long curved bill...” could be seen as additional support for
> Curlew, as compared with the relatively shorter curved bill of Whimbrel.
> However, lacking further description by the observer including body
> coloration, structure, underwing pattern, and vocalizations, neither
> species can be conclusively supported IMO.
>
> Brent Bomkamp
> Eatons Neck
>
> On Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 1:57 PM Angus Wilson 
> wrote:
>
>> Like Bob Paxton I was initially puzzled by the square shape of the white
>> wedge, especially in first image (ML94655071) but accept it looks a little
>> better in the second image (ML94655101). Is it correc to assume the dark
>> blob is the heavy barring on the upperside of the tail?
>>
>> I considered Greater Yellowlegs based on the first image but that ID
>> would be hard reconcile with seeing a decurved bill (mentioned in Cesar's
>> original posting) but with the caveat that the bill shape is hard to
>> discern from the photos accompanying the checklist. That said, I'm not
>> seeing an obvious foot extension beyond the tail, which does fit with it
>> being a Whimbrel. Are there any more photos even if not as sharp?
>>
>> So-called 'White-rumped Whimbrels' are genuine vagrants to eastern North
>> America with a handful of April and May records. Tagging such birds as
>> either 'European' or 'Eurasian/Siberian' is tricky because three subspecies
>> (N. p. phaeopus, N. p. alboaxillaris and N. p. variegatus) need to be
>> considered. Steppe Whimbrel (alboaxillaris) is no longer numerous and
>> pretty unlikely, but the other two are serious contenders, with nominate
>> 'European' Whimbrel (phaeopus) more likely perhaps in spring and the very
>> similar 'Siberian' Whimbrel (variegatus) a sensible possibility in the
>> fall. If I recall correctly, the tail and upper tail coverts of variegatus
>> are darker than phaeopus.
>>
>> Fun stuff!
>>
>> Angus Wilson
>> New York City
>>
>> On Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 12:37 PM, Jose Ramirez-Garofalo <
>> jose.ramirez.garof...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> It’s a European Whimbrel
>>>
>>> On Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 12:09 Robert Paxton  wrote:
>>>
 The Eurasian Whimbrel doesn't have a white line up the back but a white
 wedge, broad at the base and narrowing up to a point in the middle back.
Bob Paxton

 On Sun, Apr 15, 2018 at 11:42 PM, Isaac Grant  wrote:

> That Whimbrel photo seems to show a Eurasian Whimbrel. Looks like a
> white line going up the back in the one photo and barred whitish tail.
> Super cool.
>
> Isaac Grant
> Senior Loan Officer
>
> On Apr 15, 2018, at 3:59 PM, Cesar Castillo 
> wrote:
>
> I walked out from the Fishermans parking lot at Fort Tilden to Breezy
> Point jetty.  On the long march back a Whimbrel flew towards me and then
> past me.  I got some bad photos of it as it flew away, but you can still
> see the curved bill and whitish 

[nysbirds-l] Dark-bellied Brant (B.b.bernicla) in Brooklyn

2018-04-13 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Yesterday morning (4/12) I birded a couple of spots along the Brooklyn
coast with Alvaro Jaramillo, Scott Whittle, and Tom Stephenson. In addition
to a couple of Red-necked Grebes in Gravesend Bay, and a nice mix of newly
arrived short-distance migrant passerines (including 30 flickers) at Coney
Island Creek Park, we had an apparent Dark-bellied Brant at the Six
Diamonds ballfields adjacent to Coney Island Creek.

Dark-bellied Brant is the nominate taxon (Branta bernicla bernicla) which
breeds in Siberia and winters around the North Sea. There are a handful of
prior North American sight and specimen records, including a specimen from
New Jersey.

Photos are in the checklist here:
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44494085

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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Re: [nysbirds-l] Another Long Island Purple Gallinule (not chaseable)

2018-02-12 Thread Doug Gochfeld
There's an interesting paper dealing with just this effect here:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289706654_Warmer_Summers_and_Drier_Winters_Correlate_with_More_Winter_Vagrant_Purple_Gallinules_Porphyrio_martinicus_in_the_North_Atlantic_Region

Good Birding and Vagrant Speculating!
-Doug Gochfeld



On Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 6:52 AM Shaibal Mitra <shaibal.mi...@csi.cuny.edu>
wrote:

> Wow, this is really amazing. The tight date range really looks like a
> discrete flight of some sort. If these were Summer Tanagers hitting those
> sites in mid April, we'd call it a slingshot. Is there any reason to think
> that southern populations of Purple Gallinule are undertaking long distance
> flights to the north in mid January?
>
> Shai Mitra
> Bay Shore
> 
> From: bounce-122283698-11143...@list.cornell.edu [
> bounce-122283698-11143...@list.cornell.edu] on behalf of Paul R Sweet [
> sw...@amnh.org]
> Sent: Monday, February 12, 2018 3:27 PM
> To: NYSBIRDS-L
> Subject: [nysbirds-l] Another Long Island Purple Gallinule (not chaseable)
>
> A routine trip to collect salvaged birds from a Long Island rehabber
> yielded Long Island’s 3rd Purple Gallinule of the winter. This new specimen
> was picked up on 14 January in Rockville Centre and died 2 days later
>
> As a reminder the other birds were 13 January Manorville, 16 January
> Southampton.
>
> Details will be submitted to NYSARC
>
> Paul Sweet
> Collection Manager
> Department of Ornithology
> American Museum of Natural History
> Central Park West at 79th Street
> New York, NY 10024
>
> Tel: 212 769 5780
> Cell: 718 757 5941
>
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[nysbirds-l] Re: [nysbirds-l] Re: [nysbirds-l] Hammond’s

2017-11-29 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Nancy and all,
The Hammond's Flycatcher was spending most of the time leading up to noon
right around the scrubby area at the aforementioned Swampy Pin Oak.
This is somehwhere around 40°46'36.1"N 73°58'14.9"W, though I'm not sure
how close to dead-on that is.

It was ranging from very low down just a couple of feet off the ground, to
way in the top of the sweetgums,  sometimes low in dense cover, and
sometimes in plain view, so keep an open mind when searching, and be
patient.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.




On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 12:29 PM Nancy Shamban <nancysham...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Anyone seeing the flycatcher?
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Nov 29, 2017, at 11:32 AM, Nancy Shamban <nancysham...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> ​anyone seeing it now?​
>
>
> On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 9:29 AM, Jack Rothman <jacro...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Redound at the point in CP. About a dozen birders looking at it now.
>> Jack Rothman.
>>
>> Sent from Jack's phone.
>>
>> --
>>
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[nysbirds-l] 10/10: Fort Tilden- Huge Monarch flight and some birds too

2017-10-10 Thread Doug Gochfeld
This morning at Fort Tilden there was a *Lincoln's Sparrow* on the path
into Battery Harris from the east, and then a bit later there was a
juvenile *Red-headed Woodpecker* in the trees to the NE of Battery Harris
(the latter perhaps the same one they had on the big sit on the weekend).
Over a dozen *Royal Terns* were seen heading west through the morning, and
an adult/juvenile combo of *Caspian Terns* put in an appearance at the
Fisherman's Lot as well. Not much in the way of visible passerine
migration, though the warblers were having a field day cashing in on the
numerous hatch-outs of winged ants.

Migration-wise, after a very slow start (almost no raptors until after 10
AM) there ended up being more than 50 Osprey heading west over the barrier
(a great number for this late a date), and also more than 20 Merlin. Steve
Walter was still around when I left, and he could perhaps add more to those
numbers.

However, the obvious highlight of the day was the massive westbound
movement of Monarch Butterflies. An almost three hour vigil atop the
Battery Harris platform yielded approximately 4,000 of these, quantifying
it based on many minute-long counts taken throughout the morning. This all
came after 8:00 AM, when the flow started as if a faucet was turned on, and
ended around 10:00 AM. The wind was almost nonexistent early, and this
likely contributed to them being spread out north to south, and also moving
quite slowly to the west. I then headed over to the fisherman's lot to the
west to see if there were Monarchs in the abundant Seaside Goldenrod there,
even though the flow had appeared to lessen at that point.

When I got over to the Fisherman's Lot, however, the flow was much thicker,
and we peaked at a steady rate of 170/minute for 20 minutes or so, and over
150/minute for almost three hours (including those aforementioned 20
minutes), before slowing down to the 110/minute range, and then scaling
back even more as the wind shifted more to the west, which probably made
the flight much less concentrated. It was one of the more phenomenal
migratory movements of any animal that I've ever seen in the state. As for
total Monarch numbers, from the notes of the rates I was taking throughout
the day (until I left at 2:15 PM), I reckoned that I saw just about 35,000
Monarchs heading west. Given a 40 minute gap in my counting, it would be
safe to say that 38,000-40,000 Monarchs passed through Fort Tilden through
2:15 PM.
This never-ending ribbon of Monarchs through the dunes was truly astounding.

Good Birding, Butterflying and and everything else-ing
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] 10/09- Monarch and Jaeger Spectacles in Brooklyn and Queens

2017-10-09 Thread Doug Gochfeld
I started out this morning at Plum Beach in Brooklyn. The mudflats on an
incoming tide were nearly devoid of non-gulls, and it was far too windy to
enjoy the marsh sparrow spectacle that is now in full bloom there.

The highlight of my excursion to Plum was undoubtedly the large
concentration of Monarch Butterflies in the dunes. In addition to Monarchs
scattered through the Seaside Goldenrod, this agglomeration included
impressive communal roosts in the small willow bushes interspersed through
the dune-tops. The next day or two will undoubtedly feature a large exodus
from the region of these fantastic creatures as they continue their trek
down to Mexico.

I was then joined by Sean Sime at Jamaica Bay's East Pond, and we devoted
most of or rain-punctuated effort to the north end of the pond. Highlights
here we're the long-staying and very confiding American Avocet, handfulls
of Pectoral and White-rumped Sandpipers, a Stilt Sandpiper, fairly good
numbers for the date of Semipalmated Sandpipers (all juveniles,
unsurprisingly), and watching Snowy Egrets incorporate some very
interesting foraging techniques. The high number of Dunlins on the pond is
a sight I'm not used to, but this may be because there is not usually
extensive shorebird habitat on the pond at this time of year, when their
migration is in full swing.
Duck numbers are also very good, with most now sporting at least some
semblance of breeding/winter plumage.

Moving on to Breezy Point (via some pizza), we experienced the final band
of rain from the remnants of the storm as we hoofed it out the bay side. As
we got towards the jetty we judged the sustained wind to be in the 30 MPH
range, give or take a few, and the rain mostly abated shortly thereafter.

