[nysbirds-l] Cackling Goose, Hendrickson Park, Nassau County

2021-11-26 Thread Timothy Healy
A Cackling Goose is currently roosting on the western shore of the lake at 
Arthur J. Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream. This is a known individual that 
was first documented here in the winter of 2016-2017. Unlike the Pink-footed 
Goose that spent that same winter at this location, this bird has returned 
faithfully ever since. There were no confirmed sightings last winter, the last 
report on eBird coming from March 2020. With only 6 eBird checklists for the 
hotspot between November 2020 and March 2021, however, I think it’s fairly 
likely that the Cackler spent last winter unnoticed at this infrequently 
monitored site. It remains closely associated with a smallish Canada Goose that 
is also recognizable as the same returning individual in photos over the years. 
If it weren’t for the inseparable bond between this pair, we would never know 
that the Canada is every bit as site-faithful as it’s rarer cousin (possible 
mate?). 

Cheers,
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Say’s Phoebe, Caumsett SP - YES

2021-10-17 Thread Timothy Healy
The Say’s Phoebe continues around the fields north of the parking lot at 
Caumsett bright and early this morning. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Great White Heron, Marshlands Conservancy, Rye

2021-10-11 Thread Timothy Healy

The lingering Great White Heron at the Marshlands Conservancy in Rye continued 
today, roosting in the trees along the northern shore of Marie’s Neck during 
the evening high tide. After several sporadic sightings between late August and 
September, the bird has now been seen consistently on a daily basis since 
October 3rd. It’s also worth noting that this long-staying individual has 
apparently been staying for even longer than we initially realized: this 
checklist from August 1st shows photos that include the Great White, almost 3 
full weeks before Phil Jeffrey’s original report to the listserv. 

https://ebird.org/checklist/S92627952

Intriguing that this vagrant evidently showed up around the same time as many 
of the other southern waders that irrupted north this summer but has stuck 
around so much longer, albeit with extensive gaps between observations. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Yellow-headed Blackbird at Nickerson Beach

2021-10-04 Thread Timothy Healy
I spent several hours at Nickerson Beach today, searching for the long 
continuing but infrequently encountered Yellow-headed Blackbird that was 
reported again yesterday evening. There were tons of starlings and cowbirds 
moving around the area, but they were tricky to pin down. Reviewing my photos 
from the day, I was able to confirm that a briefly seen candidate in a distant 
passing flock was indeed the sought after vagrant. If you try for it, patience 
and luck are going to be necessary. The flocks seem to move throughout the 
entire area between Point Lookout and Lido Beach. For what it’s worth, the 
Yellow-headed Blackbird was associating with a group of cowbirds when I 
photographed it, rather than the massive hordes of starlings that I spent much 
of my day sifting through. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Migrating Black-legged Kittiwake, Astoria, Queens

2021-09-04 Thread Timothy Healy
At first light today, I was watching for morning flight activity from my local 
patch of Astoria Park in Queens. Overnight radar had been active but not as 
intense as the previous day, and it seemed like more birds had departed than 
arrived. However, I did spot a small, unusual-looking gull flying south over 
the adjacent neighborhood at 6:30 AM. Its slender, dainty appearance 
immediately caught my attention, especially considering that this is the prime 
time of year for rare overland seabird migrants like Sabine’s Gull and 
Long-tailed Jaeger, with recent reports of both in our expanded region. To my 
surprise, the distant, grainy documentation shots taken with my backup camera 
lens revealed some identifiable field marks, which confirmed (after 
consultation with other birders and review on a full-size computer screen) that 
it was a juvenile Black-legged Kittiwake. In addition to being a rather early 
date for this species, I was surprised to observe this typically pelagic 
species in an overland vismig context. Though Astoria Park is located along the 
East River across from Randall’s Island, few would consider it a proper 
“coastal” location. Other water-associated migrants observed at this hotspot in 
the past, including Caspian Tern and a variety of ducks, were obviously 
following the river. This individual was moving due north to south, high over 
the residential rooftops rather than the nearby shoreline. I find myself 
wondering whether this individual had been migrating overnight or if it was 
just starting the day’s journey after taking off from Long Island Sound or the 
Hudson River. It’s always a treat to see a familiar species in an unfamiliar 
context and learn something new about their life history, especially when it’s 
such an incredible patch bird! Good birding to all, and keep your eyes peeled 
for similar surprises as migration continues to advance. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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Re: [nysbirds-l] Prospect Park Progne summary 04/02/21

2021-04-03 Thread Timothy Healy
Ryan Zucker reports that the martin is currently foraging by Duck Island near 
the eastern end of the lake, likely visible from the southern shore or the 
Peninsula. Good luck to those who chase, and be vigilant for any audio 
recording or dropped DNA sample opportunities in addition to photo sessions. 

Cheers!
-Tim H

> On Apr 3, 2021, at 8:27 AM, Doug Gochfeld  wrote:
> 
> 
> 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 
>>  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] Painted Bunting - Jones Beach West Bath House, Nassau County

2020-01-01 Thread Timothy Healy
The greenie Painted Bunting continues near the playground at the Jones Beach 
West Bath House. Skulky as usual, especially so in the high winds, but 
appearing periodically to feed on grass heads and move between cover. 

Cheers, and Happy New Year!
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Re: [nysbirds-l] Awareness - Site Fidelity

2019-12-31 Thread Timothy Healy
While Steve is correct that wintering geese are often highly mobile, traveling 
large distances between roosting lakes and feeding grounds throughout each 
winter, I know of four additional birds at two additional sites that have shown 
strong sight fidelity. I have documented the return of a recognizable 
individual Cackling Goose and an associated Canada (possible mate?) at 
Hendrickson Park in Nassau for four winters now. Many Brooklyn borders are 
familiar of course with the pair of Brant x Snow Goose hybrids (affectionately 
dubbed “Bro Geese”) at Canarsie Pier. There are exceptions to every rule!

Cheers!
-Tim H

> On Dec 31, 2019, at 4:12 PM, Steve Walter  wrote:
> 
> I have to disagree in the case of wintering geese. I don’t keep tabs on every 
> rare goose that turns up on Long Island. I best remember those on the western 
> part of the island, especially those that I’ve photographed. Looking at my 
> records of photographed rarities (and even Snow Geese in unusual places), and 
> to the best of my recollection otherwise, I can’t find examples of geese that 
> have returned to the same site in a following winter – but for one exception. 
> This was the believed to be Brant – Cackling Goose hybrid that returned to 
> Flushing Meadows for many years. What’s more, it appears to me that geese 
> will relocate during the same winter. Lots of examples of rarities first 
> appearing at a site in mid-winter, while others disappear.
>  
> That said, it should be expected that in highly favored congregation points – 
> a Belmont Lake for example – more total geese would lead to a greater chance 
> of a same rare species reoccurrence (which might or might not be the same 
> individual).  
>  
> One could also pay attention to banded Canada Geese. I sort of do, but I 
> don’t have well organized records to refer to at the moment.
>  
>  
> Steve Walter
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[nysbirds-l] Painted Bunting - East Lake Drive, Montauk, Suffolk County

2019-12-21 Thread Timothy Healy
I just found a “greenie” Painted Bunting on East Lake Drive in Montauk during 
my CBC surveying. Showing well now by the entrance to Big Reed Pond, on the 
east side of the road. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Yellow-breasted Chat - Mill Pond, Bellmore, Nassau County

2019-12-01 Thread Timothy Healy
The Yellow-breasted Chat recently sighted at Mill Pond Park in Bellmore 
continues today, frequenting the brushy tangles along the trail on the western 
shore of the lake. Starting in the southwest corner near Stella’s restaurant 
and walking up the path will put you in the right area. It was alternating 
between active feeding and extended bouts of roosting in dense cover during the 
observation period. A Blue-winged Teal hen continues near the western shore of 
the lake as well, and the young Common Gallinule present for the past few weeks 
is presumably still nearby as well. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Cackling Geese - Hendrickson Park, Valley Stream, Nassau County

2019-11-10 Thread Timothy Healy
A loop around the lake at Hendrickson Park revealed two different Cackling 
Geese among the wintering flocks of Canadas. One is a recognizable, returning 
individual, back for (at least) its fourth consecutive winter alongside a small 
Canada Goose that it is always closely associated with. Perhaps they are a 
mated pair contributing hybrids to the wild mix of variation in this species 
complex. Notes on the specific field marks for both Cacklers are included with 
my eBird checklist, for anyone who wants a more detailed search image to follow 
up. 

https://ebird.org/checklist/S61327706

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Western Kingbird, Jones Beach West End, Nassau County

2019-11-02 Thread Timothy Healy
A Western Kingbird is currently perched up on a bare tree at the south side of 
the open area in Jones Beach West End’s median. It is enduring quite a bit of 
grief from a mockingbird and some Yellow-rumps, but so far it keeps returning 
after its flights. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Say’s Phoebe, morning flight - Jones Beach, Nassau County

2019-10-19 Thread Timothy Healy
An impressive flight following last night’s NW winds included a flyby 
observation of Say’s Phoebe near the Jones Beach Coast Guard Station boat basin 
this morning. I cannot say whether the bird continued on or put down somewhere 
nearby; I followed up its flight and spent some time searching but could not 
refind it. Notes from the field for this fleeting encounter are included in my 
eBird checklist. Other birds of interest included Clay-colored Sparrow, 
Dickcissel, Red-headed Woodpecker, and over 1,000 Yellow-rumps. Marbled Godwits 
and Caspian Terns continue on the spit. 

https://ebird.org/checklist/S60746815

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Stilt Sandpiper - Nickerson Beach, Nassau County

2019-06-20 Thread Timothy Healy
There’s a handsome breeding plumage Stilt Sandpiper feeding in the puddles at 
Nickerson Beach’s western colony. Good views at an uncommon spring migrant in 
nice plumage if anyone is interested. They’ve started collecting fees, though, 
so I recommend parking nearby and walking in. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Burrowing Owl - NO, Big Egg Marsh, Queens County

2019-05-17 Thread Timothy Healy
Despite an extensive search at the last known location beginning around 5:10, 
there has been no sign of the Burrowing Owl in or around the construction zone 
at Big Egg Marsh. The workers appear to be slowly gathering, but no 
construction has begun as of this writing. Many of the surprisingly few birders 
present are starting to head off to work. If anyone else follows up and has 
better luck than we have, I’m sure there are many New York birders who would 
greatly appreciate prompt updates with adequate details. 

Cheers,
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Summer Tanager, Blue Grosbeak, other migrants - Jones Beach, Nassau County

2019-05-16 Thread Timothy Healy
Jones Beach has been reasonably active this morning, with good diversity 
overall and solid numbers of many migrants. I’ve detected 91 species over the 
course of the morning. A female Summer Tanager was seen in the pines along the 
northern edge of the median just before the turnaround, the same area where I 
heard a Blue Grosbeak vocalizing, giving both flight calls and typical calls. 
An eastbound Pine Siskin and good numbers of Red-breasted Nuthatches were 
notable lingerers from this winter’s irruptions. Other birds of note included 
Lincoln’s Sparrow briefly seen at the Coast Guard hedgerow, a good-size flock 
of Red Knots on Short Beach, and 14 species of warblers including several 
cooperative male Cape Mays. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Swainson’s Warbler, Central Park, Manhattan

2019-05-16 Thread Timothy Healy
Benjamin Van Doren reports a singing Swainson’s Warbler seen just north of Bow 
Bridge in Central Park. I wanted to boost the signal for this observation, 
since I’m sure there are many listserv members who might be inclined to make 
chase. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Evening Grosbeak(s), Central Park, Manhattan

2019-05-14 Thread Timothy Healy
A female Evening Grosbeak has apparently been seen several times throughout the 
day in the Ramble of Central Park. I have been doing some post-work birding in 
the light rain and just heard the bird calling in the trees high above the 
Azalea Pond. There seems to be more than one voice, though, with vocalizations 
overlapping with one another. Currently audible right now, trying to get a 
visual on the bird(s). 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Golden Eagle flyover, Queens

2019-04-12 Thread Timothy Healy
I spotted a Golden Eagle from the subway platform at the Junction Boulevard 7 
station in Queens just before 4 PM today. The bird was tracking vaguely 
eastward, but I lost sight of it when the train pulled up. Field notes can be 
found in my attached eBird checklist. Keep your eyes on the skies!

