Showing posts from February, 2012

Smith Point County Park - February 26, 2012

Sunday was a gorgeous day to cruise the Smith Point County Park outer beach in search of avian life. The northwest wind made for calm viewing conditions on the ocean, and I was hoping that the previous days of strong winds would force some ocean goers closer inshore. The dune blocked any bit of blowing cold and the sun was warm enough to fool one to a Spring day. Despite my hopes, the ocean was very quiet and lacked bird numbers and diversity. I had good views of Black and Surf Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Horned Grebe, Common and Red-throated Loons and Red-breasted Mergansers. The photo below was taken near my home in Sayville on the Great South Bay. I included it as a reference for the Long-tailed Duck. You can see how it got its name. Formerly called an "oldsquaw" the need for political correctness has this beauty renamed. Red Knots

The most exciting birds at Smith Point today were 2 Red Knots foraging along the inside of the West Jetty at Moriches Inlet. While knots are not…

Pink-Footed Goose in Holtsville, New York

At 4:45 PM on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 I found a Pink-footed Goose foraging in a soccer field in Holtsville. I was heading west on the Long Island Expressway, getting ready to merge right onto the Nichols Road exit, when I noticed a sizable flock of Canada Geese occupying a soccer field along the North Service Road of the Expressway. Of course, I had to turn around to detail the flock, as any responsible and persevering birder might do. The reason we detail canada goose flocks, other than to count them, is in hopes to find a rarity within the mix, in this case the Pink-footed Goose.

I pulled off the Nichols Road exit, got back on the Expressway, this time on the South service Road, and made a left on Blue Point Road. I then turned left onto the North Service road and the field quickly appeared on my right. The map below shows the exact field. For your reference,the main road running North/South to the east of the field is Blue Point Road. I parked on the right hand side of the LIE …

Nature Conservancy Trip to Colombia

A Delightful Surprise
It's tough to figure out where I should start. During late afternoon on Wednesday, February 1st, I received a phone call from my Chapter Director inviting me to join 9 intrepid travelers on a trip to Colombia. The catch was that the trip's departure was on Saturday, February 4th! Can I really be ready to leave for Colombia in two days? Excited and speechless, I made a few phone calls and quickly firmed my eligibility for this excursion. I spent most of Thursday and Friday making phone calls, booking flights and car rides, and most importantly, trying to find any decent guide to the birds of Columbia. I could not locate one online seller that would overnight me a book. Frantic, I finally realized that I should call Michael Scheibel, friend and colleague at The Nature Conservancy. Of course Mike had the exact book that I was targeting, "A Guide to The Birds of Colombia," by Steven Hilty and William L. Brown. The majority of the book was illustrate…