We immediately noticed small flocks of sterna terns heading out of Rockaway
Inlet, some quite close to the shore on the bay side, and it was apparent
(in part due to the large number of Common Terns mixed in) that these were
birds displaced by the storm and heading back out to the ocean.
Our hopes buoyed, we found a windbreak near the base of the jetty and began
scanning the large mess of gulls of terns feeding to the southwest of the
jetty. To make a long story short, we ended up seeing no less than *15
PARASITIC JAEGERS*, and at least *19* *jaegers* total. Almost all of these
were first seen well to the north or west, and then came through the
feeding flock before continuing out to the ocean. The primary flight line
was coming from the direction of western Coney Island/Sea Gate, with the
balance coming from almost due west, towards the Amboy or Sandy Hook
vicinity. We had one jaeger that we judged to be a subadult *POMARINE
JAEGER* (based on size, shape, flight style, and some hints of plumage),
and another that was very bulky and showed some Pomarine-like traits, but
that I currently suspect was just a large Parasitic (photos of this latter
one should settle the matter).

Around 4:00 PM visibility dramatically improved, the rain and fog/mist
completely cleared out, and the jaeger flight died.

Another bonus bird that was present for most or all of our time there
was a *CORY'S
SHEARWATER* that was hanging out in the feeding flocks, often disappearing
from our sight by sitting on the water. While this species is sometimes
downright abundant from shore eastern Long Island, it is only seldom seen
from land in NYC (and even Nassau County). There were also 2 each of Great
Cormorant and Lesser Yellowlegs.

Here is the Breezy Point eBird checklist:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S39800046

The other eBird lists will be submitted in the near future and will be
easily searchable for in several ways, including at their respective
hotspot pages, and photos will be added in due course as well.

Good Birding!
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] American Golden-Plover Brooklyn now

2017-09-20 Thread Doug Gochfeld
There is currently an adult American Golden-Plover on the beach at Coney
Island Creek Park, just west of the park proper, adjacent to (and north of)
the eastern edge of Sea Gate. It seems to now be fairly settled into the
wrack/debris line, and the tide is rising, so perhaps it will stay a while.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Hudsonian Godwit Jamaica Bay East Pond

2017-09-03 Thread Doug Gochfeld
There is a Hudsonian Godwit at JBWR's East Pond in the cove at the north
end next to the discarded pair of boots.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Friday Morning Flight in Brooklyn & Suffolk

2017-09-03 Thread Doug Gochfeld
The weather on Thursday night into Friday presented a great opportunity to
witness morning flight on coastal Long Island.

There were at least three groups of people doing dedicated morning flight
watches that I am aware of: Shai Mitra, Taylor Sturm, and Brent Bomkamp
were at Robert Moses SP in Suffolk County, Sean Sime was at Coney Island
Creek Park along with Bobbi Manian and Tom Preston, and I was at Fort
Tilden with Shane Blodgett and Luke Musher.
All three parties had interesting mornings, and I will link to all
pertinent eBird lists at the end.


It was an especially exciting morning for us at Tilden, and Shane and I
ended up spending just under 7 hours atop the Battery Harris hawkwatching
platform before we finally called it quits despite the fact that some birds
were still in visible migration.


The most impressive movements came from swallows, swifts, and neotropical
migrant warblers, though there was enough diversity beyond those taxa that
we tallied 80+ species during our stationary vigil. Before the sun rose we
had already tallied Common Nighthawk and Barn Owl from the platform, with
the latter disappearing to the east (perhaps to roost in the old run-down
building (machine shop?) that is not accessible and was historically a good
location for the species). We ended up with 6 Common Nighthawks, the final
one appearing just before noon, flying high over the outer dune scrub and
beach.


I'll mention some other select highlights here, and let the list speak for
the rest:

*Chimney Swift*-*1,625*. A huge flight of Chimney Swifts, starting with
modest numbers through the first 2-3 hours or so of the morning, and then
ramping up to several hundred an hour for the last few. We likely
undercounted the final tally by not making a dedicated effort to count them
by ones earlier in the morning.

* Barn Swallow*- 1,315. A very impressive showing, they also picked up
later in the morning, and started carrying other Swallow species regularly
after 10:15 AM. Same caveat as above with Chimney Swift applies to these in
terms of undercounting.
*Bank Swallow*- *76* (a fairly (very?) high count for Queens county)
*Cliff Swallow*- *13* (likewise a good tally for the county)
*Purple Martin*- *11* (low density annual migrant, but most often seen in
western Long Island on this context. Numbers probably peak on mid-to-late
August)
*Northern Rough-winged Swallow*- 1 (getting quite late for this species in
the region, as most are gone).
*Eastern Kingbird*- 108 (This flight characteristically didn't pick up
until an hour or two after sunrise, but then it dried up very quickly as
well, and there were very few later in the morning when the flight was
predominantly swallows and swifts. On some migration days, these continue
to move strongly into the later morning.


*Warblers*- We detected 260 individuals apparently engaged in westbound
morning flight, about half of which we couldn't conclusively identify. This
isn't the best location to observe a morning flight of species that migrate
mostly nocturnally, so this number is actually quite impressive compared
with my previous experiences here.
*American Redstart*- 62. The most abundant warbler detected today, which
isn't a surprise given the date.
*Cape May Warbler*- *17*. A strong showing of this species, and the highest
daily count that I've seen in New York.


*Dickcissel*-1 (a low density migrant on the coast, but a staple of strong
morning flights like this one- at least two others were found in Brooklyn
on Friday, including one on morning flight at Coney Island Creek Park).
*Red-winged Blackbird*- 520. The largest flock numbered 33 individuals.
Later in the season similar conditions will produce thousands of this
species, but they actually start moving west as early as early August or
even late July on the coast.


We also had several empidonax flycatchers around, with a Traill's and a
Least included among birds near the battery, and a bird near the Comminity
Garden as we were leaving in early afternoon which looked to be an Alder
Flycatcher.



Complete eBird list for Battery Harris at Fort Tilden:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38939903

Sean's list from Coney Island Creek Park:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38938799


Three lists from Robert Moses, where they more meticulously kept hourly
checklists during their monitoring:

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38938512
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38938205
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S38938161



Good Migration Hunting!

-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Hudsonian Godwit East Pond now

2017-08-18 Thread Doug Gochfeld
I am currently with Sean Sime and we are looking at a Hudsonian Godwit in
mostly basic plumage at the north end of the East Pond at Jamaica Bay
Wildlife Refuge. It is with the Black-bellied Plover flock on the spit
adjacent to the island on the west side of the pond (just north of the
cove).

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] The next spring overnight pelagic is coming!

2017-04-19 Thread Doug Gochfeld
It's that time of year again New York birders! Time for some great
overnight ocean birding. The first overnight pelagic of the year will be
leaving from Brooklyn on June 4. We'll steam out into the deep, and hope to
see a slew of pelagic birds that can essentially only be seen in the region
if you are offshore.

This is the best time of year to see South Polar Skua, and we had 6 (!!) on
our last spring overnight, in 2015. We also had Long-tailed Jaeger,
Pomarine Jaeger, multiple Arctic Terns, Audubon's Shearwaters, and Manx
Shearwaters, over 20 Leach's Storm-Petrels, and hundreds each of Sooty and
Cory's Shearwater. It was also a great non-bird trip, with breaching
Basking Shark, Risso's, Common, and Offshore Bottlenose Dolphin, Several
great looks at Mola Mola, Blue Shark, and 25+ Portuguese Man O' War.

In addition to these, it is a fairly good time of year to see Phalaropes,
and there are always good home run possibilities, since this is the time
window when the pelagic trips off Cape Hatteras get the majority of their
rarities (such as Bermuda Petrel, European Storm-Petrel etc.), and the only
New York State record of Yellow-nosed Albatross was from a late May pelagic
trip.

Here are a couple of photo galleries from the 2015 overnight to whet your
appetite:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/albums/72157653910596566

https://www.flickr.com/photos/103866258@N08/sets/72157653758717610


We leave the dock at 8 PM on Sunday June 4, and will return around 6 PM the
following evening.

We do this in order to maximize our time in the deep waters where the more
unusual and pelagic animals are likely to be.

It is now fairly easy to sign up for these trips on the website, at this
link:

http://paulagics.com/trips/register
<https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fpaulagics.com%2Ftrips%2Fregister=ATO-8UNM1SujXKmw5bQVUaHrH0B53tn3vqpW9oZV88Wvsxs2R93e7CRhxF3dBePijPBPiiqhI1poB4YO9bS5GVIelaVSCOBm8YNrIrEBmv1LIgsZeetYKRYQBKcoMSegXpJwpzp3mhxvj5nd=AZO9ndBPUpV9tCTfquREqncLLta5uVbSS6v_tSj2vIcpsC1h0dPPl4UVRxVmubg15eAiaSvI69XD872qhKN7LMNUf8ZfRFUTIo68XFxbKjvXZx4-KEPFJwlIU-ARRg_-UVn4PFgNrnR8sTIoXvRJq2-D69CnMjljasO09Xt9BsCZimeujG47fbunrqnzrtLgVkk=1>

More info on the pelagic here:

http://paulagics.com/trips/brooklyn-pelagics
<https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fpaulagics.com%2Ftrips%2Fbrooklyn-pelagics=ATPwHtJM_-ofynN2G04Qn2CxRz8F7cUf1OeqXF-So2gDRMg_Je5hRVFYY4JiodwXtbujGxfyknt4SoRhUvVpmHCfWeO3tbWiQb4kya4tcdsDz018ratmaX3aI4lLTUvhUhnpKDTvIB8aww1i=AZPAvcTwg7NSo7RcocY5ZN_oyifIFLYlg7lMLFnJcKtditbKCfd_IzlClfbW2KCmhMzaXjkqkYjcxn-c600yjtAiZT_bNCbYpINiBswjjYUZe0aXIGxfOFb89YjPaMQSSfZpKfLLU6izNKPkE7lAywRS8mwFfu26D2JsbK_zcb5DHgTQwSBFSW1D3dmv5C0wmx8=1>


Hope to see some of you aboard!
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] 03/07- Brooklyn: Eared Grebe and more

2017-03-07 Thread Doug Gochfeld
This morning, I was fortunate enough to come across an *EARED GREBE* very
shortly after I started birding at Gravesend Bay. I was scanning from the
end of Bay Parkway, adjacent to Ceaser's Bay Bazaar, and the bird was
initially out in the bay between the pedestrian overpass over the Belt
Parkway, and the southernmost parking lot along the Gravesend Bay stretch
of the Belt. Luckily, as I closed the distance, it decided to make a
beeline towards shore, and then directly towards me, until it was fairly
close to shore and directly off the southernmost lot (easily walkable from,
and less than a quarter of a mile away from, the end of Bay Parkway). Bear
this in mind if it is not easily visible from the spot where it spent most
of today.