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S54870991

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Pileated Woodpecker, Shu Swamp, Nassau County

2019-02-10 Thread Timothy Healy
Apologies to the listserv’s readers north of NYC who will find this report 
somewhat laughable, but this species is still a great bird for Long Island. 
There is a Pileated Woodpecker being seen along the trails around the pond at 
Shu Swamp this morning. It appears to be favoring the area beyond the 
boardwalks along the Red Trail, though it moves around a lot. I personally last 
heard it somewhere near the service road to the south of that spot. Listen for 
drumming and calling, it occasionally disappears but rarely stays quiet for 
long. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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Re: [nysbirds-l] Staten Island Varied Thrush - NO

2019-01-21 Thread Timothy Healy
The Varied Thrush was indeed reported today, apparently foraging on the
ground and quite a bit more cooperative than it has been lately. The
Yellow-breasted Chat seems to be the most reliable of the local rarities,
though I heard no reports of the American Bittern since the storm.
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S51901103

The thrush was ranging widely when I was present on Saturday, rarely
staying in one spot for more than a few minutes. It was favoring high
perches, moving from treetop to treetop in long flights that were often
difficult to follow. Keep an eye out along the stream north of the white
stone bridge at Brooks Lake, where it seemingly likes to forage and bathe,
as well as the pines along the path in the same area. It was also spotted
moving between yards across Clove Road as well. Good luck to anyone who
goes for this bird in the coming days. Don't get discouraged if it proves
tricky or disappears on you, it is definitely unpredictable but seems to
return to the general area with some regularity.

Cheers!
-Tim H

On Mon, Jan 21, 2019 at 8:44 PM Mike Shanley  wrote:

> Spent the afternoon searching for the Varied Thrush without success. Chat
> continues. It was cold. If anyone has any positive reports from today,
> please let me know the when and where. Going to try again tomorrow early
> afternoon.
>
> A Swamp Sparrow and Baltimore Oriole continue at my feeders in Huguenot.
>
> Good luck!
>
> -Mike Shanley
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Re: [nysbirds-l] Thick-billed Murre in Brooklyn Now

2019-01-18 Thread Timothy Healy
With all these murres, Razorbills, and kittiwakes hanging out right along the 
coast this winter, it’s a real shame we lost the Brooklyn VI. I’d love to get 
offshore and see what’s going on out there!

Cheers,
-Tim H

> On Jan 18, 2019, at 1:56 PM, Doug Gochfeld  wrote:
> 
> 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
> -Doug Gochfeld. Brooklyn, NY.
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[nysbirds-l] Barnacle and Greater White-fronted Geese, Riverhead Sod Farms, Suffolk County

2019-01-13 Thread Timothy Healy
Just found the Barnacle Goose as well, same location and vantage point!

Cheers!
-Tim H

> On Jan 13, 2019, at 3:26 PM, Timothy Healy  wrote:
> 
> Two Greater White-fronted Geese are visible from Doctor’s Path looking east 
> across the sod fields. A few blue Snow Geese mixed into the massive flock of 
> Canadas as well. Multiple searchers still scanning for other birds of note. 
> 
> Cheers!
> -Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Greater White-fronted Geese, Riverhead Sod Farms, Suffolk County

2019-01-13 Thread Timothy Healy
Two Greater White-fronted Geese are visible from Doctor’s Path looking east 
across the sod fields. A few blue Snow Geese mixed into the massive flock of 
Canadas as well. Multiple searchers still scanning for other birds of note. 

Cheers!
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[nysbirds-l] Cackling Goose, Hendrickson Park, Valley Stream, Nassau County

2018-12-02 Thread Timothy Healy
A Cackling Goose is currently visible on the lake at Hendrickson with a flock 
of Canadas. It looks identical to one of the two Cacklers that were frequently 
observed at this site last winter, with a very blocky head, white ring at the 
base of the neck, and large, noticeably bright cheek patches. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Bohemian Waxwing + Evening Grosbeak, Stillwell Woods, Nassau County

2018-12-01 Thread Timothy Healy
I’ve been keeping an eye on the abundant crops of berries at Stillwell Woods 
Park in the hopes that some northern irruptives who favor fruit might show up. 
My hunch paid off big time today. I just had a Bohemian Waxwing calling as it 
flew south over the wooded northern section of the property with a large flock 
of robins. While backtracking to try and relocate the birds, I found a female 
Evening Grosbeak that I thought I’d heard give a single call a few minutes 
prior. Currently still on site, searching for both, and more. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Possible White-winged Crossbill, Lynbrook, Nassau County

2018-11-21 Thread Timothy Healy
After reviewing some audio recordings to check against my initial
impressions, I'm feeling confident enough to at least put the word out even
if I'm not totally comfortable locking in an ID confirmation. On my walk to
the train in Lynbrook today I heard a bird giving double note flight calls
passing overhead from north to south. The overall quality and pacing of the
vocalizations sounded pretty good for White-winged Crossbill. I never got a
visual and it was gone long before I could get out my phone to attempt a
recording. We haven't yet had any reports of this species in southern New
York this season, but birders upstate and our neighbors in Connecticut and
New Jersey have seen a few. Keep an eye and an ear out, and consider
refreshing your memory on the vocalizations of some of the rarer winter
finches in case something interesting flies by. There's a big cold front
coming and you never know what it might bring.

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50096908

Have a safe and sane Thanksgiving everybody! Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Finch flight and other notes from Jones Beach, Nassau County

2018-11-18 Thread Timothy Healy
I spent 5.5 hours at Jones Beach today, stationed near the turnaround until
about 9 and then scouring the median and area north of the parkway but
keeping an eye and an ear turned skyward. It turned out to be a pretty
solid day for late diurnal migrants. I tallied 1,253 American Goldfinches,
374 Pine Siskins, and 71 Purple Finches. Some of the 21 House Finches
observed this morning also seemed to be joining the westward movement.
Unlike yesterday, there were no crossbills to be had, but I did hear a
flyover Evening Grosbeak near the Coast Guard lot gazebo just before noon.
A Dickcissel was heard and recorded calling south of the turnaround, then
later seen flying north towards the dunes. Icterids included 1,096
Red-winged Blackbirds, 6 Rusty Blackbirds, and just 1 Brown-headed Cowbird.
14 Downy Woodpeckers, nearly all engaged in active westbound flight, were a
bit of a surprise. The 2 Northern Parulas reported yesterday continue,
observed interacting with each other. At least 3 of the Marbled Godwits
continue at the sandbar despite the reduced numbers of oystercatchers.
Other sightings detailed in the checklist below.

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50023415

Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Northern Wheatear at Heckscher SP, Suffolk - YES

2018-10-28 Thread Timothy Healy
The wheatear continues at the median across from the new cottages. Drive down 
past the famous shorebird puddle lots until you see a huge horde of assembled 
birders. 

Cheers!
-Tim H

> On Oct 28, 2018, at 11:31 AM, zach schwartz-weinstein  
> wrote:
> 
> Ack.
> 
>> On Sun, Oct 28, 2018 at 11:31 AM Timothy Healy  wrote:
>> A fresh eBird report of a Northern Wheatear just came in on the rarity 
>> report update. Signal boosting it now while en route to follow up. Good 
>> luck, all!
>> 
>> https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49513468
>> 
>> Cheers!
>> -Tim H
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> 203 500 7774

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[nysbirds-l] Northern Wheatear at Heckscher SP, Suffolk

2018-10-28 Thread Timothy Healy
A fresh eBird report of a Northern Wheatear just came in on the rarity report 
update. Signal boosting it now while en route to follow up. Good luck, all!

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49513468

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Comparison, Albany vs. Suffolk

2018-10-23 Thread Timothy Healy
I'm certain that I'm not the entertained the question of whether or not the
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher discovered at Deep Hollow Ranch in Montauk this
Saturday could possibly be the same bird that disappeared from Krumkill
Road in the capital region a few days prior. I'm normally leery of "One
Bird Theory," since I generally believe that there are more vagrants out
there than we realize and conditions favorable for bringing one individual
out of range may transport others. I didn't originally give it
much thought. I chased the Suffolk bird since I'd missed the window of
opportunity for Albany and happily added a state bird.

Later, after writing up my NYSARC report where I wrote the two records as
probable coincidence, I decided to take a closer look. Brendan Fogarty was
the first to assess the timing and distance issue, pointing out that even
at just 20 mph it would only take about 7 hours of flight time to travel
the straight line distance of roughly 45 miles. The hypothetical route
taken by a flycatcher between the two locations may not have been so
direct, but then again such a bird may fly faster during active migration.
At any rate, 7 hours over the course of 2 days seems like a manageable
feet. Upon inspecting the plumage in photos from both records, I noticed a
number of intriguing similarities. The spacing between the white edges of
the greater and median secondary coverts matches up, a feature that seems
to be fairly unique to individuals based on Google and eBird image
searches. Additionally, in both instances there is a noticeable dark line
extending back from the eye of the bird on the right side.

https://imgur.com/a/4vtq8fL
Albany Image Credits: Sue Barth, Brendan Fogarty, Zach Schwartz-Weinstein
Paul Novak,
Suffolk Image Credits: Tim Healy, Pat Palladino, Eileen Schwinn

Thought that others might be interested in this review and might have more
to add.

Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Migration Activity, Nassau County

2018-10-13 Thread Timothy Healy
Anyone who stayed inside this morning to avoid the rain may want to consider 
checking hour local patches for a bit. There has been some solid movement 
overnight into this morning with good numbers and diversity of birds. At Jones 
Beach today I rallied 79 species, with triple digit totals for flickers, 
Yellow-rumps, Tree Swallows, and a few others. Notable sightings included a few 
Pine Siskins among the Purple Finches moving west, continuing Marbled Godwits 
on the spit, a pair of vocal flyover Pectoral Sandpipers, and a Blue Grosbeak 
first heard in the median and later seen flying west over the turnaround. I 
also found a handful of birds that are somewhat unusual at the beach at this 
time of year, such as Wood Duck, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Scarlet Tanager. 
Raptors were hunting up and down the median strip all morning. 

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49158511

Last night at my house I heard good numbers of Swainson’s Thrushes passing 
overhead, as well as a Hermit Thrush and at least three Gray-cheeked Thrushes. 
Two of them were calling simultaneously as they flew south together. My family 
also shared pictures of a Rusty Blackbird foraging on our lawn after the rain 
this morning, a pretty solid yard bird that I unfortunately missed. 

The favorable winds are forecast to continue overnight. Tomorrow could be 
another productive day. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Philadelphia Vireo and Blue Grosbeak, Jones Beach, Nassau County

2018-09-15 Thread Timothy Healy
I’m sure many Long Island folks are busy with the Seatuck Birding Challenge, 
but for those who aren’t I’ve found a few uncommon migrants at Jones Beach so 
far. A Philadelphia Vireo was spotted just outside the Coast Guard Station 
fence at the northwestern corner of the property, foraging in some trees close 
to the shore of the bay. I heard a Blue Grosbeak in the vegetation of the 
central block between the two lots at West End 2, and I then saw it fly to the 
northern perimeter of the western lot. It’s otherwise quiet but not dead, with 
a smattering of other migrants observed. A few Bobolinks passed overhead 
earlier, and there are some Purple Finches moving through the area as well. A 
few Indigo Bunting, Red-breasted Nuthatches, and a small handful of warbler 
species also seen. The sandbar was all but empty at dawn, shorebirds were off 
foraging on the tidal flats. I’ll be checking there again later and will report 
anything worth reporting. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Connecticut Warbler, Jones Beach, Nassau County

2018-09-11 Thread Timothy Healy
Yet another email from the field! Just located a first year Connecticut Warbler 
on the south side of the median at Jones. (40.5884347,-73.5541296)

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Yellow-breasted Chat, Jones Beach, Nassau County

2018-09-11 Thread Timothy Healy
I just found a Yellow-breasted Chat in the brush north of the road and west of 
the Coast Guard Station at Jones Beach. It was along the western edge of a 
somewhat open bowl, observed at these coordinates: (40.5886626,-73.5587467). 
The bird appeared while I was pishing for warblers, dropping out of sight after 
investigating the noise. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Marbled Godwit, Jones Beach, Nassau County

2018-09-11 Thread Timothy Healy
Yesterday’s Hudsonians are today replaced by a Marbled Godwit feeding alongside 
American Oystercatchers and “Western” Willets at the Jones Beach Coast Guard 
Station sandbar. 

