My New Blog

Greetings Friends,

Thank you for viewing my new blog page. I am currently in the very beginning stages of developing a blogspot page that is geared toward life and nature. I am certain that the end result will be pleasurable for all to view. You can expect to see a vast array of nature, wildlife, travel and fun as you explore my page. Stay tuned and thanks for checking in!!! Please note that there will be vast improvements done to this page and that you are the very first visitors of a larger effort on my behalf.

Today my brother Chris and I decided to go birding. We wanted to stick to the terrestrial side of things and took off toward Riverhead and the EPCAL area. EPCAL is the last largest remaining grassland on Long Island and is a birding hotspot as it is known to attract many grassland dependant species. Most of my excitement in heading east had much to do with a recent sighting, found by good friend and naturalist, Peter Priolo. Yesterday evening, Pete was detailing a group of Canada Geese on Eastport Pond in Eastport, NY. His keen eye was able to pick out a single Barnacle Goose! While records support more frequent sightings, the Barnacle Goose is known to be rare on Long Island. Six species of goose breed in North America and the Barnace Goose is NOT one of them. They breed mainly on the islands of the North Atlantic and three known populations currently exist; 1) in eastern greenland 2) Svalbard (Norway) and 3) Novaya Zemyla (Netherlands). Some of the discovered Barnacle Geese are escaped captives but there is a recent trend showing more wild Barnacle Geese wintering in our area. Thanks to Pete, Chris and I were able to get stunning view of the Barnacle Goose through my Vortex Razor HD. Chris and I had some other great birds throughout the day. These birds include Redhead, Canvasback, Ruddy Duck, Lesser Scaup, Mountain Bluebird, Savannah Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, Northern Harrier and Trumpeter Swan.
For photographs sake I want to breifly write about Kumlien's Iceland Gull. Yesterday I photographed an adult Kumlien's Iceland Gull just west of Iron Pier Beach in Riverhead (photo seen above). This is the third Iceland Gull that I have seen and photographed this winter. I found a 1st cycle and a 3rd cycle Iceland Gull at Moutauk Inlet on 12/10/11. "Cycle" refers to a birds annual molt, in which they replace old feathers with fresh new ones. Not all birds go through annual molt changes, like the Iceland Gull. Finally, I was able to see this Adult Iceland Gull, one who has completed all of its plumage molt cycles. Kumlieni refers to an Iceland Gull subspecies that breeds in Arctic Canada and it is a real special treat to see this gull down on Long Island. Like most Larus gulls, the iceland gull is an omnivore scavenger and can be seen picking through food just about anywhere. This particular bird was delicately pulling algea off of the rock that I photographed it on.


I hope you enjoyed the photos and were able to learn something about birds. My next post will probably be toward the end of my Puerto Rico trip. Elizabeth and I will be heading down there from 1/13-1/22. You will most likely see some site construction changes as well.

Best Wishes,
Derek

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