It settled into this spot and people continued to see it here through
sunset. Though it didn't move from this area, it was visible scoping from
several vantage points, including from Coney Island Creek Park, more than a
mile across Gravesend Bay to the south.

While the bay did not have many Horned Grebes this morning, there were a
bunch more around in the afternoon, and caution is warranted when trying to
pick out the EAGR if it gets farther offshore. There are a couple of Horned
Grebes beginning to transition into breeding plumage (and there was one in
almost full breeding plumage in Jamaica Bay today), so rather than plumage,
I would rely first and foremost on the distinctive shape and structure of
the species when trying to track it down.

Here is an eBird checklist with a few photos of the EAGR embedded:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S35024075


A few of other observations of interest around Brooklyn today included an
adult *American Oystercatcher* on the flats at the western end of Plumb
Beach, with almost 40 Red-throated Loons inside Rockaway Inlet seen from
Plumb, and at least 18 Killdeer scattered around Floyd Bennett Field.

At Coney Island there were no less than *3,200* Long-tailed Ducks well to
the SW of Coney Island Pier late this evening, mostly counted in one long
flight stream heading towards the mouth of Lower NY Bay. Several hundred
Northern Gannets persist in the Coney Island/Breezy Point area, where over
*2,000* have been seen recently. A flock of ~10 male Slate-colored Juncos
around the bare trees that make up Coney Island Creek Park's winter plumage
were undoubtedly fairly new northbound arrivals as well.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Brooklyn Eared Grebe now

2017-03-07 Thread Doug Gochfeld
There is currently an Eared Grebe in Gravesend Bay. It is adjacent to the
southernmost parking area along the eastbound Belt Parkway, just before the
Bay Parkway exit (Exit 5). You can only access this parking area from the
eastbound Belt, but you can park at nearby Ceaser's Bay or in the muni
meter lot at the end of Bay Parkway coming from either direction.

The bird is close to shore and very actively diving, staying up for ~10
seconds each time, but overall being very cooperative.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Brooklyn Black Vultures right now

2017-01-25 Thread Doug Gochfeld
There are currently 9 Black Vultures in a tight flock bouncing around just
above treetop level over the northern edge of Greenwood Cemetery in
Brooklyn. There were 5 an hour ago that drifted south over the center of
the cemetery, but Indont know if those individuals are part of this group
of 9.

Good Birding
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[nysbirds-l] 10/10- Queens: Diverse migration, Greater White-fronted Goose, Cackling Goose, BLACK TERN etc.

2016-10-11 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Yesterday morning, Shai Mitra, Shane Blodgett, and I watched birds from the
platform on Battery Harris at Fort Tilden for several hours.

Since it is still early in the season for huge numbers of things like
blackbirds, robins etc., we traded the large numbers that are
characteristic of this site later in the season for good diversity, a
couple of rarities, and strong flights of some of the lower density coastal
migrants.

Several species were represented by very substantial numbers for the first
time this season, including Canada Geese, Brant, Song, Swamp, and
White-throated Sparrows, Golden-crowned Kinglets, and Eastern Phoebes. The
latter few species had been present in small quantities in the area
recently, but the numbers really exploded yesterday.

Low density late-fall migrants put on a good showing, with at least *55* *Rusty
Blackbirds*, and *63 Purple Finches* heading westbound. This is a good
proportion of Rusties, given that we only tallied 325 Red-winged Blackbirds
(~15% of our Blackbirds were Rusty).

In among the migrating skeins of Canada Geese were a couple of fun
oddities: *1 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE*, in a flock of ~24 Canada Geese
at 7:55 AM, and a *"Richardson's" CACKLING GOOSE* with a flock of 13 Canada
Geese at 10:39 AM. The flock with the White-fronted Goose ended up cutting
north after going over the platform and we lost it somewhere over Rockaway
Inlet as it headed towards Coney Island or Staten Island. The flock
containing the Cackling Goose kept motoring west along the north shore of
the barrier beach until we stopped tracking it when it was well over Breezy
Point.

While we were tracking the Cackling Goose coming in from the east, Shane
spotted what turned out to be a *BLACK TERN* flying perpendicular to the
goose flock in the same field of view. This bird was undoubtedly the most
bizarre and unexpected bird of the day for us, and it actually continued
north over Rockaway Inlet/Jamaica Bay, adjacent to the Gil Hodges Bridge
and Floyd Bennett Field.

Other miscellany was an Eastern Meadowlark flying north having possibly
just come in off the water, a spizella sparrow flying by that could well
have been a Clay-colored, a somewhat late Blackburnian Warbler, a
chattering Winter Wren, 2 Chimney Swifts, 2 *Pectoral Sandpipers*, and
one *American
Golden-Plover*.

As for diurnal raptors, *2 *juvenile *Broad-winged Hawks, *and *4 Bald
Eagles* were the species highlights, and there was a moderate but decent
for this day in age flight of Sharp-shinned Hawks and American Kestrels,
and at least 17 Merlins, several of which were adult males.

Noticeably not detected from Fort Tilden were any Nuthatches.

The eBird checklist from Battery Harris can be found here:

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S31983462


Other stops after we finished the stationary count atop the platform turned
up a couple of nice birds as well:
1 *Nelson's Sparrow (subvirgatus)* at the SW corner of the Riis Park golf
course
2 *Lincoln's Sparrows*, 3 White-breasted Nuthatches (not a breeder at that
site, so undoubtedly migrants/dispersers), and 3 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers
at the Floyd Bennett Field community garden.
Also, several White-crowned Sparrows scattered around Fort Tilden, Riis
Park, and the community garden.


Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Brooklyn Pelagic Trip Report: White-faced Storm-Petrels, Black-capped Petrels etc.

2016-08-30 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Yesterday's Paulagics pelagic aboard the Brooklyn VI out of Sheepshead Bay,
Brooklyn, was, as in now par for the course, another rousing success. We
left the dock a little after 9 PM on Sunday night (August 28), and woke up
on Monday over deep water to the east of the mouth of the Hudson Canyon.

This was the third Brooklyn-based deep water pelagic in a row to see
Black-capped Petrel, and we tallied our highest number of that species to
date. Because of the relatively calm seas, we were able to see marine life
farther away than is sometimes the case, and we had some great experiences
with non-birds as well. The highlight of these, for me, was the big
pod of *Striped
Dolphins* that we found early in the morning. They were being, at times,
very athletic, as the species is wont to do, and it was a really special
treat for all those on board. We also came upon Spotted Dolphins at least
twice, and we had somewhere in the realm of* 300* Pilot Whales once we made
it back to the Hudson Canyon. A fairly close look at a Hammerhead Shark,
encounters with some Loggerhead Sea Turtles, a couple of *Mola mola *(Ocean
Sunfish), a few Portugese Man O' War, a smattering of Flying Fish, and (for
some) a single breach of a Manta Ray, rounded out the non-bird highlights.

*The off shore bird list follows*:
*BLACK-CAPPED PETREL*- *16*
*WHITE-FACED STORM-PETREL*- 3
*Band-rumped Storm-Petrel*- 25
Leach's Storm-Petrel- 3
Wilson's Storm-Petrel- 230
Audubon's Shearwater- 18
Cory's Shearwater- 225
Great Shearwater- 13
Black Tern- 2
Storm-Petrel sp.- 3
Long-tailed Jaeger- 1
Great Black-backed Gull- 2

The White-faced Storm-Petrels deserve a special mention, since two of them
gave some of the best looks you can get of the species. We were able to
continuously observe the first one for over 13 minutes, with some
cripplingly close views (a sample of how close is at the photo link below),
thanks to Keith's deft boat-handling.

Thanks, as always, go to Paul and Anita Guris for organizing these trips.
Without them, we would get off shore much less, and with much less good
humor.

Captains Mike and Keith, and mates/chefs/etc. Philly and Jesus, the crew of
the Brooklyn VI, were amazing. There aren't enough words conveying effusive
praise in my vocabulary to properly give them their due.

We learn more about the distribution of life in the deep every time we go
out there, and we thank everyone who joined us on this episode of
exploration as well.
Finally, thanks a ton to the other leaders/spotters: Sean Sime, Shane
Blodgett, Andy Guthrie, Alec Humann, and Lookas Musher.

Here is a gallery of some photos I took on the trip yesterday:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/sets/72157672158136092

Good Petreling
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Possible Hudsonian a Godwit West Pond

2016-07-13 Thread Doug Gochfeld
A large shorebird just flew over the parking lot at Jamaica Bay Wildlife
Refuge in Queens heading west that appeared to be a Hudsonian Godwit,
though I didn't get it in the scope until it was heading away. It was out
over the west pond and dropping fast, perhaps towards the northern edge of
the pond.
I will not be able to ground truth it, but if you're in the area...

-Doug Gochfeld

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Re: [nysbirds-l] Fw: [ebirdsnyc] King Eider at Caumsett SP (And also 7/12 NYC shorebirds)

2016-07-12 Thread Doug Gochfeld
I don't understand Rich Guthrie's query/quarrel here. Are you tsk-tsking
Menachem, who posted the report, or the person whose post he was
forwarding, who posted to the ebirdsnyc group, or are you wondering aloud
about the person who originally posted the photos on WhatBird? If either of
the latter two, I don't understand what use the question has going to this
list, since there is a decent likelihood that neither of those two is
reading that question/pearl of wisdom, since they did not post directly to
this group. If the question was (mis)directed at Menachem, then I really
don't understand what the point trying to be made is, since A) He did not
originally post the links that needed a username (that probably wouldn't
take that long to set up, though that's beside the point), and B) He does
not own the rights to those photos to re-post them in an album more easily
consumable by the general public (which would also take him more time
personally, which for a report that is not even his in the first place,
seems like an unfair thing to expect).

I think that Menachem's forwarding of the post was an excellent use of the
listserv, the (main?) purpose of which is to disseminate interesting
information about birds. I find the presence of a King Eider off the north
shore of Long Island in the summer (or at any time of year, really) to be a
very good example of the aforementioned purpose of said listserv. In
addition to this interesting tidbit of information, we were graced with
some more background on Eider occurrence in the region by Shai Mitra, which
almost certainly would not have come to pass at this time and place had the
original post not been shared by Menachem in the first place. I am grateful
for the post, which was a very solid use of the listserv.