On the topic of overnight turnover, my patch high count of 43 Lesser 
Black-backed Gulls in the WE2 lots yesterday afternoon has dwindled to just 9 
birds this morning. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Hudsonian Godwits, Jones Beach, Nassau County

2018-09-10 Thread Timothy Healy
A pair of Hudsonian Godwits are feeding alongside a good variety of shorebirds 
on the Short Beach sandbar at the Jones Beach Coast Guard Station. Knots, 
turnstones, plovers, and more, still sifting through the smaller birds but 
wanted to put the word out. 

Cheers!
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[nysbirds-l] Hudsonian Godwits, Wilson’s Phalarope, Caspian Terns - Jamaica Bay, Queens County

2018-09-03 Thread Timothy Healy
The pair of Hudsonian Godwits, the lone Wilson’s Phalarope, and a trio of 
Caspian Terns (seemingly two adults and a juvenile) are all currently visible 
from the north end of Jamaica Bay’s East Pond. Scope views from the end of the 
platform at the phragmites edge are distant and backlit but identifiable. You 
need mid-calf boots, at minimum, to walk any further than that, but it’s 
possible to make it further south without much trouble. The godwits are feeding 
actively, fairly far out from the shoreline. As others mentioned on eBird, the 
way they flick their bills up out of the water when they forage is a helpful 
“tell” even at a distance, along with their size and silhouette. The Phalarope 
is working close to the shoreline between the north end and Dead Man’s Cove, 
dashing around like a maniac. The terns are loafing close to one another along 
the shoreline side of the more distant gull flock. Scanning from right to left 
you should pick them up pretty quickly. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Grasspipers Update: Golden-Plover and Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Suffolk County

2018-09-02 Thread Timothy Healy
In addition to the continuing American Golden-Plover reported this morning in 
Eastport, I just found a lone Buff-breasted Sandpiper at the sod fields east of 
Doctor’s Path in Riverhead. The bird is among several Killdeer in the northern 
portion of the field, currently being seen from the intersection with Reeves 
Avenue. Planning to check Osborne Avenue and Hulse Lansing Road next but wanted 
to put the word out. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Marbled Godwit - Yes, Jamaica Bay, Queens County

2018-09-02 Thread Timothy Healy
Though absent when I arrived at the refuge early in the morning, the Marbled 
Godwit continues at the south end of the East Pond, showing quite 
cooperatively. Other expected species were encountered on my journey to the 
north end and back, including a few Western, Stilt, and White-rumped 
Sandpipers, in case anyone else needs to pick up these birds for this 
shorebirding season.

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Yet Another Robert Moses Seawatch, Suffolk County

2018-07-25 Thread Timothy Healy
Another day of sustained southeast winds and patchy stormy conditions, another 
morning on dawn patrol at Field 2. I was on site from 6 to 10 and observed the 
following:

286 Cory’s Shearwaters
42 Great Shearwaters
23 Sooty Shearwaters
2 (or more) Manx Shearwaters
80+ distant, unidentified shearwaters
2 Wilson’s Storm-Petrels
2 (or more) Parasitic Jaegers
3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls in the lot
My first young of the year Laughing Gull, and several fledgling Least and 
Common Terns

Seabird movement was great in between bands of rain. Around 7:10, a feeding 
frenzy of shearwaters formed over a hunting pod of Bottlenose Dolphins just 
beyond the breakers out from the life guard chair. A few dozen Cory’s, a 
handful of Greats, and flyby Sooty and Manx Shearwaters all checked out the 
scene, and an Osprey even plunged into the melee at one point. One of the 
storm-petrels hung around to feed for a little while, too. Movement has slowed 
down but it hasn’t stopped. Interestingly, a westbound flight of Sooties began 
just after 9:30, when only 2 had been seen heading east with the rest of the 
shearwaters earlier in the morning. That procession, as well as a continuing 
trickle eastbound birds, was still ongoing when I folded up my scope. These 
past few days of favorable conditions have been a great change of pace from the 
July norm!

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Roseate Spoonbill (Barely Extralimital), Liberty Marsh, Sussex NJ/Orange NY

2018-07-24 Thread Timothy Healy
A juvenile Roseate Spoonbill is currently visible at Wallkill River NWR’s 
Liberty Marsh off Oil City Road, where it has been reported for several days. 
The New York/New Jersey border runs directly through the wetlands. So far it 
seems that the bird has remained on, and is only visible from, the Jersey side 
of the loop trail. I’m guessing that the perceived “noncountability” of this 
individual for NY state listers is a contributing factor in its absence from 
the listserv. All the same, I’m sure there are plenty of people who might be 
interested in chasing a local occurrence of this species. It may yet decide to 
check out the northern portion of the marsh, too. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Final Morning Seawatch Results, Robert Moses, Suffolk County

2018-07-23 Thread Timothy Healy
I ended up watching the seabird flight from Robert Moses Field 2 for 4.5 hours 
starting at 5:50 AM. Highlights include:

104 Cory’s Shearwaters
49 Great Shearwaters
2 Sooty Shearwaters
1* Manx Shearwater
70+ unidentified shearwaters
2 Northern Gannets
Fledgling Least and Common Terns
Two Lesser Black-backed Gulls among the lot loafers

*The first Manx Shearwater encounter was actually my first shearwater of the 
day, spotted heading east among the breakers very close to shore at 5:55. A 
second sighting occurred at 8:30, with prolonged views of an individual feeding 
in the surf east of the life guard shack. Based on the behavior observed in 
both instances, it’s likely that this was the same bird milling around and 
foraging.

Overall, conditions were much more pleasant than the forecast predicted, with 
somewhat weaker wind and only brief patches of rain. This may have contributed 
to the flight slowing down fairly early, but occasional pulses of activity 
continued throughout the morning. Many of the birds were quite close to shore. 
Wind direction and strength are maintaining...efforts this evening and tomorrow 
may well be worthwhile. 

Cheers!
-Tim H


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[nysbirds-l] Preliminary Morning Seawatch Results, Robert Moses, Suffolk County

2018-07-23 Thread Timothy Healy
Been seawatching for 20 minutes and already had Manx, Great, Cory’s, and Sooty 
Shearwater off Field 2. Manx was just beyond breakers within 5 minutes of 
setting up the scope. Get out to the coast if you can! 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Afternoon seawatch at Robert Moses, Suffolk County

2018-07-22 Thread Timothy Healy
I wasn’t on the island until this afternoon, but 2 hours seawatching from Field 
2 at Robert Moses State Park turned up the following:

43 Cory’s Shearwaters
3 Great Shearwaters
20+ unidentified shearwaters
2 Parasitic Jaegers
1 Northern Gannet
Hundreds of teens and gulls, including a young Lesser Black-back among the 
loafing flocks in the eastern section of the lot

Although the numbers and diversity were not as impressive as reports from 
earlier and further east, there was still more or less constant action and most 
of the birds were quite close to shore. Indeed, the wave action probably 
obscured many more distant birds offshore. This strong southeast wind, though 
not as powerful as the conditions last night, is projected to continue all 
through tomorrow and beyond. I, for one, plan to be seawatching at dawn as 
well. 

Cheers!
-Tim H 
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Re: [nysbirds-l] Nickerson Beach Arctic Tern and others

2018-06-18 Thread Timothy Healy
Everyone patient and curious enough to follow this conversation,

Interestingly, Steve’s bird does like like a different individual from the one 
I reported yesterday morning. 
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46604935
The white forehead speckling on Steve’s photographed bird is more prominent, 
the shakiness on the carpal bar seems more pronounced, and the tail streamers 
are longer than the wingtips. Yesterday’s bird looked more “mature” and 
classically Arctic yet its tail was only about as long the folded wings. 
Tripper’s bird from Friday, which to my knowledge was not seen on Saturday, 
also has short streamers and looks very similar to the one I documented. 
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46569053
With the dark-billed youngster from Saturday taken into account, we have quite 
a few individual Arctic Terns coming and going from this site alone. That’s to 
say nothing of all the other reports up and down the Island in the past few 
weeks. I’m personally fascinated by all of this, it seems like we agree always 
learning more about the transient terns here. I wasn’t planning on plugging 
myself when I jumped in on this conversation, but I did publish a piece about 
all of this today. 
http://nemesisbird.com/birding/tern-it-up/
Keep on getting out there and scouring the tern flocks, everyone. Methinks 
we’re due for another whopper of a surprise. 

Cheers!
-Tim H

> On Jun 18, 2018, at 7:40 PM, Andrew Baksh  wrote:
> 
> Hi Tim,
> 
> I would be in the ASY camp on this bird as well. Fascinating bird and 
> excellent photo from Steve. 
> 
> Yesterday at Nickerson a group of us had an entirely different bird and I 
> thought I had a second bird that looked like this one but could never connect 
> with it after my initial observation.
> 
> Good to see more folks documenting the Arctic Terns as we will find there are 
> more of them moving through now that we have more eyes sifting through the 
> flock.
> 
> Cheers,
> 
> 
> "I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule 
> of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence." ~ 
> Frederick Douglass
> 
> 風 Swift as the wind
> 林 Quiet as the forest
> 火 Conquer like the fire
> 山 Steady as the mountain
> Sun Tzu  The Art of War
> 
>> (\__/)
>> (= '.'=)
>> (") _ (") 
>> Sent from somewhere in the field using my mobile device! 
> 
> Andrew Baksh
> www.birdingdude.blogspot.com
> 
>> On Jun 18, 2018, at 7:28 PM, Timothy Healy  wrote:
>> 
>> This is where many banders and field biologists often use the abbreviations 
>> SY and ASY, for second year and after second year. The second year, a.k.a. 
>> second summer a.k.a. year old, plumages for many species are pretty 
>> definitive, and quite distinct from adults. In the case of COTE and ARTE, 
>> birds stay in a plumage that resembles their initial juvenile coloration for 
>> their second calendar year. The black-billed, white-foreheaded birds that 
>> are so abundant at the beach this season are coming up on a year old. This 
>> “imperfect” adult Arctic, with only some smudges, flecks, and short 
>> streamers to separate it from a classic mature bird, is probably at least 
>> two years old. I certainly don’t think it was born during the last season, 
>> which is what I understand makes a second summer bird. It may be in its 
>> third summer, or maybe it’s older and just a little funky. I reported it on 
>> eBird as ASY, because it is definitely far more progressed than the typical 
>> yearling birds loafing around the inlets. 
>> 
>> Cheers!
>> -Tim H
>> 
>>> On Jun 18, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Steve Walter  wrote:
>>> 
>>> Tim,
>>>  
>>> In normal conversation, I typically use the phrase “two year old” for birds 
>>> that I suspect were born two summers ago. But as the conversation of recent 
>>> days has alluded, there can be adults that for whatever reason, are not 
>>> complete. And adult traits may not develop in sync in younger birds. 
>>> Looking back at the weekend’s posts, I saw that Pat Lindsay made a point 
>>> about her “second summer type” having a black bill. Today’s had a red bill. 
>>> So a two year old? Probably. But definitely? Maybe, maybe not. It looks 
>>> like it – so “second summer type” works for the public record.
>>>  
>>> Steve
>>>  
>>>  
>>> From: Timothy Healy [mailto:tp...@cornell.edu] 
>>> Sent: Monday, June 18, 2018 6:49 PM
>>> To: Steve Walter 
>>> Cc: NYSBIRDS 
>>> Subject: Re: [nysbirds-l] Nickerson Beach Arct

Re: [nysbirds-l] Nickerson Beach Arctic Tern and others

2018-06-18 Thread Timothy Healy
This is where many banders and field biologists often use the abbreviations SY 
and ASY, for second year and after second year. The second year, a.k.a. second 
summer a.k.a. year old, plumages for many species are pretty definitive, and 
quite distinct from adults. In the case of COTE and ARTE, birds stay in a 
plumage that resembles their initial juvenile coloration for their second 
calendar year. The black-billed, white-foreheaded birds that are so abundant at 
the beach this season are coming up on a year old. This “imperfect” adult 
Arctic, with only some smudges, flecks, and short streamers to separate it from 
a classic mature bird, is probably at least two years old. I certainly don’t 
think it was born during the last season, which is what I understand makes a 
second summer bird. It may be in its third summer, or maybe it’s older and just 
a little funky. I reported it on eBird as ASY, because it is definitely far 
more progressed than the typical yearling birds loafing around the inlets. 

Cheers!
-Tim H

> On Jun 18, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Steve Walter  wrote:
> 
> Tim,
>  
> In normal conversation, I typically use the phrase “two year old” for birds 
> that I suspect were born two summers ago. But as the conversation of recent 
> days has alluded, there can be adults that for whatever reason, are not 
> complete. And adult traits may not develop in sync in younger birds. Looking 
> back at the weekend’s posts, I saw that Pat Lindsay made a point about her 
> “second summer type” having a black bill. Today’s had a red bill. So a two 
> year old? Probably. But definitely? Maybe, maybe not. It looks like it – so 
> “second summer type” works for the public record.
>  
> Steve
>  
>  
> From: Timothy Healy [mailto:tp...@cornell.edu] 
> Sent: Monday, June 18, 2018 6:49 PM
> To: Steve Walter 
> Cc: NYSBIRDS 
> Subject: Re: [nysbirds-l] Nickerson Beach Arctic Tern and others
>  
> Steve and other sternid enthusiasts,
>  
> Isn’t second summer the term used for the immature aspect birds with white 
> foreheads and black bills? A freshly fledged juvenile would be living through 
> its first summer, so second summer individuals are yearlings, correct? If my 
> understanding of the nomenclature is accurate, the bird I found yesterday, 
> which matches Steve’s description and the photos of Tripper’s bird from 
> Friday, would be in its third summer or older. At a glance it looks like a 
> classic alternate plumage adult ARTE, but the faint darker smudging on the 
> carpal bar and the tail streamers that don’t extend beyond the folded 
> wingtips indicate that it is not fully mature. I saw a similarly marked 
> individual at Nickerson last year, and in 2015 I got a photo of an adult-like 
> ARTE with a surprisingly dark bill. The variation in age classes and species 
> of terns is so fascinating. I’ve learned a lot from these discussions about 
> Arctics, Roseates, and the mysterious dark Commons. Mornings and afternoons 
> at the colonies and inlets are one of my favorite parts of early summer here 
> on Long Island. 
>  
> Cheers!
> -Tim H
> 
> On Jun 18, 2018, at 6:05 PM, Steve Walter  wrote:
> 
> Another day, another Arctic Tern at Nickerson Beach. Actually, my first for 
> the year, and this one had to be waited on. It might have been too foggy in 
> the morning for it to find land (joke). Interesting bird this one. My tern 
> guru advises me to call it a “second summer type”. Basically adult looking 
> with a red bill, but with a carpal bar and speckling on the forehead (not 
> well visible in the picture I posted). In a similar vein, there was a Roseate 
> Tern of less than full adult appearance. This bird, and also a full adult, 
> had readable blue legs bands. Maybe others have seen this, but this is the 
> first time I’ve seen terns with something more readable in the field than the 
> metal bands. I’ll reports these (bands B97 and Y11) and find out more in due 
> time. But perhaps someone on this list might know something (Joe D?).  Also, 
> a Gull-billed Tern flying over the east tern colony around mid-day. Pictures 
> of the Arctic and Roseates have been added to the bottom of the Recent Work 
> page at my web site http://stevewalternature.com/ .
>  
> Steve Walter
> Bayside, NY
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Re: [nysbirds-l] Nickerson Beach Arctic Tern and others

2018-06-18 Thread Timothy Healy
Steve and other sternid enthusiasts,

Isn’t second summer the term used for the immature aspect birds with white 
foreheads and black bills? A freshly fledged juvenile would be living through 
its first summer, so second summer individuals are yearlings, correct? If my 
understanding of the nomenclature is accurate, the bird I found yesterday, 
which matches Steve’s description and the photos of Tripper’s bird from Friday, 
would be in its third summer or older. At a glance it looks like a classic 
alternate plumage adult ARTE, but the faint darker smudging on the carpal bar 
and the tail streamers that don’t extend beyond the folded wingtips indicate 
that it is not fully mature. I saw a similarly marked individual at Nickerson 
last year, and in 2015 I got a photo of an adult-like ARTE with a surprisingly 
dark bill. The variation in age classes and species of terns is so fascinating. 
I’ve learned a lot from these discussions about Arctics, Roseates, and the 
mysterious dark Commons. Mornings and afternoons at the colonies and inlets are 
one of my favorite parts of early summer here on Long Island. 

Cheers!
-Tim H

> On Jun 18, 2018, at 6:05 PM, Steve Walter  wrote:
> 
> Another day, another Arctic Tern at Nickerson Beach. Actually, my first for 
> the year, and this one had to be waited on. It might have been too foggy in 
> the morning for it to find land (joke). Interesting bird this one. My tern 
> guru advises me to call it a “second summer type”. Basically adult looking 
> with a red bill, but with a carpal bar and speckling on the forehead (not 
> well visible in the picture I posted). In a similar vein, there was a Roseate 
> Tern of less than full adult appearance. This bird, and also a full adult, 
> had readable blue legs bands. Maybe others have seen this, but this is the 
> first time I’ve seen terns with something more readable in the field than the 
> metal bands. I’ll reports these (bands B97 and Y11) and find out more in due 
> time. But perhaps someone on this list might know something (Joe D?).  Also, 
> a Gull-billed Tern flying over the east tern colony around mid-day. Pictures 
> of the Arctic and Roseates have been added to the bottom of the Recent Work 
> page at my web site http://stevewalternature.com/ .
>  
> Steve Walter
> Bayside, NY
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[nysbirds-l] Arctic Tern, Nickerson Beach, Nassau

2018-06-17 Thread Timothy Healy
Just arrived at Nickerson and immediately found an adult Arctic Tern in front 
of the eastern colony. Will post if I see anything else of note, but wanted to 
get the word out early so people could get here before collecting starts. 
Roseates present as well. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Mississippi Kite, Hempstead Lake State Park, Nassau

2018-05-28 Thread Timothy Healy
I just had a Mississippi Kite circling low over the treetops near Schodack Pond 
at Hempstead Lake SP. It was a second year individual with a banded tail. I 
lost the bird as it kept looping once some kingbirds flew up to harass it, it 
was low enough that it became obscured by the foliage. I’m currently standing 
where the view of the sky is more open and keeping an eye out. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Nocturnal Flight Calls

2018-05-14 Thread Timothy Healy
Every time I’ve been outside tonight I’ve been hearing an abundance of 
Nocturnal Flight Calls. Low cloud cover is probably helping a lot. Get out to a 
spot with some illumination and give it a listen!

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Cerulean Warbler, Hempstead Lake, Nassau - Yes

2018-05-06 Thread Timothy Healy
The Cerulean Warbler continues this morning at the south end of Hempstead Lake 
State Park. The bird has been moving back and forth between the dog walk trails 
and the edge of the dog run field. Still exploring for other birds of note in 
the area. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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Re: [nysbirds-l] Prothonotary Warbler, Hempstead Lake, Nassau

2018-04-30 Thread Timothy Healy
In reviewing my photos from yesterday and more recent images from today, it
appears that something is wrong with the bird's right eye. What appeared
slightly squinty yesterday (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45067660) is
much more noticeably out of sorts today (
https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45110744). Tick? Injury? It certainly
didn't seem to slow the warbler down: it was foraging vigorously and
singing with gusto both days that I saw it. Did anyone get any clear images
of it's right side when it was first found on Saturday, to see if this
occurred after its arrival? I wouldn't be surprised if the bird rides the
favorable winds out tonight or tomorrow, but if its condition or any other
factors keep it here it would be interesting to keep an eye (heh) on how
the situation progresses.

Cheers!
-Tim H

On Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 3:34 PM, kevin rogers  wrote:

> Prothonotary hanging out on sticks in shadock pond (next to creek adjacent
> to dog walk)..was actually a few feet out in the pond working little sticks
> sticking out of water. I saw it after walking down to the water where I can
> go off th path at to the pond edge. Its raining but there is like at least
> 70 yellow rumped warblers everywhere u look..indigo bunting,yellow
> warbler,Carolina wren too..-kev ... I did not see the yellowthroated warbler
>
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[nysbirds-l] Oak Beach Update: Today is not the day

2018-01-27 Thread Timothy Healy
Even though the Barrow’s Goldeneye and the Eared Grebe were apparently here 
this morning, all of the birds in the inlet have been scared away. There are at 
least six people parasailing all over the surface of the water, which as you 
might expect is quite a disturbance. Wanted to save anyone the trouble in case 
they might be considering a run at the rarities.

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Glaucous Gull, Hendrickson Park, Valley Stream, Nassau

2018-01-24 Thread Timothy Healy
My father just sent me a picture of a first-cycle Glaucous Gull that he spotted 
during his bike ride at the lake in Hendrickson Park, Valley Stream. Pretty 
solid bird for Nassau, even more so inland. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Bittern and Hawks, Nassau and Suffolk

2018-01-21 Thread Timothy Healy
At least one American Bittern was observed at Tobay Beach’s JFK Memorial 
Wildlife Sanctuary, judging by timing and takeoff location it could’ve been two 
individuals. I also had a rapidly-glimpsed hawk taking off through the trees 
between the lot and the hidden pond: based on proportions, size, and flight 
style it certainly looked like it could’ve been the reported Red-shouldered 
Hawk. Views were too brief and too obscured to be certain, but someone might 
want to follow up. A light morph Rough-leg was also perched in the median near 
Cedar Beach Marina. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Townsend’s Solitaire, Tiffany Creek, Nassau - YES

2018-01-14 Thread Timothy Healy
After a long, cold stakeout, the solitaire has reappeared. The arrival of the 
bluebird flock foretold it’s coming, and as promised it is more active on 
bright, sunny days. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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Re: [nysbirds-l] Queens Gr. White-fronted Goose Update

2018-01-12 Thread Timothy Healy
I explored the course to no avail last weekend, but there were many, many geese 
out there, coming and going throughout the day. There was parking and access on 
Commonwealth Boulevard along the eastern border. Lots of families were at the 
park to sled on the rolling hills of the course. I don’t know if it’s “come 
one, come all” access or open to local residents or what, but no one spoke up 
or stopped the exploration of a birder who simply followed the lead of the 
sled-toting parents. 