-
Now, to make sure that this post isn't also of extremely minimal use to
those reading it:

Late morning today, a *Whimbrel* (*hudsonicus*) briefly dropped onto the
beach at Plum Beach in Brooklyn, on the incoming tide. It then flew off to
the west calling. Not much else in the way of migrant shorebirds at Plum (4
Least Sandpipers, 3 peep sp., 1 Semipalmated Plover, 3 Killdeer), but some
of this could probably be ascribed to the complete disturbance of the low
tide mudflats by walkers and dogs.
To rehash the theme of summering ducks, the long-staying male *Long-tailed
Duck* continued here as well.

Shane Blodgett and I then headed over to the East Pond at Jamaica Bay
Wildlife Refuge, where we were disappointed in the lack of medium-size
shorebirds, though there were pockets of Least Sandpipers scattered through
the pond. We only birded the Big John's overlook and the north end (to
south of "dead man's cove"), so we missed whatever was tucked away at the
south end. A Peregrine also reshuffled some birds before we were able to
get proper looks at them.
We came away with ~30 Lesser Yellowlegs through the north end, and a mere 1
Short-billed Dowitcher, though this dowitcher was associating very closely
with a nice Stilt Sandpiper retaining much of its breeding plumage. These
two were in a flock of 18 Lesser Yellowlegs, mostly hanging out south of
the island, on both the east and west shores of the pond.

Both locations were awash in (mostly juvenile) Barn Swallows, and Northern
Rough-winged Swallow was noted at both locations.

Good Birding!!
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.









On Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 10:55 PM, Richard Guthrie <richardpguth...@gmail.com
> wrote:

> What good is it to post a link that potential viewers can't open without
> permission?
>
> Rich Guthrie
>
> On Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 10:24 PM, Menachem Goldstein <
> goldstein...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>> Forwarding interesting report, photo is definitely a King Eider.
>>
>>
>>
>> - Forwarded Message -
>> *From:* "Ethan Maitra astrobirde...@yahoo.com [ebirdsnyc]" <
>> ebirdsnyc-nore...@yahoogroups.com>
>> *To:* ebirds...@yahoogroups.com
>> *Sent:* Monday, July 11, 2016 10:02 PM
>> *Subject:* [ebirdsnyc] King Eider at Caumsett SP
>>
>>
>> It seems my previous post has failed to make it through, since it didn't
>> pop up in my inbox (like it usually does), so I will just redo it. A birder
>> went to Caumsett SP last Saturday and took a picture of an odd duck.
>> Yesterday, it posted it on WhatBird (bird ID forum) so it could be
>> identified. As a WhatBird member I replied saying it was a Common Eider
>> (the expected Eider here, which is still odd this far west in July), but
>> others pointed out it was actually an immature male King Eider. I asked
>> where it was and the border replied with a map of Caumsett with the
>> northeast shore (stopping just west of the pond) circled in red. I will try
>> to chase the bird tomorrow, and others should too, since a King Eider is
>> alrea

[nysbirds-l] 7/11- Autumn in July at Coney Island Creek

2016-07-11 Thread Doug Gochfeld
A two hour vigil at Coney Island Creek Park in Brooklyn  this morning
yielded a bit of diurnal passerine migration on the light north wind. While
we didn't detect any Bobolinks, or Warblers, there was an appreciable
flight of icterids (over 400 total) and swallows (29 individuals among 4
species). 2 northbound Eastern Kingbirds and a female Orchard Oriole were
also nice indications of some movement.

There were north winds overnight and into the morning on this exact date
last year as well, and it's interesting to compare the two lists, which
echo each other in some ways, including the swallow diversity and
preponderance of Brown-headed Cowbirds:

Today's list
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S30641246


July 11, 2015:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S24222966
Also for fun- July 10, 2015:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S24211816

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Brooklyn Red-necked Grebe and Iceland Gull

2016-01-29 Thread Doug Gochfeld
At around noon today, I saw a Red-necked Grebe at Coney Island, near Coney
Island Pier. It was actively diving, out around the green #3 buoy, which is
to the SE of the Pier.

There was also one on January 10 off the western end of Coney Island Creek,
towards Norton Point, not tremendously far from Coney Island Pier.

Also, a sighting not from today, but of interest to this list is the adult
"Kumlien's" Iceland Gull that has been roosting at Brooklyn Bridge Park, on
the pilings just south of Pier 1. I saw it as recently as two nights ago
(January 27th), and it seems to be regular at that location in the evening.
This park is very cool in general, and has ~ 3,000 gulls roosting there
every night (200-300 Herring, mostly at Pier 1, with the rest being
Ring-billed, mostly between Pier 3 & 5).

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] 01/09- Brooklyn Pelagic Trip Results, and good prospects for the next one!

2016-01-13 Thread Doug Gochfeld
The See Life Paulagics pelagic trip on Saturday, January 9, went very well.
Water temperatures are still exceedingly warm for this time of year, and
our temperature range was ~47.5-50° F.

Typically these 8-hour inshore trips hope for closer-to-shore pelagic
species, such as Razorbill, and Black-legged Kittiwake as the high end
targets, but this year we were rewarded with a couple of species that you
usually have to get a bit farther off shore to see: *COMMON MURRE,
*and *NORTHERN
FULMAR*. The Common Murre was not completely unexpected, as we were hoping
to get near enough to the "Murre zone" so that we would have a chance at
one. Typically this is a band that runs from ~20 to ~30 miles off shore,
but we were fortunate to encounter a very cooperative individual roughly 16
miles off of Jones Inlet.

The Northern Fulmar show was more unexpected. We ended up with Fulmars
ranging from 9 to ~20 miles off shore, including two dark morphs, one of
which hung out around our chumming area behind the boat for a while,
affording an excellent viewing experience to all observers.

Some totals below:
*NORTHERN FULMAR: 13 *including a beautiful dark morph:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/24047274040/in/dateposted-friend/

*COMMON MURRE: 1 *(an alcid photographed flying away from the boat a bit
later could have been a second).
*Black-legged Kittiwake- 15*
*Razorbill- 4*
*Large Alcid sp.- 5*
White-winged Scoter*- 100 *(small flocks in flight throughout almost the
entire time we spent off shore)

Some photos from the trip from me and Sean Sime (many others that aren't
here are on the checklists linked to below) :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/103866258@N08/sets/72157662825454110



8 eBird checklists with embedded photos and water temperature information
here:

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26861446
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26859019
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26858919
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26859251
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26859462
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26859831
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26860177
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26860337


A huge thanks as always goes to captain Mike and the rest of the Brooklyn
VI crew, the other leaders: Paul Guris, Sean Sime, and Luke Musher, and of
course Paul and Anita Guris for always putting together these great
opportunities for us to get off shore!

***There is another trip on January 23, and it is a 14-hour trip where we
hope to get very far off shore to have a chance at things like *ATLANTIC
PUFFIN, DOVEKIE, *numbers of *Common Murre *and *Northern Fulmar, *and the
ever-hoped-for unicorn of northeast winter pelagic birding: *Great Skua.*

*The water is warm and it should be very interesting!*

Information on the trip here:
http://paulagics.com/?page_id=27

And contact/signup info at these two pages:
http://paulagics.com/?page_id=43
http://paulagics.com/?page_id=41

Hope to see you aboard in two weeks!
Good Pelagic Birding!
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Photos of rarities that everyone can see!!

2015-12-21 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Hey everybody,

This is in relation to the issue brought up by Rick Cech regarding the
photos of the Spizella not being initially posted in a place where they
were easily findable and publicly accessible. This is a concern that we
have seen voiced a lot recently, and it's not going away, as birding intel
gets more and more fragmented between different streams of communication.
A great way to solve this issue is by putting your photos (or other media)
into your eBird checklists. This USED to be only "*pretty easy*," since you
had to put them onto a third party website, like Flickr, Picasa, etc. and
then embed the links in your checklist, but now it is "*very easy*" since
all you have to do is drag your photo from your computer directly into the
checklist.

This then makes them viewable for everybody, as well as VERY easy to search
for, by using the intuitive search functions on the eBird site. For a
really good summary of why you should always put your documentation
directly into your checklist, please read here:

http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/rich_media_launch/



One really good reason that I will mention here is that in general it saves
people lots of time during the review process: you save time by not having
to be involved in a back-and forth with an eBird moderator and having to
E-Mail photos separately, eBird reviewers save time by not having to fish
for additional details (which can sometimes feels like pulling teeth), and
all people interested in the sighting save time by being able to quickly
see the highest quality documentation possible very quickly, rather than
poking around elsewhere online or asking other people "in the loop" about
something they're interested in (democratize the documentation for all!).

Here are a couple of examples of checklists, one a media-rich checklist,
and one a non media-rich checklist,
The media-rich one would be very helpful for incredulous people looking
back in 100 years and wondering if the birders were actually seeing the
stuff they claimed to see nowadays, (even the stuff that seems common now
might one day be remarkable):

Media-rich (including photos, audio, and photo of spectrograph):
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25958695
Media-dull (at the time of posting, perhaps this will change with time!):
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26392399

This isn't meant to call anybody specific out, as many people choose to
make checklists like the latter. This goes for many people who post photos
elsewhere (including places that aren;t accessible to the public, like
private facebook groups or twitter accounts) or don't post at all: think
about which of the preceding checklists would better satiate your interest
and thirst for knowledge if you looked at these in a hundred years without
having any firsthand knowledge of the day-to-day goings on of our many
different rarity groups, be it facebook, yahoo groups, cornell-run
listservs, twitter groups, or text message groups. The former is
objectively better.

For more information on the very quick and simple task of uploading photos
and audio, here are two how-to links (the first should cover everything,
and the second explains more about audio):

http://help.ebird.org/customer/en/portal/articles/973966

http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/addaudio/

Good Birding (and documenting!)
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Painted Bunting

2015-12-16 Thread Doug Gochfeld
The Prospect Park Painted Bunting has made it to Brooklyn's CBC count
period. It is currently in one of its favored locations at the extreme
northeast corner of the appropriate habitat at the LeFrak center green roof.

Good CBCing!
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Ovenbird in Brooklyn

2015-12-05 Thread Doug Gochfeld
This afternoon I ran across an Ovenbird at Brooklyn Bridge Park. It was
initially on one of the paved/stone paths before grudgingly going off a few
feet into the leaf litter as I passed it.

There's a cell phone photo here:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26142014

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Franklin's Gull Yes & Nos

2015-11-13 Thread Doug Gochfeld
There is a first-cycle Franklin's Gull (FRGU) in the boat ramp parking lot
at Floyd Bennett Field with ~50 gulls (30 Laughing) right now.

For some balance, I came up empty for FRGU on the Queens barrier, checking
the visible beach from Silver Gull Club, Riis Park parking lot and
beach, and the gull flocks near the wastewater plant and school close to
Beach 108th St.

Good birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Saturday Pelagic Trip: BLACK-CAPPED PETRELS +

2015-10-25 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Saturday's See Life Paulagics overnight pelagic trip out of Brooklyn,
aboard the Brooklyn VI, was once again a great success. We have been
excited to see what utilizes the deep, warm(ish) water off of our coast at
this time of year for some time, and our curiosity was rewarded with an
interesting mix of species. The clear signature species for the trip
was *BLACK-CAPPED
PETREL*, of which we saw ~8. We had seen 4 of these even before official
sunrise. Our pre-dawn & dawn chum slick (In 71.5 degree F water, with a
depth of ~2,500 feet) was, as often is the case, very interesting despite
its low diversity. We had at least 6 Black-capped Petrels (3 or 4 were seen
simultaneously), ~14 Wilson's Storm-Petrels, and a very lost (Western) Palm
Warbler, the latter of which briefly landed on the boat before deciding
that it would rather chance the ~110 miles to shore on its own. The only
other pelagic landbird(s) we had was/were Mourning Dove. There were two
sightings 23 minutes apart, roughly 75-85 miles from shore, near the tip of
the Hudson Canyon.

One very interesting thing was that, at first glance, one or two of the
Black-capped Petrels seemed to be darker-faced birds, unlike the majority
of the ones that are seen at this latitude in the summer seem to be. We'll
have to do more analysis of photos, but it's interesting to contemplate
whether we are getting an injection of Black-capped Petrels from a
different breeding population right now.

Highlights:

*BLACK-CAPPED PETREL- 8*
*Northern Fulmar*- 7
Great Shearwater- 92
Cory's Shearwater- 7
Manx Shearwater- 2
Wilson's Storm-Petrel- 21
*Leach's Storm-Petrel*- 1
Storm-Petrel sp.- 3
Pomarine Jaeger- 2
Parasitic Jaeger- 2 (closer to shore, in Queens County)
*Black-legged Kittiwake*- 2
Bonaparte's Gull- 4 (A mile or two off of Breezy Point)
Northern Gannet- 45
Royal Tern- 2 (At the mouth of Sheepshead Bay, as we were returning to the
dock)
Red-throated Loon- 1 (very far off shore, perhaps my personal farthest from
shore, right around the tip of the Hudson Canyon, flying southbound fairly
high)
Common Loon- 1
Palm Warbler (Western)- 1
Mourning Dove- 1-2 (this species was seen twice, 23 minutes out, between
~75-85 miles off shore)

The eBird checklists won't be ready for at least a few days, but hopefully
some photos will be available at the following URL within the next couple:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/

Sean Sime has already posted a nice selection of photos from the trip here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/103866258@N08/albums/72157660346230081

It has been a great year sailing out of Sheepshead Bay aboard the Brooklyn
VI, and Paul is working with the crew on cementing the 2016 calendar
already. Stay tuned...

Thanks especially to Captains Mike and Keith, and Philly, and Jesus, for
making this trip such a fun and successful one. Until next time!

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Brooklyn Lark Sparrow

2015-10-19 Thread Doug Gochfeld
To add to the recent glut of Lark Sparrows, there was one at Six Diamonds
ballfields in Brooklyn this morning. The Lark Sparrow was along the fences
of the ballfield just south of the entrance at the dead end of Bay 53rd St.
just outside the Home Depot parking lot. At the northern corner of the
park, where it comes together with Calvert Vaux, there were singles of
Orange-crowned Warbler, and Lincoln's Sparrow. There was also a rich brown
*passerina* bunting with some buffy on the underparts, that unfortunately
did not cooperate for good looks or photos.

This is just across the small creek (to the east of) from Calvert Vaux (nee
Dreier Offerman) Park, near Coney Island.


At Coney Island Creek Park a bit earlier in the morning, the only thing
diurnally migrating in somewhat impressive numbers were Kinglets (mostly
Ruby-crowned), which was not tremendously surprising given the favorable
and *light* winds. There were also quite a few Brown Creepers around,
including at least one migrating west through the dunes.
There were also 4 House Wrens between the two locations, which is a decent
number for such a small area on this date.

eBird lists for both locations here (photos to be embedded some time this
evening):
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25474267
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25472924

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Brooklyn- Recent Migration at Coney Island Creek Park

2015-09-03 Thread Doug Gochfeld
I've been at Coney Island Creek Park, in Brooklyn, for parts of 5 mornings
over the past week, to watch the passerine morning flight (essentially
diurnal songbird migration, often by species that are classic nocturnal
migrants). Each day I've also taken a short check of the park proper after
morning flight, and had some nice migrants on the ground in there as well.

All checklists have media (photos) embedded within.

The best day, numbers-wise, was Thursday, 8/27, when I had ~515 inidividual
warblers, of at least 16 species, take part in morning flight.
Checklist here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24778940
Highlights that day were an early Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 3 Purple Martins, a
Common Nighthawk, 2 each of Bay-breasted and Cape May Warblers, 111
Bobolinks (This species was moving each day), and 138 Eastern Kingbirds.
Also in the park after that were single Yellow-bellied and Alder
Flycatchers.

On 8/28 I was joined by Luke Musher and Sean Sime, and warbler numbers were
reduced to about 1/5 of the day before, but there was still an enjoyable
flight. Highlights were a Dickcissel and 78 Bobolinks.
Checklist here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24788269

I checked very briefly on 8/29, before going to the Shorebird Festival, and
was joined then by Tom Preston. The highlight that day was a Lark Sparrow
engaging in morning flight, and then apparently the same bird returning and
flying back to the east 40 minutes later. Otherwise. warbler migrants were
once again reduced to about 1/5 of the day before (1/25 of two days prior!).
Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24811751

On Tuesday, 9/01, I went there again, fresh after the pelagic trip, and was
joined by Tom Johnson and Drew Weber. We had a very entertaining morning,
with ~150 diurnally migrating warblers, of at least 15 species.
Highlights in morning flight were: Dickcissel, my FOS Red-breasted
Nuthatch, FOS 2 Blackpoll Warblers,and 69 Bobolinks.
Highlights aside from passerine morning flight were: 1 each of Roseate and
Black Tern around Gravesend Bay, the former being very rarely reported in
Brooklyn, and Yellow-breasted Chat and Yellow-throated Vireo in the park
itself, after morning flight.
Checklist here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24848588

I went yesterday (9/02) in the fog, and the flight was virtually
nonexistent, but a Savannah Sparrow was a new arrival and my first definite
migrant of that species of the season.

For those who were on the pelagic trip, a pelagic summary and shared
checklists are forthcoming within the next day or two.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/

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[nysbirds-l] 8/04- Breezy Point Baird's Sandpiper photos from yesterday

2015-08-04 Thread Doug Gochfeld
The theme at Breezy Point this morning, as it typically is at this time of
year, was sheer numbers, rather than great diversity. There were at least
5,000 Common Terns in the area, and possibly over 7,000. It was very
difficult to count for myriad reasons, including that there were large
concentrations in three places, with constant interchange of birds between
each of the three locations. The majority of the perched birds were inside
the private community to the east of NPS property, so that's another hurdle
when trying to get a count of them. There were also 2,000-3,000 Sanderling
between the Silver Gull Club and the jetty at the tip. I read codes off of
7 flagged birds, all of which were green flags, signifying that they were
banded in Delaware Bay (primarily/only in the Spring).

In addition, there were ~285 Semipalmated Plovers, including one individual
that was all blinged out with several color bands and an alpha numeric
white flag (the latter of which I think means that it was banded in the
Canadian Arctic).

Species highlights were *3-4 BLACK TERNS* seen foraging off shore, in the
distance, very early, and a *PECTORAL SANDPIPER *that briefly put in an
appearance with a roosting Sanderling flock near the tip.
1-2 juvenile Forster's Terns provided a less-than-every-trip species for
the location, and 2 juvenile Least Sandpipers were my first of the season,
and are always a favorite, even when they get common later on in the month.

Complete eBird list from today here:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24493611

Photos of the adult Baird's Sandpiper (my personal first of this age class
from the region, as far as I recall) from yesterday at Plum Beach:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Adult Baird's Sandpiper- Brooklyn, Now

2015-08-03 Thread Doug Gochfeld
There is an adult Baird's Sandpiper in the wrack line on the beach at Plum
Beach in Brooklyn. It's been here for at least 20 minutes, and it is
behaving as if it will stick. It is closer to the parking lot than to the
tip. Also of note for the location is a migrant Piping Plover on the flats
near the tip.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Breezy Point Whimbrel, Polyphemus etc., and weekend North Fork Arctic Tern photos

2015-07-08 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Avian highlights of a stroll around the beach at Breezy Point this morning,
in which I was joined by Andrew Farnsworth for a portion, were a single
*Whimbrel* up on the high beach close to the jetty, a first-summer *Lesser
Black-backed Gull*, *~4 Wilson's Storm-Petrels* (one was actually flying up
the inlet adjacent to the jetty, but the other sightings were more
distant), and some modest westbound swallow migration of at least 3 species
(Bank, Barn, and Tree).

The unquestionable highlight for both of us, however, was when a male
*POLYPHEMUS
MOTH* (*Antheraea polyphemus*) flew in off the ocean and over the beach,
heading north. It was the first time either of us could remember seeing one
associated with migration over big water- very cool!
Two photos of the moth are here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/19527582885
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/19339649860

Also of recent note, on Monday morning at Plum Beach, I watched 2 very
unseasonal immature *Great Cormorants* leading 3 Double-crested Cormorants
eastbound up Rockaway Inlet. A Great Cormorant was also photographed and
eBirded from Bush Terminal in Brooklyn, inside New York Bay, yesterday.

Photos of the Moth and one of the Plum Beach Cormorants, along with the
really cool looking black-billed, adult-like Arctic Tern from this past
Saturday/Independence Day in Jamesport, are here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/


Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Arctic Tern- North Fork/Peconic Bay

2015-07-04 Thread Doug Gochfeld
There was just an ARCTIC TERN (2nd summer-type most likely, given the dark
bill on an otherwise very adult-like bird) on the sandspit at South
Jamesport Park, on Peconic Bay in Jamesport. It was around for about 8
minutes before flying off to the south in the company of a couple of
1st-summer Forster's Terns.

The Forster's have just returned after ~15 minutes, but I haven't seen the
Arctic again.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] 6/18- Queens: SABINE'S GULL, LONG-TAILED JAEGER and other goodies.

2015-06-18 Thread Doug Gochfeld
This afternoon and evening, Sean Sime and I had a rather pleasant walk on
the beach out at Breezy Point, in Queens. Parking for this location is by
permit only, at the parking lot at Beach 222nd St., which is actually just
the terminus of the main drag that you enter Breezy Point on. You can
obtain a one-day parking permit from the Ryan Visitor Center at Floyd
Bennett Field in Brooklyn (which is on the way out to Breezy). According to
the website, the permit office is open 7 days a week from 9 AM to 4 PM,
though you might call in advance to check. They typically only give you a
permit for the day you go into the office to ask.