Cheers!
-Tim H

> On Jan 12, 2018, at 2:50 PM, Steve Walter  wrote:
> 
> There is a vantage point from 61st Avenue (the right turn at the top of the 
> hill, after the shopping plaza). The view is limited, as I don’t think you 
> can see over the high points a few hundred yards out. There’s a road into the 
> golf course here, but it looks to me like it’s for maintenance vehicles. I’ve 
> never actually gone inside, but you would think there should be a public 
> access point. The golf course is administered by NYC Parks. Now I’m motivated 
> to try finding out – harder than I’ve tried in the past.
>  
> You can check their web site at 
> https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/douglaston-park-golf-course
>  
> SW
>  
> From: Gus Keri [mailto:gusk...@zoho.com] 
> Sent: Friday, January 12, 2018 2:27 PM
> To: Steve Walter 
> Cc: nysbird...@list.cornell.edu
> Subject: RE:[nysbirds-l] Queens Gr. White-fronted Goose Update
>  
> I went chasing after this goose yesterday. I checked the small pool where it 
> was reported, between LIE and Douglaston PKWY. I saw around 30 Canada geese. 
> No GWFG.
> The geese flew off toward the hill east of the pool. I looked at the map and 
> I saw a large golf course there. I thought the geese might use this golf 
> course for feeding. 
> I circled the whole area but I couldn't find any spot where I could see the 
> inside of the golf course.
> I gave up and left.
> If anyone has access to this golf course, or knows a spot where it can be 
> seen from outside, the goose might be still there.
>  
> Sent using Zoho Mail
> 
>  
>  
>  On Fri, 12 Jan 2018 06:47:03 -0800 Steve Walter  
> wrote 
>  
> I was curious to see if any geese came into Alley Pond overnight, and got a 
> chance to check, with the rain holding off. But only about 10 geese were 
> there. Seems pretty quick to change roosting spots. The nearest possibility 
> that I can think of is Lake Success, which is a few miles away. I took a look 
> at a couple of the spots that I had mentioned. Only a small number were on 
> the field by Oakland Lake. The ballfields look to be dug up, perhaps being 
> converted to turf. It doesn’t look like a viable feeding spot anymore. If 
> that’s the case, a lot of the local geese could have just moved on. We’ll 
> see. The lawn around the pond should be snowless soon enough.
>  
> There were, however, a few new ducks on Alley Pond, most notably a 
> Canvasback. Having missed a pair that were briefly on Oakland Lake about five 
> years ago, this is my first one in northeast Queens in maybe 25 years. They 
> used to winter commonly on Little Neck Bay. Sort of the waterfowl version of 
> Bonapartes’ Gull. But anyway, for local year listers, this could be easier 
> than some other options.
>  
>  
> Steve Walter
>  
> From: Steve Walter [mailto:swalte...@verizon.net]
> Sent: Thursday, January 11, 2018 6:57 PM
> To: nysbird...@list.cornell.edu
> Subject: Queens Gr. White-fronted Goose Update
>  
> As far as I know, it was not seen today at Alley Pond. I know it was looked 
> for this morning, but there were much fewer geese than yesterday at a 
> comparable time of the morning. Based on the previous reports, it would seem 
> that the geese were roosting there, making the early morning the best time. 
> My plan for today was to watch them coming in to roost in the late afternoon. 
> Well, the 40 or so geese that were there when I arrived at 3:30 left shortly 
> thereafter. As of 4:45, only one lone Canada had come in. I suppose it’s 
> possible that they could come in after dark. It’s not the way I think they do 
> it, but who knows? I’m pretty sure I’ve heard geese flying over my house at 
> night. There was one flock that flew by Alley Pond around 4:20, coming from 
> the northwest, but they kept going toward the east. At least that reminded me 
> of a couple of other spots to look, if you’re moved to do so.
>  
> Oakland Lake (Cloverdale Blvd., just south of Northern Blvd.), which is 
> currently mostly frozen. Geese sometimes feed on the field across the street 
> from the lake or on the grass along the entrance ramp to the Cross Island 
> Parkway, but that’s more likely when there’s an open lake to go back to.
>  
> The ball fields at Cardozo High School and Queensboro Community College (on 
> 56th Avenue, west of Cloverdale).
>  
> Douglaston Golf Course.
>  
> And when not snow covered, geese will feed right around Alley 

Re: [nysbirds-l] Re] Greater White-fronted Goose - Alley Pond Park, Queens, No

2018-01-07 Thread Timothy Healy
For what it’s worth, I checked out the Douglaston Park Golf Course since it was 
the closest grassy area on the map and I found tons of geese foraging there. I 
failed to relocate the White-front despite some intensive searching, though 
it’s probably still a good spot to check when the birds leave the pond. Always 
good to take note of which direction the flocks fly in, you might get lucky 
catching them at a feeding site.

Cheers!
-Tim H

> On Jan 7, 2018, at 5:31 PM, Cesar Castillo  wrote:
> 
> Leaving pond at 5:20 pm.  Over 700 geese more are coming in but there just 
> isnt enough light.  No Iceland gull either.
> Yes birds;
> 2 Wilson's Snipe
> 1 Northern Pintail
> 1 Green-winged Teal
> 2 Redhead
> 1 Ring-necked among other more common species.
> 
> 
> Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
> 
> On Sun, Jan 7, 2018 at 9:06 AM, Jaklitsch, Mike
>  wrote:
> As found and reported by Eric & Jeff yesterday, this morning’s tally included 
> those noted below in Jeff/Eric’s note (including the GWF goose) plus the 
> following:
> 
> 2 buffleheads
> 4 mallards
> 2 mute swans
> 1 RB Merg
> 1 Coot
> 1 Pied Billed Grebe
> 1 Snow goose
> 1 Ring necked Duck
> 
> Good birding,
> Mike Jaklitsch
> 
> 
> On 1/6/18, 5:17 PM, "ebirds...@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Jeffrey Ritter 
> jffrrit...@gmail.com [ebirdsnyc]"  ebirdsnyc-nore...@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
> 
> Found this afternoon by Eric Miller in the pond by Douglaston Parkway and 
> the L.I.E. The bird was still on the pond with many Canadas when we left at 
> 4PM. Other notable species include Redhead, Lesser Scaup and Rusty Blackbird.
> 
> Jeff Ritter
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
> 
> Posted by: Jeffrey Ritter 
> 
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[nysbirds-l] GWF Goose NO, Iceland Gull - Alley Pond Park, Queens

2018-01-07 Thread Timothy Healy
The geese have departed from the pond for the time being, but there is a first 
cycle Iceland Gull floating in the open water. Not currently associating with 
the large flock of gulls roosting on the ice. 

Cheers!
-Tim H

> On Jan 7, 2018, at 9:06 AM, Jaklitsch, Mike  wrote:
> 
> As found and reported by Eric & Jeff yesterday, this morning’s tally included 
> those noted below in Jeff/Eric’s note (including the GWF goose) plus the 
> following:
> 
> 2 buffleheads
> 4 mallards
> 2 mute swans
> 1 RB Merg
> 1 Coot
> 1 Pied Billed Grebe
> 1 Snow goose
> 1 Ring necked Duck
> 
> Good birding,
> Mike Jaklitsch
> 
> 
> On 1/6/18, 5:17 PM, "ebirds...@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Jeffrey Ritter 
> jffrrit...@gmail.com [ebirdsnyc]"  ebirdsnyc-nore...@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
> 
>Found this afternoon by Eric Miller in the pond by Douglaston Parkway and 
> the L.I.E. The bird was still on the pond with many Canadas when we left at 
> 4PM. Other notable species include Redhead, Lesser Scaup and Rusty Blackbird.
> 
>Jeff Ritter
> 
>Sent from my iPhone
> 
>
>Posted by: Jeffrey Ritter 
>
> 
>ebirdsnyc: bird sightings from the NYC area
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[nysbirds-l] Wilson’s Snipe, Massapequa Preserve, Nassau

2018-01-07 Thread Timothy Healy
A very confiding snipe is feeding along the surprisingly unfrozen stream 
through the preserve, a short walk south of the Fillmore Street entrance. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] King Eider, Jones Beach, Nassau

2018-01-07 Thread Timothy Healy
The first year male King Eider continues with the flock of sea ducks at the 
West End jetty. No sign of the older male, but there was still lots of movement 
and if it’s still in the area it may reappear later. I would’ve sent this 
message out half an hour ago but my phone froze and shut down. Stay warm out 
there!

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Re: [nysbirds-l] Ross’s Goose in Queens

2018-01-06 Thread Timothy Healy
The Ross’s Goose was not present on the pond for the past hour or so, but 
Miriam and I just found it on the large ball field south of the pond across 
Rockaway Boulevard, which is apparently still part of the park according to 
maps. We got a nice vantage point from 150th Street. While I was typing up this 
email, the flock took off and headed north, presumably back to the pond. Check 
both locations before giving up!

Cheers!
-Tim H

> On Jan 6, 2018, at 8:50 AM, Corey Finger <1birdsblog...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> The Ross’s Goose continues at the north end of Baisley Pond Park.
> 
> Good Birding,
> Corey Finger
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> --
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[nysbirds-l] “Rarity Round Up” - Personal Results and Musings

2017-12-03 Thread Timothy Healy
Inspired by Shai’s Friday post about doing a rarity round up, I covered a lot 
of ground along the south shore this weekend. Though I failed to locate any 
Hammond’s-tier vagrants, there were some nice seasonal irregularities and 
uncommon species to be found these past few days. I’m not going to steal anyone 
else’s highlights for this write-up, just posting notes as potential CBC intel 
or for the sake of county/year/month(?) listers. Apologies for length and 
formatting. 

-single Northern Parulas at JFK Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary and Cow Meadow Park
-drake Blue-winged Teal also at JFK, associating with Green-wings and other 
ducks
-American Bittern in the marshes north of Gilgo Beach
-Parasitic Jaeger, young Common Tern, Iceland Gull, and close, sizable 
congregations of Bonaparte’s Gulls at the Jones West End jetty. No sign of 
rarer associates in several hours of searching
-at least one continuing Cackling Goose at Hendrickson Park

The parulas represent the only Nassau records past the first week of November 
according to eBird, though I wonder if other archival data to the contrary 
exists. Along with a few additional individuals between Brooklyn and Montauk, 
and a smattering of other lingering wood-warblers from Prothonotary to 
Wilson’s, we have a number of potential new late regional records in progress 
or approaching. 

One hopes that the conspicuous presence of Bonaparte’s Gulls will continue 
after too many years of near absence in our area, potentially sticking for the 
count and drawing in some goodies in the process. In the more immediate future, 
strong winds with a southeasterly component on Tuesday could produce 
interesting sightings for those who can watch.

As an aside, early predictions about a certain irruption seem to be on very 
much point. This is an event worth documenting and admiring respectfully, even 
if the specific details are not to be shared here. It’s always a spectacle, at 
any rate. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Jones Beach Seawatch

2017-11-25 Thread Timothy Healy
Very strong gannet flight this morning with upwards of 1000 birds observed. 
There are currently huge feeding flocks to the west, most likely spectacularly 
visible from the Long Beach area. A Parasitic Jaeger flew west past the jetty 
at around 7:35. Sea duck numbers were low, with small flocks of all 3 scooters 
and singles of Common Eider and Long-tailed Duck. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Montauk area birding notes, Pacific Loon and more

2017-11-12 Thread Timothy Healy
After arriving in Montauk yesterday afternoon, I set about exploring the shores 
of the Lake in search of the Brown Booby. I found no sign of the long-lingering 
rarity: hopefully she moved south ahead of the cold weather. A pipit and some 
Purple Sandpipers were observed at the Gin Beach area, and I set up for an 
evening seawatch from the restaurant at the Point. Several hundred Bonaparte’s 
Gulls were mixed in with Laughers and other species, the highest numbers I’ve 
seen around the island in some time. There were also two Great Shearwaters 
associating with the fishing boats just beyond the breakers.

I started another seawatch from Camp Hero before sunrise this morning. Anthony 
Collerton joined me, and shortly after doing so he spotted a Pacific Loon 
flying west to east and out beyond the Point. He also picked out two early 
Razorbills, and I relocated one of yesterday’s shearwaters. Duck numbers are 
increasing but not yet peaked, though five Green-winged Teal rafting with the 
scoters were interesting. Non-avian highlights included a Gray Seal, as well as 
a Minke Whale and a Humpback observed feeding in very close association: the 
alternating appearance of different dorsal fins confused us at first. 

We explored a few more sites around the area, turning up a Parasitic Jaeger and 
some Snow Buntings on the west side of Montauk Inlet, and a surprising pod of 
Short-beaked Common Dolphins feeding north of Culloden Point.
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[nysbirds-l] Cackling Geese, Hendrickson Park, Valley Stream

2017-11-11 Thread Timothy Healy
Yesterday’s Cackler continues at the handball courts, and I located another 
individual on the lakeshore nearby. This second bird is even smaller and more 
striking, with a tiny bill and a very blocky head. At a glance, the goose 
strongly resembled the one that stayed through last winter, most based on 
overall proportions and plumage details like the cheek patch shape and the 
white collar. There was also a dark-cheeked, small Canada in the same subflock 
also looked quite familiar in comparison to an associate of the ‘16-‘17 
visitor. I’ll have to review my photos, but it definitely caught my attention.

A pair of Wood Ducks are also present on the lake.