Highlights were as follows (more details on the eBird checklist):

*SABINE'S GULL*- Immature (1st-cycle/spring//2CY) bird, though maybe
undergoing a slightly late molt, as it was still growing in P10. This bird
was initially standing in the surf just to the east of the 4x4 road from
the parking lot to the beach, roughly here: (40.546739, -73.930068), but
when we left it, it was up to a half mile to the east, hanging around the
beach in front of the tern colony closer to here: (40.550618, -73.921318).
This is one of less than 5 NYC records. The only ones I've heard tell of
are the well documented Staten Island record from 1986, and potentially an
old Brooklyn record or two that I'm waiting to hear back about. It seems to
be the first Queens record though.

*LONG-TAILED JAEGER*- Adult bird moving west over the ocean, fairly high
up. We picked it up while it was still a ways to the east, and it wasn't
moving particularly fast. It eventually passed the jetty and angled to the
NW over the mouth of Rockaway Inlet before adjusting back to the south a
little before we lost resolution on the bird. We don't think that it quite
made it to Brooklyn airspace, based on our back of the envelope
calculations, but it came close. There is an old Brooklyn record or two
that I've heard mention of, but don't have any further details on. Besides
that, I don't believe there are any prior NYC records, and no prior Queens
records.

*Purple Martin*- 2 or 3 birds, heading roughly south along the bay side. 2
female-types together were preceded by a possible male PUMA seen a bit
earlier from the parking lot.
*Black Tern*- 2 (adult and young bird)
Bonaparte's Gull- 1 immature bird standing on the beach for most of our time
Roseate Tern- 1 adult seen about 5 separate times.
Black Scoter- 1, presumably continuing, young male on the beach on the
bayside
Lesser Black-backed Gull- 2 young birds

Photos of the Sabine's Gull and other goodies here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/18755042288

Complete eBird list here:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S23968163

Good Birding!
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Breezy Point Sabine's Gull update

2015-06-18 Thread Doug Gochfeld
The Sabine's Gull is now 400-500 yards east of where 4x4 trail hits
the beach, adjacent to the heart of the tern colony. Also, it doesn't
appear to be a young bird. It is essentially an adult in basic plumage
except that it is still molting in P10.

-Doug Gochfeld

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[nysbirds-l] SABINE'S GULL-Queens RIGHT NOW

2015-06-18 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Immature SABINE'S GULL standing in surf on beach (ocean side) at Breezy
Point, just east of footpath to 222nd street parking lot. Just west of the
lifeguard towers. Park at 222nd street lot at your own risk as permit is
technically required, and it is obtaine during business hours a Floyd
Bennett Field in Brooklyn.

-Doug Gochfeld and Sean Sime

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[nysbirds-l] 6/10- Queens: Manx Shearwater, Whimbrel etc.

2015-06-10 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Shane Blodgett and I spent this late afternoon and early evening at Breezy
Point, in Queens.

The species highlights were a single *Manx Shearwater* flying west, fairly
far off shore, and a *Whimbrel* that lingered on the beach for over half an
hour. Also of interest were 4 Red Knots, 7 Semipalmated Sandpipers, and 7
Black-bellied Plovers.

While the lack of tern diversity was disappointing, a single young
Forster's Tern (unusual for the barrier beach in summer), and at least 11
non-adult Common Terns (5+ first-summer, 6+ second-summer) were mixed in
among the thousands of Common Terns, and ~250 Black Skimmer.

Photos of both the Whimbrel and the Manx are here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/

Full eBird list here:
ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S23860918

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/

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[nysbirds-l] 6/1 Pelagic Trip Report Final Tally- SKUA-PALOOZA and More!

2015-06-03 Thread Doug Gochfeld
The See Life Paulagics overnight pelagic trip aboard the Brooklyn VI out of
Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, on Monday June 1, was a great success.

We left the dock Sunday night amid rain showers and dark overcast skies,
but the farther and farther we got from the dock, the better the weather
became. By the time we were stopped 120 miles from shore, at around 4 AM,
the seas and wind were calm, and the Big Dipper was shining over the boat
from a mostly clear sky.

Before the sun had risen we had already picked up two of the main target
birds for the trip: Leach's Storm-Petrel, and SOUTH POLAR SKUA. Little did
we know it at the time, but that Skua was indeed a strong harbinger of
things to come, as we would tally 5 more (4 definite South Polars, and one
that was a bit too far to definitively identify, but was most likely also a
South Polar). For an extended period of time, we had 3 South Polar Skuas
around the boat at once, making very close flight circuits, and at times
sitting on the water together.

The non-bird marine life was also excellent, and one of the biggest
highlights of the trip, for many, was a repeatedly breaching BASKING SHARK,
very close to the boat. In addition to that, we saw a group of Pilot Fish
amid the tentacles of a Portuguese Man O' War, several Mola mola (Ocean
Sunfish), Risso's Dolphins, a Blue Shark, and more.

The weather deteriorated markedly as we approached shore, but while we were
motoring back through the choppy seas and dreary skies (adjacent to Nassau
County), at 18+ knots, we passed a couple of very large aggregations of
Shearwaters, numbering around 800 birds. These were predominantly Sooty and
Cory's with a fair number of Greats, but we weren't able to stop to sort
through them due to time constraints. Either way, the flocks milling around
in the weather were a true spectacle.

Some photos, including the Basking Shark breaching, a bunch of Skuas, a
huge Mola mola, and the Pilot Fish, are here (and also embedded in the
various eBird checklists):

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08


Without further ado, here is the pelagic list:

Birds:
*SOUTH POLAR SKUA*- *5*
*Skua sp*.- 1
*LONG-TAILED JAEGER*- 1 (2nd calendar year bird)
POMARINE JAEGER- 1 (adult)
LEACH'S STORM-PETREL- *26*
Wilson's Storm-Petrel- 215
Oceanodroma sp.- 3
*AUDUBON'S SHEARWATER*-* 5*
Manx Shearwater- 9
Sooty Shearwater- *465*
Cory's Shearwater- *310*
Great Shearwater- 70
Shearwater sp.- 250
ARCTIC TERN- 4 (Probably at least *10*, as one distant flock of 6 birds
were probably Arctics)
Common Tern- 14 (+75 around the Breezy Point Jetty)
Sterna sp.- 30
Common Loon- 2
Double-crested Cormorant- 3
BARN SWALLOW- 2 (separate individuals a mile apart, about 87 miles out from
the dock, and 75 miles from the closest point of land. One was fairly pale,
and the other was the expected rusty-bellied plumage)
PURPLE MARTIN- 1 (about 8 miles from shore on the way in, briefly following
the boat).
Surf Scoter- 1 drake alongside the Breezy Point jetty
Great Black-backed Gull- 1

Non-birds:
*BASKING SHARK*- 1 https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/18405240816
Blue Shark- 1
Risso's Dolphin- 6
Offshore Bottlenose Dolphin- 3
Common Dolphin- 15
Portuguese Man O' War- 25+
*Pilot Fish*- 40-50
Mola Mola (Ocean Sunfish)- 8
Pelagic barnacles (probably the genus *Lepas*)- 15-20


We left the dock with people on land saying What are they thinking going
off shore on a day like this?
As we approached land and got into the ugly on-shore weather, many people
on the boat must have been thinking What was everybody thinking staying on
land on a day like this?!

A huge thank you to Paul and Anita Guris for putting the trip together, and
to the crew on the Brooklyn VI (Mike, Matty, Philly, Jesus):
https://www.facebook.com/brooklynvi.fishing

Good Seabirding,
Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08

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[nysbirds-l] Brooklyn Franklin's Gull YES, photos, and update on flagged Semipalmated Sandpiper

2015-06-02 Thread Doug Gochfeld
I spent a couple of hours during the incoming tide and scattered rain at
Plum Beach this afternoon/evening. While there was not much in the way of
shorebird turnover, nor were there many close terns, as I had hoped, the
FRANKLIN'S GULL did make a brief appearance. As I was approaching the point
from the west, the gull flew over my head from the north, and then curved
out to the southeast over the farthest mudflats, and after seeming like it
was potentially going to land, it then veered back towards the east over
the mouth of Dead Horse Bay, and I shortly lost track of it, which was
unfortunate, as it would be nice to know where it is spending it's time
when it isn't on the shores of Plum Beach or Dead Horse Bay.

13 Ruddy Turnstones, and the expected (in rainy winds with an eastern
element) uptick in the common large gulls were the only other notable
changes from what I had seen there recently.

The Semipalmated Sandpiper with the blue flag, that I had previously
mentioned on this list, was photographed by Klemens Gasser the day after I
saw it. The code was NTV, and the bird was banded by the research team
organized by New Jersey Audubon on January 26, 2013, on Coroa Do Ovos, in
the state of Maranhão, Brazil (3,400 mile straight line distance, for what
it's worth).

My addition to the ever growing pool of photos of the Franklin's Gull, as
well as photos of the Semipalmated Sandpiper and the map of its two known
stops, are here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/


For those wondering, the complete summary of yesterday's excellent pelagic
trip out of Brooklyn, with photos, should be ready tomorrow, and eBird
lists should be completed and shared within the next couple of days.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Plum Beach flagged Semipalmated Sandpipers etc.

2015-05-29 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Yesterday afternoon, while watching the Franklin's Gull at the eastern tip
of Plum Beach, a flock of Semipalmated Sandpipers came in to feed on the
shoreline, and it contained a bird with a blue flag on its leg, which was
put on in Brazil. Unfortunately it was a bit too distant, and it the flock
stayed too briefly, for me to get a definitive read on the flag.

If anyone is out there, it would pay to keep an eye out for this bird, or
any other flagged shorebirds for that matter, and try to get a definitive
read on them. Often, taking photos is a better bet than trying to read it
through a scope, especially if they are moving rapidly, and if they only
stay for a brief period, as is often the case for shorebirds at this site.
Flags can even often be read in flight photos, so if a flock is flying by
close, it wouldn't hurt to shoot a few photos.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/

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[nysbirds-l] Brooklyn- Nelson's Sparrows, other recent miscellany

2015-05-21 Thread Doug Gochfeld
There are currently 2 Nelson's Sparrows singing from the saltmarsh at Plum
Beach in Brooklyn. One is at the eastern tip, and the other is on the north
side of the widest part of the lagoon.