Cheers!
-Tim H

> On Nov 10, 2017, at 4:49 PM, Timothy Healy <tp...@cornell.edu> wrote:
> 
> I found a Richardson’s Cackling Goose on an evening walk at Hendrickson Park. 
> The bird was feeding within the fence by the handball courts on the 
> southwestern side of the lake. Overall goose numbers continue to increase 
> slowly but steadily. 
> 
> Cheers!
> -Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Cackling Goose, Hendrickson Park, Valley Stream

2017-11-10 Thread Timothy Healy
I found a Richardson’s Cackling Goose on an evening walk at Hendrickson Park. 
The bird was feeding within the fence by the handball courts on the 
southwestern side of the lake. Overall goose numbers continue to increase 
slowly but steadily. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Morning Seawatch, Robert Moses

2017-11-05 Thread Timothy Healy
A forecast of mild overnight easterlies shifting to the southeast at dawn
prompted me to plan a morning seawatch today at Robert Moses Field 2. I was
joined by a number of other birders, and we were treated to a reasonably
birdy scene. Scoters were moving in numbers from daybreak up until just
before 9 AM, with several thousand Black Scoters, a few dozen White-wings,
and just six Surfs observed. The gannet show was also impressive, though it
was difficult to accurately gauge numbers since the birds were milling
about and feeding actively. It's safe to say that conservative counts were
in the high hundreds. Two Great Shearwaters were a nice surprise, and they
periodically appeared throughout the morning in association with some
fishing boats. No jaegers this time, and surprisingly few foraging or flyby
gulls as well. A few other sea ducks were tallied, and I observed lingering
Lesser Black-backed Gulls loafing at Robert Moses and Jones Beach, both
adults.

Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] UPDATE! Robert Moses - Lark Bunting YES, Double Dickcissels

2017-09-29 Thread Timothy Healy
Mike Zito just refound the Lark Bunting along the trail from the lot to the 
courts. The Dickcissels have gone missing for now but likely remain nearby. 

Cheers!
-Tim H

> On Sep 29, 2017, at 7:26 AM, Timothy Healy <tp...@cornell.edu> wrote:
> 
> A pair of Dickcissels were just heard and seen in the northwestern corner of 
> the volleyball courts at Robert Moses Field 2. No sign of the Lark Bunting 
> yet, but sparrows are becoming more active. 
> 
> Cheers!
> -Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Robert Moses - Double Dickcissels, still waiting on Lark Bunting

2017-09-29 Thread Timothy Healy
A pair of Dickcissels were just heard and seen in the northwestern corner of 
the volleyball courts at Robert Moses Field 2. No sign of the Lark Bunting yet, 
but sparrows are becoming more active. 

Cheers!
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[nysbirds-l] Brown Pelicans, Jones Beach

2017-09-24 Thread Timothy Healy
Two Brown Pelicans are currently visible on the north shore of the bay. I'm at 
the end of the fisherman's road looking northeast and they are just east of the 
non-draw bridge. Resting on the water at the moment. Might be visible from the 
CG station but I'm not certain. I'm not the finder, just the messenger!

Apart from continuing hordes of mosquitos, some Royal Terns and a 
here-then-gone Whimbrel at the spit were the only highlights. Robert Moses was 
dead quiet at dawn.

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] Jones Beach: Dickcissel, Interesting Nashville Warbler, Migration Notes

2017-09-22 Thread Timothy Healy
I heard the nocturnal flight calls of several Swainson's Thrushes over my house 
last night, and despite minimal radar activity there were some nice birds at 
Jones Beach. A heard-only Dickcissel that called a few times as it flew 
northwest past the start of the fisherman's road was the "rarest" bird I saw, 
but there was an enjoyable spread of other species. Large flights of flickers 
continue, with plenty of raptors working the vegetation edge. Phoebes are 
moving through in some numbers, and the increased high tide ended up chasing 
most of the 100+ Red Knots and 350+ oystercatchers off the flooded spit. 10 
species of warblers were highlighted by a nice bright Blackburnian and a 
Nashville Warbler whose greener lower back, prominent white vent, and longish, 
constantly pumping tail gave me pause. I'd like people with more expertise to 
review my photos, but I wonder if this was an individual of the 
Western/"Calaveras" subspecies that was proposed for a split this year. The 
motion failed by one vote, if I recall correctly, so this could be a pair to 
watch for in the future. The bird was observed in the brush north of the hill 
next to the Coast Guard fence, just before the shoreline. I know Bob Anderson 
also got some shots, which are most assuredly better than mine. Mosquitos 
remain especially ferocious. Spray up.

Cheers!
-Tim H



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[nysbirds-l] Western Kingbird, Jones Beach

2017-09-10 Thread Timothy Healy
Just found a Western Kingbird hawking insects at the entrance road for the 
Coast Guard station. The whole area seems lively and birdy. 

Cheers!
-Tim H
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[nysbirds-l] UPDATE: Morning flight at Robert Moses - WEKI, LASP, DICK, RHWO, warblers galore

2017-09-09 Thread Timothy Healy
The east-to-west movement of birds at Robert Moses started to slow down around 
9 AM, but it was a fantastic show. A young Red-headed Woodpecker, a Western 
Kingbird, and a heard-only Dickcissel were among the birds passing by, and a 
Lark Sparrow briefly teed up in a dead pine near the northeastern exit of Field 
2. I recorded hundreds of warblers this morning, predominantly Redstarts and 
Black-and-whites. A few Cape Mays that landed in the low shrubberies were among 
the highlights. Need to compile my tallies and look at some images for final 
totals. If the morning flight is any indication, there may be additional 
interesting birds that moved in last night, waiting to be discovered. 

Cheers!
-Tim H

> On Sep 9, 2017, at 7:59 AM, Timothy Healy <tp...@cornell.edu> wrote:
> 
> Lots of movement so far today. Good numbers and decent diversity, nothing I 
> crazy yet. Get out if you can!
> 
> Cheers!
> -Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Morning flight at Robert Moses

2017-09-09 Thread Timothy Healy
Lots of movement so far today. Good numbers and decent diversity, nothing I 
crazy yet. Get out if you can!

Cheers!
-Tim H
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Re:[nysbirds-l] Riverhead Shorebirds: Hulse Landing and Doctor's Path, update

2017-09-03 Thread Timothy Healy
I'm departing from my stakeout now and wanted to make a few amendments to my 
statement. There are several distant, brownish Semipalmated Sandpipers out 
there, and after momentarily being faked out a few times I'm no longer 100% 
that my briefly glimpsed bird was absolutely a Baird's. The Buff-breasts are 
still present and intermittently visible, and a calling Golden-Plover was heard 
overhead. A pair of Peregrines are tussling on the open dirt fields to the 
north. 

Others pointed out that my use of the phrase "main road" may have implied Sound 
Avenue, but I'm referencing the water system and dirt road that intersect 
Doctor's Path just north of the private road for the estates. 

Cheers!
-Tim H

> On Sep 3, 2017, at 12:51 PM, Timothy Healy <tp...@cornell.edu> wrote:
> 
> Hulse Landing Road did not have any Buff-breasted or Baird's Sandpipers 
> around 10 AM, but a flyover Upland Sandpiper was heard, observed, and 
> recorded as it passed over to the east. After a quiet morning of fruitless 
> searching, I have located 2 Buffies and a Baird's east of Doctor's Path. The 
> birds are concentrated on the grassy strip between the plowed fields, best 
> observed from the intersection where the dirt road and irrigation system meet 
> the main road. Lots of vegetation and terrain in the way, so the birds are 
> good at disappearing and reappearing unexpectedly. No sign of Golden-Plovers. 
> 
> Cheers!
> -Tim H
> 
> 
> Sent from my iPhone

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[nysbirds-l] Riverhead Shorebirds: Hulse Landing and Doctor's Path

2017-09-03 Thread Timothy Healy
Hulse Landing Road did not have any Buff-breasted or Baird's Sandpipers around 
10 AM, but a flyover Upland Sandpiper was heard, observed, and recorded as it 
passed over to the east. After a quiet morning of fruitless searching, I have 
located 2 Buffies and a Baird's east of Doctor's Path. The birds are 
concentrated on the grassy strip between the plowed fields, best observed from 
the intersection where the dirt road and irrigation system meet the main road. 
Lots of vegetation and terrain in the way, so the birds are good at 
disappearing and reappearing unexpectedly. No sign of Golden-Plovers. 

Cheers!
-Tim H


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[nysbirds-l] Montauk area birding notes

2017-06-10 Thread Timothy Healy
I spent the day exploring the Montauk area, and managed to turn up some
birds of note. Nearly 200 Black Scoters were present in the surf south of
the cliffs at Shadmoor State Park: a surprising congregation at this time
of year. Plenty of Bank Swallows around, and a number of other expected
breeders. A lone female Wild Turkey and a Red Fox both crossed our path on
one of the Hither Hills State Park access roads. We stumbled upon a
Virginia Rail at Big Reed Pond late in the afternoon, strutting through the
undergrowth near a wet spot along the trail, vocalizing loudly. I'm betting
that it was trying to distract from its nest or young based on its
behavior. We didn't linger too long.

Unfortunately, a stop in Quogue on the way home didn't provide any
nightjars, even though we stopped to listen in several recently and
historically reliable spots. It was quite some time after sunset, so
perhaps the birds were busy foraging after the initial chorus of the night.

Cheers!
-Tim

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[nysbirds-l] Jones Beach: 3 Blue Grosbeaks and other migrants

2017-04-29 Thread Timothy Healy
Despite favorable conditions last night, THE big push of migrants is still
yet to come. Radar seemed to show more birds leaving our area than coming
in, and the early morning storms which might have produced fallout later in
the season didn't amount to much. Nevertheless, Jones Beach featured some
nice activity on this pleasant morning. The indisputable highlight was a
trio of Blue Grosbeaks encountered over the course of my time there: a
continuing female by the Coast Guard fence, a bright male working his way
west from the tollbooth to the boat basin, and a less flashy male by the
exit. Great opportunities to take photos and audio of this relatively
uncommon visitor. Other migrants of note included a White-eyed Vireo,
Indigo Buntings, Baltimore Orioles, and some House Wrens duking it out.
Only three warblers: Palm, Yellow, and many sharp-looking Myrtles. Common
Loons in vocalizing in flight were a treat. Some Fish Crows, usually less
common than Americans at Jones, are apparently building a nest in the
median.

https://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36385240

Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Jones Beach and Hempstead

2016-11-12 Thread Timothy Healy
Pack your gloves if you're birding: it's cold out there, folks! Jones Beach
saw some movement this morning, with lots of Red-wings and a fair few
finches passing overhead on their journey to the west. Hundreds of gannets
were seen moving just offshore, and a noisy Great Blue Heron flew down the
coast as well. Two Lapland Longspurs were located in a flock of Snow
Buntings at the beach, and Horned Larks and a pipit were also seen nearby.
Expected raptor species were on the hunt.

A brief stop at Hempstead Lake revealed groups of Hooded Mergansers and
Ruddy Ducks on the main lake, along with a Red-throated Loon. This was my
first sighting of this species at the park, and it was diving actively and
feeding. After the first glimpse I lost it for several minutes and was
wondering if I'd seen what I thought I'd seen!

Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Uncommon Migrants at Jones Beach

2016-11-05 Thread Timothy Healy
Brendan Fogarty and I began a sweep of Jones Beach at around 8 AM. This
lovely fall morning featured a good diversity of birds and decent activity
levels this late in the season. Purple Finches and Goldfinches were passing
overhead more or less constantly, and 3+ Pine Siskins were detected among
them. Migrant highlights of the day included a Vesper Sparrow along the
wooden fenceline between the inner and outer turnarounds, a calling Eastern
Bluebird along the northwestern edge of the median, and 2 low flyover
Eastern Meadowlarks. We found 3 Snow Buntings, our first of the season, at
the beach, and others reported Lapland Longspurs. Gannets were moving west
in numbers, with lines of birds visible from the median and turnaround! The
carcass of an apparent late Baltimore Oriole was discovered at the edge of
the dunes near the swale, with a calling-card pellet left beside it. A
Hairy Woodpecker vocalizing in the median was a surprising find as well.
Knots, plovers, and Dunlin were present at the sandbar, with many lingering
oystercatchers as well. There are still a number of Forster's Terns on the
bay side, and I heard a Royal call once from the direction of the inlet
before Brendan arrived. He also got a Pipit at the parking lot after
pulling up.