Otherwise shorebird numbers and diversity here were not very impressive
this morning. Two afternoons ago there were many more shorebirds on the
flats, and a White-rumped Sandpiper flew over in a small group of
Semipalmated Sandpipers. Neither species was evident today.

A couple of strikingly late migrants were an Eastern Phoebe at Coney Island
Creek Park yesterday, and a male Slate-colored Junco around the Jamaica Bay
visitor's center two days ago.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Brooklyn: Black-headed Gull Now

2015-05-19 Thread Doug Gochfeld
There is currently an immature Black-headed Gull standing on the mudflats
off the eastern tip of Plum Beach.
The tide is going out, so the flats that it is standing on should still be
exposed for another 3-5 hours.
Car acess to this location is from the eastbound Belt Parkway only.

Good birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Parking for 5/31 Brooklyn Pelagic

2015-05-18 Thread Doug Gochfeld
I've had a couple of inquiries regarding overnight parking at the dock.
There are no temporal parking restrictions on the regular back-in angle
parking spots at the dock.

So, yes, there should be more than enough overnight street parking right at
the boat.

Below, I'm pasting the detailed directions given previously by Shane
Blodgett:



The boat is docked at Pier 6 in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn. This on Emmons
 Avenue just a few yards west of Dooley Street. Map here:

 https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=z6kI7VNnVLnI.kAloKkzeNS2k

 Image of pier sans boat (she is out fishing !)


 https://www.google.com/maps/@40.58363,-73.945195,3a,75y,163.41h,75.7t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sXgspsqQ9fcvndG-EJFMKMA!2e0

 Best way to get there is Belt parkway. If coming from points east, take
 exit 9 (Knapp Street) go to end of exit ramp and turn left (you will then
 be on Knapp Street).You will go back over the Belt and in about 200 yards
 you will come to a T-intersection. Make a right turn onto Emmons Avenue. Go
 about .75 mile and the boat will be on your left.

 If coming from west you can take either exit 9A or 9B. If you use 9A at
 the end of exit ramp service road turn right on Knapp Street (about .25
 mile from exit 9A) and then right on Emmons. Go about .75 mile and the boat
 will be on your left.
 If you use 9B the exit ramp ends at a traffic light. Continue straight
 through the light and you will be on Emmons Avenue. Go about .75 mile and
 the boat will be on your left.

 If coming from central Brooklyn you could take Ocean Avenue all the way to
 the end, make a left on Emmons and the boat will be on your right in about
 .2 mile.

 Parking is on the street and free, with the parking on the north side of
 the traffic islands being traditional parallel parking. On the south side
 of the traffic islands it is *back in angle parking* only and although
 the signs are missing stating this, you can get a ticket for not doing so.


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Re: [nysbirds-l] Brooklyn Mew Gull -- NO

2015-01-24 Thread Doug Gochfeld
For what it's worth, there are generally multiple thousands of Ring-billed
Gulls on Coney Island Beach, just a couple of miles to the SE, as well as
hundreds in the Sheepshead Bay and Marine Park area a little east of there.
There are also usually a few hundred between the Owls Head wastewater plant
and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Floyd Bennett Field's evening RBGU roost
is in full effect at this point in the winter as well, as there were over
2000 there a week ago.

These all seem like potential alternate locations for the Mew Gull if it
isn't showing at the Gravesend Bay location. The most likely alternate
places in my mind, based on proximity and high concentrations of
appropriately sized gulls, are Coney Island Creek Park (or anywhere in
Coney Island Creek where there are gulls hanging out), Coney Island Beach,
and the Owls Head Wastewater Plant.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

On Sat, Jan 24, 2015 at 7:11 PM, pjlind...@optonline.net wrote:

 The Mew Gull present in recent days at Gravesend Bay, Brooklyn was
 searched for extensively and at length today but not detected.

 Patricia Lindsay
 Bay Shore, NY

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[nysbirds-l] Mew Gull -YES

2015-01-22 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Paul Bourdin texted to say that he had the MEW GULL at Caeser's Bay
(Caeser's Bay is the the shopping center at the end of Bay Parkway, next to
where Shai's parking directions take you to) about 20 minutes ago. It came
into the main flock of Ring-billed Gulls a bit to the west of Caeser's Bay
and was around briefly before disappearing. He is still currently on site
looking to re-find it.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/

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[nysbirds-l] Couch's right now

2015-01-05 Thread Doug Gochfeld
The Couch's Kingbird is perched on a fire escape on the north side of W
11th, half a block east of W 4th.

For those who are keeping track, it was on a sunlit fire escape on the NW
corner of Perry and W 4th just before 3 PM.

Bird actually just flew south over W 11th towards Perry.

-Doug Gochfeld

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[nysbirds-l] 12/30- Eastern Long Island (Orange-crowned-apalooza etc.)

2014-12-31 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Yesterday, Sean Sime, Joe DiCostanzo, and I birded the east end of Long
Island. At Montauk Point, we were slightly disappointed with the alcid
show, totaling less than *20 Razorbills* between the Point and the Camp
Hero Bluffs. However, we were happier with the gorgeous drake *KING EIDER*
that Joe deftly pulled out of the flock of several thousand Common Eiders
to the SSE of the Camp Hero overlook.
Other highlights of our roughly 90 species for the day were as follows:

*BALTIMORE ORIOLE*: 1 along the Montauk State Parkway between the point and
Deep Hollow Ranch (south of Oyster Pond). This stretch of the parkway was
productive for the regular winter half hardies as well, producing multiples
of Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, and Eastern Towhee.
*Orange-crowned Warbler*: *5! *This included 4 together at one spot,
accompanied by no other birds, just east of the south end of Sagaponack
Pond (also a Ring-necked Pheasant at this location) !! They were close
enough to afford us the opportunity to get a photo of 3 (2.95, really) of
the birds in one frame. The other individual was in the western end of the
vegetation between the pond itself, and the parking lot, near 6
Black-capped Chickadees.
*Laughing Gull*: 1 juvenile continuing at Sagaponack Pond.
Canvasback: *31 *at the pond at Seatuck Creek in Eastport (also 128
Ring-neked Ducks).
Lesser Black-backed Gull: Adult at Sagaponack Pond
Bald Eagle: immature at Sagaponack Pond

Shorts Pond had ~3,200 Canada Geese, and 17 Snow Geese, but we couldn't
find any other species of goose mixed in.

Good Birding
Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] COUCH'S KINGBIRD Manhattan NOW

2014-12-26 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Jacob Drucker refound the Manhattan kingbird on Hudson St. Between Bank and
Bethune Streets. It has vocalized a bunch, and is a Couch's Kingbird, which
makes it one of only a couple of records of this species for the northeast.

It is currently hawking insects off the sunlit side o the apartment
building on the west side of the street, between the fire escapes and the
two trees adjacent to the building.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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Re:[nysbirds-l] COUCH'S KINGBIRD Manhattan NOW

2014-12-26 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Bird is back at the original location (from last night's report) in front
of the building at Washington St. and Jane St. In the West Village, just
one block in from the West Side Drive (West Street).

-Doug Gochfeld

On Friday, December 26, 2014, Doug Gochfeld fresha2...@gmail.com wrote:

 Jacob Drucker refound the Manhattan kingbird on Hudson St. Between Bank
 and Bethune Streets. It has vocalized a bunch, and is a Couch's Kingbird,
 which makes it one of only a couple of records of this species for the
 northeast.

 It is currently hawking insects off the sunlit side o the apartment
 building on the west side of the street, between the fire escapes and the
 two trees adjacent to the building.

 Good Birding
 -Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.



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[nysbirds-l] 12/26- Couch's Cassin's Kingbirds (including Couch's AUDIO)

2014-12-26 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Here are a couple of photos, and more importantly a video, of the Couch's
Kingbird, taken early(ish) this morning, when the bird was on Hudson St.:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/

You can go directly to the video, in which the Kingbird calls repeatedly,
here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/15929914767/in/photostream/

The video will be embedded into this eBird list at some point soon,
courtesy of vimeo (since the Flickr/eBird embedding seems buggy):
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S21034505

We also found the Cassin's Kingbird in the Community Garden at Floyd
Bennett Field in Brooklyn in the early afternoon, and spent time with it
until ~1:40 PM.

All in all a very pleasant day of birding in the city, thanks to vagrant
kingbirds, glorious weather, and the MTA (NYC public transit system).

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Cassin's Kingbird continues in Brooklyn

2014-12-23 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Gary Chapin found the Cassin's Kingbird around the community garden at
Floyd Bennett Field a couple of hours ago.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Brooklyn Miscellany and Le Conte's Sparrow photos

2014-12-02 Thread Doug Gochfeld
There was a report of a fairly well described possible female-type
Yellow-headed Blackbird from a couple of days ago along Gravesend Bay in
Brooklyn. It was hanging out in the large mixed Cowbird/Starling
aggregation that is often seen along the Belt Parkway adjacent to Gravesend
Bay during the winter months. The flock is not always easily viewable, but
it is sometimes ranging around the grass on either side of the middle
parking lot along the eastbound Belt Parkway, just east of the Verrazano
Bridge. Attempts to find the whole flock along the waterfront by several
birders over the last two days have failed, and they could well be inside
Fort Hamilton itself, though the streets just inland from that area, around
the VA Hospital, Dyker Beach Golf Course, and Poly Prep High School would
all be good places to check.

While hanging around the parking area yesterday morning, Shane Blodgett and
I observed a RED-NECKED GREBE out in the bay, not very far off shore. This
is annually one of the more reliable places in the area for this species.
Unfortunately Bonaparte's Gulls have been very scarce around the Brooklyn
waterfront recently, though Ring-billed Gull numbers have just shot up in a
very noticeable way (There were over 1000 at the Floyd Bennett Field boat
launch at dusk on Sunday, while there were barely 200 there the day before
Thanksgiving).

Photos of the Le Conte's Sparrow from two days ago (the bird was not seen
today, despite coverage starting at sunrise, though with the wind and cold,
it could have been hunkered down in a slightly less exposed location.) can
be found here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/

The Cassin's Kingbird wasn't seen either, despite some searching, and was
also undoubtedly sheltering itself from the unfavorable conditions.

-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] Le Conte's Sparrow at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn

2014-11-30 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Heydi Lopes just found a Le Conte's Sparrow at Floyd Bennett Field in
Brooklyn. The bird is in a brushy just east of the Polytechnic baseball
field.
Coordinates are roughly 40.58399, -73.878069.
Enter at the south entrance to Floyd Bennett, drive straight along that
road until it bends to the left and at that bend take the dead end road to
the right that runs alongside an old building. Park there. Looking towards
the bay, there are a couple of low overgrown cement structures ahead of
you, and an orange plastic fence that says keep out to the left. Access
the field by walking around the right side of the cement structures,
through the yellow jersey barrier. It was between the cement structure
closest to the shore and the water.