'Tis the season to begin owling, but please be respectful of the birds and
fellow birders while you enjoy the search. Brendan and I spent some time
carefully checking the pines in the area, but we found only impressionists
inexplicably tooting in the trees at the turnaround. I'll give them the
benefit of the doubt and assume they were attempting to lure in northern
passerines rather than elicit a response of some kind from a nocturnal
raptor, but hey: important PSA anyway!

P.S. Hempstead Lake was very quiet, and the Pink-footed Goose is still
putting on a show at Hendrickson Park

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S32378050

Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Valley Stream Pink-footed Goose - YES

2016-11-02 Thread Timothy Healy
The Pink-foot was still being seen on the eastern shoreline of the lake at
Hendrickson Park this evening. We departed at about 5:35 as the sun was
getting low, and the goose was happily feeding alongside its Canadian
brethren. It seemed more alert and active than many reports from yesterday
suggested, moving anxiously away from joggers and briefly pausing to eye
observers when it realized it was being watched. It even interacted
semi-aggressively with Canadas who invaded its personal space as it was
swimming. We kept a respectful distance from the bird as it grazed, taking
care not to disturb our welcome guest. The flocks of geese are clearly
moving around: my dad stopped by around midday and reported that he and an
unknown birder from the city found no sign of it, but it has been seen
throughout the morning and afternoon. Where they are disappearing to when
they are not at the lake is a mystery, but there are plenty of other
options for foraging and resting nearby.

Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] South Shore migration report

2016-10-15 Thread Timothy Healy
Radar showed some migrants crossing the Sound last night. Robert Moses
Field 2 saw a respectable flight at first light, with good numbers but
nothing too out of the ordinary. A lone Rusty Blackbird, a handful of
Purple Finches, and a Blue-headed Vireo were the highlights. Yellow-rumps
were omnipresent, joined by Palm and Blackpoll Warblers. The drive down the
Ocean Parkway was fairly birdy, with a Royal Tern crossing north over the
road.and some egrets and herons in the marsh. Jones Beach was ruled by the
raptors this morning, with multiple Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks,
Merlins, and Peregrine Falcons. One Merlin that made a kill at the
turnaround was pursued by a stooping Peregrine: quite the spectacle!
Songbirds kept a low profile when these predators were on the hunt, but as
the day went on they became more conspicuous. A few more Purple Finches,
both kinglets, nuthatches, and phoebes were very cooperative. I spotted a
Pectoral Sandpiper in flight that landed on the lawn at the outer
turnaround, but it was quickly flushed by a passing car and headed off to
the west. A few Hermit Thrushes were seen, and a male Black-throated Blue,
a Pine, and a Yellowthroat joined the day's warbler tally.

Cheers!
-Tim H

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

2016-10-11 Thread Timothy Healy
Thanks for the report from further west, Doug! I always appreciate the
opportunity to view a migration event through a wider lens of observations.
Surely, your Cackling Goose was the same individual some of us were lucky
enough to spot at Jones Beach. It, too, was seen in a flock with 13 Canada
Geese, passing westward over the coast guard station at 9:42 AM. With your
observation time of 10:39, there's a potential math problem there for
calculating goose airspeed based on wind direction and strength. The
"low-density" migrants were less numerous but also more conspicuous than
usual at Jones, with plenty of Purple Finches and the typically-uncommon
Rusty Blackbirds outnumbering Red-wings and cowbirds even without counting
distantly seen birds that were only likely candidates. Definitely an
interesting day of movement along the south shore, hopefully with many more
to come!

Cheers!
-Tim H

On Tue, Oct 11, 2016 at 12:09 PM, Doug Gochfeld 
wrote:

> 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] Jones Beach report, 9/12

2016-09-12 Thread Timothy Healy
I took advantage of a day off from work to check out the beach at first light. 
The winds looked favorable, the radar was busy, and last night at Lido Beach 
there were almost constantly flight calls of migrants passing overhead. Jones 
experienced an initially promising, modest flight of birds at sunrise, but the 
activity was short-lived. By 8:30 many of the passage birds had moved through 
and there was little to be found on continued sweeps of the area. My previous 
post described the highlight of the morning, a Dickcissel seen and heard along 
the fisherman's road near the Coast Guard Station. After being discovered at 
6:55, the bird was heard once more around 7:25. Subsequent visits by other 
birders failed to relocate this individual. Bobolinks were the stars of the 
show, with 36 tallied passing overhead mostly early in the day. Redstarts and 
Yellowthroats led the warbler charge, and I found singles of Black-and-white, 
Magnolia, Palm, Yellow, and Parula. A very drab first-year female Cape May and 
one Black-throated Blue of each sex rounded out the family, though many other 
warblers were passing overhead with the dawn flight. Red-breasted Nuthatches 
continue to dominate the landscape, and catbirds were also conspicuous and 
numerous. Other expected landbirds were present in small numbers. Around 9:45, 
I spotted an aerial chase apparently involving several Merlins over the 
turnaround, but raising my binoculars revealed that one of the three birds was 
actually a Common Nighthawk which continued west. 

A brief stop at Hempstead Lake on the way home found it dry and mostly quiet. 
Ovenbird and Northern Waterthrush were added to the day list, alongside Parula, 
Redstart, and two more female-type Black-throated Blues.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S31544870

Cheers!
-Tim H


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[nysbirds-l] EPCAL Breeders

2016-07-05 Thread Timothy Healy
I finally made a journey out to EPCAL with Tracey Watt to check up on some
of the specialty birds. Throughout our visit, Grasshopper Sparrows were
vocal and visible. We were fortunate enough to encounter a cooperative
fledgling, still quite streaked with a noticeable gape, who was perched
along Grumman Boulevard. We never managed to pin down a male Blue Grosbeak,
but a female was briefly seen with a fledgling along Line Road. A return
stop at this location found our target bird bathing in a roadside puddle.
Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Meadowlark, Eastern Bluebird, Field Sparrow,
and Orchard Oriole were all heard and seen in the area, and the abundant
Chipping Sparrows were observed carrying fecal sacs. Several Turkey
Vultures and a kestrel were the only raptors, and other wildlife included
White-tailed Deer, Common Wood-Nymph, and Eastern Box Turtle. A short visit
to the nearby cemetery added a few more sightings, including thrasher,
Ovenbird, and a wood-pewee vigorously pursuing a Blue Jay.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S30544506

Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Stray Skimmers and other observations

2016-07-04 Thread Timothy Healy
I spent a lot of time at the beach today, partly for relaxation and partly
for birding. Early afternoon at Jones featured mostly the usual suspects,
and despite moderately-strong winds off the sea (with a slight westerly
edge) an evening seawatch from Robert Moses was shockingly lackluster. It
was still a lovely beach day, and I had some nice conversations with
passersby who stopped to inquire about my equipment. When I was driving
home with sunset approaching, I spotted two birds flying down Peninsula
Boulevard and heading towards the south pond at Hempstead Lake. Although I
saw them briefly and from behind, the size, shape, pattern, and distinctly
loping flight pattern triggered my autopilot ID as "Black Skimmer." I'm
very surprised by the venue for an encounter with this rather localized
species, but if I'd been 15 minutes to the south I wouldn't have thought
twice about this glimpsed observation. I'll keep an eye out if I pass the
Lake when I head out tomorrow. Hope everyone had a pleasant Independence
Day, and I hope students and fellow teachers are making good use of summer
break.

Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Sunday Seawatch from Jones and other notes from the field

2016-06-05 Thread Timothy Healy
I began my day at Connetquot in search of the reported Prothonotary Warbler
and Least Bittern. I covered the region very thoroughly for several hours
with many other birders but found no sign of either target. It was still a
nice morning, with sightings including Yellow-throated Warbler, several
Yellow-billed Cuckoos, and unexpected Hermit Thrushes. A pair of Black
Scoters still lingers at the Jones boat basin, seen before a burst of rain
sent me home.

Brendan Fogarty asked me to join him on a seawatch when the precipitation
stopped, and we set up shop at Jones Field 6 for more than 3.5 hours.
Thanks to strong winds and patches of dense fog, it turned out to be a very
worthwhile venture. 2 Royal Terns, 3 Sooty Shearwaters, 1 Cory's
Shearwater, 2 distant, unidentified shearwaters, 3 Northern Gannets, and 4
Lesser Black-backed Gulls of varying age classes were the seabird
highlights. We were also treated to a Humpback Whale frolicking on the
horizon, breaching and fin slapping intermittently for about an hour. We
headed home just ahead of the downpour. What a day!

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S30094219

Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Signs of Spring

2016-04-29 Thread Timothy Healy
I stopped by Jones Beach for about an hour early this afternoon.
Boat-tailed Grackles were seen displaying on near the entrance gates.
Spotted several Brown Thrashers in the median, one of which was gathering
twigs. Some American crows were also seen carrying nest material. All loons
encountered were in full breeding plumage. Yellow-rumped Warblers are
looking sharp and singing more or less constantly. The Monk Parakeets next
door to Norman J. Levy are continuously ferrying branches up to their nests
on the stadium lights. Migrant numbers and diversity are still low for now.
I heard a perfect Wood Thrush song in Central Park yesterday, which gave me
pause until the mockingbird threw in a few of its own phrases. Another
mocker at Jones was singing a some notes reminiscent of Scarlet Tanager.
Perhaps they know it's almost time for the neotropical breeders to return.

Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Jones Beach Highlights - Dickcissel, YB Cuckoo, migrant songbirds, raptors, and sea ducks

2015-09-24 Thread Timothy Healy
Here's a full report from my morning at Jones Beach West End. A Dickcissel
was heard and seen yet again along the fisherman's road. I also encountered
a Yellow-billed Cuckoo at close range in the median, and it was last seen
flying into the bushes along the WE2 lot's northern edge. There was good
migrant activity in the early morning, with 10+ warbler species (many birds
were seen very briefly in poor conditions that hindered identification), my
first-of-fall kinglets (both Ruby- and Golden-crowned), Blue-headed and
Red-eyed Vireos, a very hungry Great Crested Flycatcher nabbing
butterflies, and a smattering of other passage birds. Phoebes, flickers,
and catbirds were the most conspicuous migrants apart from the large flocks
of Tree Swallows. Around mid-morning the raptors showed up to the party,
with ospreys, a harrier, a Cooper's Hawk, two kestrels, and a Peregrine all
out hunting. Two Merlins were seen, and although they weren't chasing a
meal one did divebomb the Peregrine. The dune ponds between WE2 and the TR
Center were totally dry and devoid of birds. The inlet held a male Surf
Scoter, a female Black Scoter, and a molting male eider. By midday the
activity had all but stopped and I headed home.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25155626

Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Jones Beach - Dickcissel, Philadelphia Vireo, Caspian Tern, 13 warbler species, and more

2015-09-14 Thread Timothy Healy
I spent just over five hours at Jones Beach this morning, from sunrise to
almost noon. It was very windy, but the weather was beautiful and bird
activity was very high in areas of cover and during breaks in the breeze.
The Dickcissel continues by the fisherman's road, heard several times just
after first light and seen flying once. The dune ponds are still hosting
Blue-winged Teal, Shoveler, a single Pectoral Sandpiper, both Yellowlegs,
and some peeps alongside geese and mallards. A Peregrine dove spectacularly
on the ponds several times, one of four seen today. All, along with two
Merlins and a Cooper's Hawk, were headed west. There were ten Lesser
Black-backed Gulls of varying age classes on the West End 2 lot, and I
heard several Bobolinks fly over when I was counting them. The median
featured decent activity, and when I crossed the road I found some birding
friends who had just seen a Philadelphia Vireo. I quickly got on the bird,
and it became apparent that there seemed to be two of them moving around
the area between the fisherman's path, the road, and the coast guard lot in
loose association. I had both birds in view on two occasions, but they were
constantly moving and chased each other a few times. A report of a Caspian
Tern on the sandbar sent me over to check, and I found three individuals
resting with the gulls and oystercatchers. Over the course of the morning,
I had Yellowthroat (8), Redstart (6), Prairie (3), Wilson's (2), Pine (2),
Tennessee, Blackpoll, Black-throated Blue (male), Nashville, Magnolia,
Palm, Black-and-white, and Yellow Warblers. I also just missed a Northern
Waterthrush in the early morning. In total, I encountered 61 species, many
of which gave crippling views and showed interesting behavior. Great day to
be out birding, and glad I got to see so many familiar faces out there.