The bird is very cooperative at times, eating well, and seems to prefer
running around on the ground in view rather than flushing.

The Cassin's Kingbird continues in the Community Garden as well.

Good Birding,
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] PELAGIC TRIP POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER

2014-10-24 Thread Doug Gochfeld
I am posting this here in case there is someone who is who is registered
for the trip but who's E-Mail we did not have in the pelagic trip E-Mail
list.


TRIP POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER

Unfortunately, while the offshore forecast has come down, the conditions to
and from the canyon have become less favorable and will likely hamper our
ability to get to the canyon with ample time to bird, and make
birding/photography conditions difficult in general.
We sincerely apologize for the back and forth. Getting offshore is always
touch and go and we felt it was worth it to exhaust every possibility. The
forecast didn't work with us today.

Information about a reschedule date will be made available early in the
week. Thank you for your patience.

-Sean and Doug

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[nysbirds-l] 10/20- Brooklyn Viz Mig (great flight of Kinglets, Phoebes, and Siskins) etc.

2014-10-20 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Viz Mig (visible migration) was once again in full effect in south-coastal
NYC this morning. For the first few hours of today, I was at Coney Island
Creek Park, which was awash in Kinglets of both species, Sparrows, and
other typical Mid-October migrants. Not typical was just how high the
numbers were, of Ruby-crowned Kinglets (RCKI) and Eastern Phoebes
(EAPH) flying west along the beach towards the tip of Sea Gate. I tallied
~110 RCKI and almost 60 EAPH actively continuing their migrations along the
beach, and there were still another ~30 of each using the small green belt
of the park after most of the vizmig died down. This was in fairly stark
contrast to yesterday, when there seemed to be relatively few Eastern
Phoebes around, and when the number of Kinglets on the coast was certainly
not of the magnitude evident today.

While RCKIs were the dominant Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglets were present
in good numbers, with near 50 detected through the morning. Other
highlights from here:
*610* Pine Siskins (all westbound, mostly in flocks ranging from 10 to over
100 individuals)
1 Rusty Blackbird (calling flyover)
1 each of Tufted Titmouse and Red-bellied Woodpecker, neither of which are
normally present here. The Titmouse was actually the first individual I've
heard of of this species for this location, despite a good amount of
coverage over the last few falls  winters.
24 Sharp-shinned Hawk
64 Tree Swallow

A bit later, at Canarsie Park in Brooklyn, Shane Blodgett and I found
similarly high concentrations on the ground of Hermit Thrush, Eastern
Phoebe, and Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and also had a flyover female Boat-tailed
Grackle.

Complete eBird checklists for each location here:

Coney Island Creek Park (with photos):
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20285966

Canarsie Park: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20287936


Good Birding!
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] 10/19: Queens Brooklyn Migration

2014-10-19 Thread Doug Gochfeld
A 4 hour stationary count, with Sean Sime and Luke Musher, on the hawkwatch
platform atop Battery Harris at Fort Tilden this morning was
predictably productive.
Echoing other reports from throughout the region, our most abundant mover
was Myrtle Yellow-rumped Warbler. We tallied just under 8,000
Yellow-rumpeds flying west, and also had some decent numbers of other
species of passerines (flying west unless otherwise specified), the
highlights being:
123 Pine Siskin
31 Purple Finch
22 American Pipit
1 Horned Lark (heading east)


The non-passerine flight was also highly entertaining, with lots of Canada
Geese, Brant, and Double-crested Cormorant (the latter being early in the
morning almost exclusively). Highlights of birds over the water were *21*
westbound Royal Terns, a very high count for this location, and single
westbound Common Tern, which is getting a bit late. Raptor-wise, the
Sharp-shinned Hawk (82) flight was very heavy, the American Kestrel (77)
flight seemed phenomenal for the late date, and we also tallied 15 Northern
Harriers ranging across all compass points and from right over the water to
way up in the clouds. It would have been lots of fun to stay for much
longer and see what type of raptor totals we could have accrued on the
beach, but alas we had to vacate around 11 AM, right as the hawk flight was
starting to get even denser. As seen from reports and observations from
elsewhere later in the day, not least of which is Corey Finger's Golden
Eagle from Edgemere in the afternoon, the raptor flight clearly stayed
strong late into the day.

The two most notable single individual birds in my mind were an *AMERICAN
GOLDEN-PLOVER* that flew over in a flock of 8 Black-bellied Plovers, and a
stunning leucistic male Red-winged Blackbird, that was completely pale
except for the epaulets. A photo of the awesome looking Whitebird is here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/15393166088/

Complete eBird checklist from Fort Tilden here:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20280619


An afternoon jaunt around Prospect Park in Brooklyn produced *15 species *of
Warblers among 73 total species, and good sparrow diversity.

A complete list from Prospect Park can be found here:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S20279918

Good Birding!
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] October Overnight Pelagic Trip - Hudson Canyon

2014-09-04 Thread Doug Gochfeld
With the cooperation of Paulagics, and on the heels of the insanely
successful August trip, we have planned an 18 hour exploratory overnight
pelagic trip out of Freeport, NY on Friday, October 24th/Saturday October
25th. The close approaching date would mean we would need commitments
relatively quickly.



The plan for the trip is to leave the dock at 11:30 PM on Friday October
24th, aboard the 100' Starstream VIII (From the Captain Lou Fleet), and be
at the Hudson Canyon at sunrise. This trip sails at an interesting time of
year when many birds are moving into and out of the North Atlantic.



Likely species for offshore pelagic trips in this region at this time of
year include Great, Manx and Cory's Shearwaters as well as Parasitic and
Pomarine Jaegers, Northern Fulmar, Red Phalarope, and plenty of migratory
waterfowl (and, depending on the winds, even some more terrestrial
migrants, including many species of passerines).



This is also an excellent time of year to find a good diversity of gulls
offshore, as Black-legged Kittiwakes should be in, and Bonaparte’s Gulls
should be moving, with the potential for other small gulls (Read: LITTLE
GULL, and exceptionally: ROSS’S GULL). SABINE’S GULL should also still be a
distinct possibility, as are both SOUTH POLAR SKUA and GREAT SKUA.



The deep water off the East Coast is very under-birded at this exciting
season, and the possibilities for out-of-left-field species is very much
there. The only Atlantic Ocean record of BULLER’S SHEARWATER was from late
October, as was one of the two accepted North American records of CAPE
VERDE SHEARWATER (from New Jersey and Maryland, respectively).



There will be food on board (both human food for purchase, and plenty of
chum for the birds), and there will be several experienced pelagic leaders
to help people see and identify whatever we come across, be it birds,
cetaceans, or other marine life.



The trip returns to the dock the evening of Saturday October 25th.



The fee (including tip for the mates) is $235 per person.



This trip will be booking directly through the Capt. Lou office. *

*Call (516) 623-5823 to reserve a spot.*



***If you are planning on going, please do not hesitate in calling. Because
the trip is less than two months out, time is of the essence to register.


Hope to see you aboard!

-Doug Gochfeld.

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[nysbirds-l] August 11-12 Pelagic Trip Full Report (FEA'S PETREL etc.) including photos checklists

2014-08-13 Thread Doug Gochfeld
 (with over 40 people,
nice!), so if you were on the trip and haven't had it shared with you yet,
feel free to ask for them.

CHECKLISTS:
Hudson Canyon Mouth chum slick:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19459656

Shelf waters adjacent to Hudson Canyon:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19459696

Mid-canyon (including WFSP):
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19459764

Rest of the trip in order (Bridled Tern is on the second one down):
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19459820
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19459920
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19459960
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S19460033


PHOTOS:
Doug Gochfeld:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29840397@N08/

Sean Sime:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/103866258@N08/sets/72157646030932759/

Thanks, as always, to Paul and Anita Guris for tirelessly working through,
over, and around the variety of obstacles and difficulties involved in
putting these trips together! This one sure was a dandy.

Hope to see you on the next one!
Good Birding,
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] FEA'S PETREL, White-faced Storm-Petrel etc.

2014-08-12 Thread Doug Gochfeld
We're still off shore, but I figured this deserves prompt mention.

The overnight Paulagics Pelagic trip to the Hudson Canyon area produced
some excellent birds, including FEA'S PETREL, WHITE-FACED STORM-PETREL,
dozens of Band-rumped Storm-Petrels, and a Bridled Tern.

A more thorough trip report will follow, along with eBird reports.

Good Birding
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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[nysbirds-l] NYC area eBird filter re-run (all eBird users please read)

2014-08-04 Thread Doug Gochfeld
Hello all New York eBird users,

eBird Records for several counties in downstate New York have recently been
re-run through the improved filters. This returned lots of newly flagged
entries which were entered before the filters were updated (and so did not
trip the filter when they were entered).

The downstate New York eBird review team will be working to get through
this new backlog of records as quickly as we can over the next few weeks or
months, so that we can get these records, the vast majority of which are
undoubtedly correct, back into the public data feed.

What this means for you is that if you were lucky enough at any point to
see an unusual bird- be it rare for the region, an early or late date, or
an unusually high count- then you may at some point receive an E-Mail from
a reviewer asking you to confirm the record or supply details, even though
the sighting did not trip the filter when you initially entered it into the
system.

Please bear with us, and do not take any inquiries as personal affronts. We
completely understand if you don't remember the exact details of things
from multiple years ago that aren't exceptionally rare birds (say, for
instance, a Bonaparte's Gull in mid-June at Jamaica Bay from several years
ago that didn't trip the filter when you initially entered it). However,
for things that you DO remember in any way, or have photos of, any
substantive response, will greatly aid us in getting through the load. If
you can enter comments in the species comments field that would be
exceptionally helpful, as many older records of slightly out of season
things have no comments whatsoever, and are therefore very difficult to
evaluate. Because all of us are volunteer reviewers, we cannot devote
inordinate amounts of time to this, so it may be a while before you hear
anything.

A very informative article on how the filters work etc. is on the eBird
site at this link:
http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1055676-understanding-the-ebird-review-and-data-quality-process

Thanks for your cooperation, and for your continued contributions to the
database, that at this point is very comprehensive for our region, thanks
to the volume of reports that you have all contributed over the years!

Good (e)Birding!
-Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.

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Re: [nysbirds-l] LA Waterthrush JAM. bay

2014-08-02 Thread Doug Gochfeld
On Thursday, July 31, 2014, Arie Gilbert ariegilb...@optonline.net wrote:

 There is a Louisiana Waterthrush at big johns pond.


 07/31/2014 @ 11 AM

 Arie Gilbert
 No. Babylon NY


 Sent from Loretta IV in the field
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