Full checklist:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25030468

Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Nickerson Nighthawk and other barrier beach birds

2015-09-13 Thread Timothy Healy
Some highlights from evening birding today.

Jones Beach:
Male Surf Scoter close to shore at fisherman's path
Large foraging flock of Tree Swallows
Juvenile Peregrine
Several Blue-winged Teal on dune ponds
Prairie Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, Cedar Waxwing, and House Wren by Coast
Guard
Fledgling Eastern Towhees

Nickerson:
Large numbers of roosting gulls including continuing Lesser Black-backed
(near adult)
Skimmers and Common Terns remain with many fledglings
Black Terns roosting with colony up to 12
Flyby Dunlin flock
Common Nighthawk feeding at street lights by entrance

Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Jones Beach West End - Multiple Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Black Tern, Jetty peeps

2015-08-26 Thread Timothy Healy
I spent the last hours of daylight on the shore at Jones Beach West End
today. It was not intended as a birding trip, but I still managed to spy
some interesting visitors. The local breeders were out in force, with
several young Piping Plovers and Least Terns observed and Common Terns
still ferrying fish. Large resting flocks of Sanderlings and plenty of
feeding individuals were present, along with a few Black-bellied Plovers.
Down by the jetty, I spotted a non-breeding plumage Black Tern, obviously
dark-backed and short-tailed with a white forehead, flying around. A walk
out the jetty turned up several Semipalmated and Least Sandpipers along
with a Semipalmated Plover and a Spotted Sandpiper. Walking back to the lot
along the surf I encountered three(!) Lesser Black-backed Gulls. All were
2nd or 3rd cycle birds, with brown mixed into their dark slate-grey
upperparts. They were markedly smaller than the nearby Great BB's and
Herring Gulls, which provided an easy comparison to confirm my ID
suspicions.

Full Checklist:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24772814

Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area

2015-07-05 Thread Timothy Healy
I spent the afternoon at the OMNSA, spending time with the specialty birds
and other usual suspects. I heard a Clapper Rail and saw a Seaside Sparrow
late in the day just before the trails closed. Many birds (Osprey, Barn and
Tree Swallows, RW Blackbirds) are feeding young, and there were numerous
Willets, terns, gulls, egrets, night-herons, and ibis. Other birds of note
include Peregrine Falcon, two Semipalmated Sandpipers, and a Greater
Yellowlegs.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24160524

Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Sterling Stunners, Doodletown Delights, and a Franklin's Finish

2015-05-31 Thread Timothy Healy
The beautiful weather and late-month decline in migration activity prompted
Brendan Fogarty and me to pursue some breeders north of the city on
Saturday, May 30th. We began the day at Sterling Forest State Park, birding
the roads, forests, and clearings between Old Forge and Ironwood. We easily
caught up with every target we hoped to find at this location. Several
Golden-winged Warblers were heard and seen well as they flitted about,
joined by Blue-winged, Hooded, Cerulean, Worm-eating, Prairie, Blackpoll,
Black-throated Green, Black-and-white, Yellow, Yellowthroat, Ovenbird, and
Redstart. Both Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoos were encountered at
Ironwood, including a close, low flyby by a Black-billed. A vocal pair of
Red-shouldered Hawks and a raggedy youngster soared overheard, some crows
took issue with a passing raven, and a skittish Green Heron made a brief
appearance. Many Indigo Buntings were seen and heard, along with a few
Field Sparrows. Veery and Wood Thrush were heard singing, alongside forest
regulars like tanagers, vireos, orioles, gnatcatchers, and the like. On the
non-avian side of things, we encountered Red-Spotted Purple and Giant
Swallowtail butterflies, as well as many smaller species and an abundance
of dragonflies.

Our next stop was Doodletown, which proved equally productive. The
continuing Kentucky Warbler was exceedingly cooperative, singing loudly and
proudly when we joined Andrew Baksh at its territory and perching
unobstructed on a branch for a short time. Hooded, Cerulean, and
Blue-winged Warblers were singing in abundance, and we got great views of
all three species. Five Yellow-billed Cuckoos were heard throughout the
hike, and most of them showed decently. We picked up a handful of new
species for the day here, including Louisiana Waterthrush, Yellow-throated
Vireo, and Black Vulture.

Riding high on our good fortunes, we decided to head up to Blue Chip Farms
to make an attempt for Upland Sandpiper. Although we found a number of
birders from the NYC/Long Island area also searching on the roadside, we
failed to catch a glimpse of any Uppies. Bobolinks were a fine consolation
prize, displaying throughout the fields, and we also picked up meadowlarks
and Killdeer. We turned the car towards home, planning to hit Plumb Beach
as a final stop. The only bird of note on the drive was a flyover kestrel
while we fought the congested roads of Manhattan.

We survived the city's traffic and arrived at Plumb Beach with little more
than an hour of sunlight left. We hastily made our way down the beach to
the east end, where we found abundant gulls and shorebirds flocking. After
some careful scanning, we successfully managed to pick the continuing
Franklin's Gull out of the throng of Laughers. We enjoyed watching it feed
and fly about in the evening light as more birds gathered on the sand. I
scored my first of spring Least Tern and Black Skimmers, alongside
lingering Brant, a flyover Greater Scaup, and a noisy Greater Yellowlegs.
Willet, Oystercatchers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, and Sanderlings rounded
out the shorebird representation. Bringing our fantastic outing to a close
on a high note, we headed to the parking lot, where we were treated to a
good night song from a Yellow Warbler as the sun dipped below the horizon.

Full checklists below:
Sterling Forest - http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S23715423
Doodletown - http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S23715476
Blue Chip - http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S23715485
Plumb Beach - http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S23715505

Cheers!
-Tim H

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[nysbirds-l] Hempstead Lake - Light on Warblers, Heavy on Waterbirds, Quality for both

2015-05-11 Thread Timothy Healy
Hempstead Lake State Park had an interesting variety of critters out and
about today. Frogs and turtles were sunning themselves in abundance, and
there were three large SNAPPING TURTLES seen. Chipmunks are out, and about
joining the local squirrels. Plenty of vireos (Warbling and Red-eyed),
swallows, orioles, blackbirds, flycatchers (Great Crested and Kingbird),
and gnatcatchers were present. Lots of territorial defense and males
chasing each other. Warbler diversity was low: a few Yellows, an unseen
CHESTNUT-SIDED who was heard singing only once, and a very active and
conspicuous BLACKPOLL WARBLER. As I walked the grassy area between the
south lake and the small pond, I was surprised to see a tern gracefully
floating south, vaguely along Peninsula Blvd. I was more surprised to see
that it was fairly large and stocky, very pale, with a short, streamer-less
tail. I realized it was something a bit out of the ordinary and glimpsed a
dark bill as the bird veered away: GULL-BILLED TERN. It was quickly lost
from sight as it flew over the tree tops, no doubt headed back to the
coast. I walked to the road and scanned the usual flock of gulls, finding
Herring, Great Black-backed, Ring-billed, and a single LAUGHING GULL. There
was a handful of FORSTER'S TERNS flying over the water beyond them, so I
took the eastern lake edge trail and got some closer views of them and
several Ospreys. Also witnessed a scuffle between some Tree Swallows and a
Hairy Woodpecker who attempted to enter their nest hole. I checked out the
hidden, vegetation-choked pond as a final stop and found a handsome male
WOOD DUCK before heading home.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S23386429

-Tim Healy

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[nysbirds-l] South Shore Spring Stunners - Jones Beach, Hempstead Lake, Valley Stream 5/4

2015-05-04 Thread Timothy Healy
The consecutive nights of favorable winds this weekend got a lot of birds
moving, and I think it's safe to say that the migration pinata has finally
cracked over Long Island. I started at Jones Beach West End early this
morning, and spent a few hours working the median and shoreline. Gannets,
scoters, and loons are still present, but spring is gaining ground at the
beach. Piping Plovers were seen copulating at the swale, and the Common
Terns have re-terned in force, feeding in large flocks off the mouth of the
inlet. Songbird movement was good this morning and the median feature a
variety of flashy arrivals. Multiple Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, a male
Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Eastern Kingbird, Blue-headed Vireo, and seven
warblers (Magnolia, Yellowthroat, N. Waterthrush, Parula, Black-and-white,
Yellow, Yellow-rump) made for a fantastic start to the day. Among the other
birds present were swifts, grackles, thrashers, catbirds, towhees, and a
variety of sparrows. The total was 67 species, a great improvement over the
past few days when making 50 was an accomplishment.

The second stop for the day was Hempstead Lake State Park. Two Turkey
Vultures were seen over the Southern State Parkway while en route. I didn't
stay here long due to news of action at Valley Stream, but I was able to
pick up some spring firsts in the form of singing Prairie and
Black-throated Green Warblers. The gnatcatcher pair I've been keeping up
with has finished nest construction, and the female is neatly tucked into
the cup. I also heard a Baltimore Oriole chatter as I was heading to my car.

Valley Stream State Park lived up to the hype described previously on the
listserv, though I unfortunately failed to relocate the reported Hooded
Warbler. I did however find eleven other warbler species while combing the
park for over an hour, along with plenty of other goodies. A stunning male
Black-throated Blue was the highlight of the visit, as it was feeding and
moving about unobstructed along the eastern stream. I witnessed aggressive
behavior between some Northern Waterthrushes, chasing each other around at
the western stream. A male Magnolia was seen bathing nearby, and a
Yellowthroat and Yellow-rump followed suit later. I added several Ovenbirds
to the day's list here, along with Black-and-Whites, Parulas, Yellows,
Yellow-rumps, a Prairie, and a Palm. Orioles have arrived here as well,
including several beautiful males. I finished up my circuit with 81 species
under my belt. All in all, a very successful outing. Detailed checklists
below.

JB - http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S23225661
HL - http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S23225922
VS - http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S23226083

-Tim Healy

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[nysbirds-l] 5/1 Worm-eating Warbler at Hempstead Lake

2015-05-01 Thread Timothy Healy
I refound yesterday's Worm-eating Warbler today in the tangled woods
alongside the dog walk area at Hempstead Lake SP a bit after 2 pm. Actively
feeding at eye level and close range, in loose association with some
chickadees and gnatcatchers. Very cooperative, led to great views, and the
bird even trilled a few times for comparison with the nearby Chipping
Sparrows. Not much else of note apart from the regulars: virtually
warbler-less apart from copious Yellow-rumps and a briefly-and-barely-heard
snippet of probable Black-and-white Warbler song. Gnatcatchers and
goldfinches were observed with nesting material, and I located one of the
gnatcatcher nests.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S23163088

-Tim Healy

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[nysbirds-l] Jones Beach 4/29 - New Arrivals

2015-04-29 Thread Timothy Healy
Overall numbers were generally somewhat low this afternoon at the West End,
but the scope of species was quite good. Notable spring firsts included
gorgeous male Magnolia and Blue-winged Warbler in the median and by the
Coast Guard station, respectively. These were joined by Yellow-rumps,
Yellows, and Northern Parulas in their foraging, along with a guest
appearance by a Blue-headed Vireo. Thrashers and towhees made strong
showings, and it was a great day for sparrows (Savannah, Field, Song,
White-throated, Chipping, and Swamp). Singles were seen of Indigo Bunting,
Eastern Meadowlark, Hermit Thrush, and a lingering junco. I was able to
make out a lone gannet in the heat shimmer offshore, while Sanderlings,
Piping Plovers, and oystercatchers worked the beach. A small flock of
Glossy Ibis flew in from the west and touched down in the dunes at the
hidden pond. Two breeding plumage Common Loons and two juveniles remain in
the boat basin, and a Red-throated was seen flying by. Other sightings were
mostly the usual suspects.However, the southerly winds brought hundreds of
cormorants streaming overhead. It was a spectacle, but there was no sign of
unusual visitors among them.

http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S23131015

-Tim Healy

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