Showing posts from March, 2012

Purple Sandpiper


 I decided to go birding at Jones Beach, West End, this morning. The sky was overcast which made for perfect viewing. I began my loop trek along the East Side of Jones Inlet. Hundreds of Northern Gannets were plunge diving inside the inlet making for excellent, detailed viewing. Common and Red-throated Loons were beneath the feeding frenzy. I headed south along the jetty in hopes to see a Purple Sandpiper. Knowing that there was a decent ESE swell, I figured my chances of viewing a purple would be along the protected inlet side of the jetty. As I continued south, I noticed an approximately 30 individual flock of shorebirds burst off the jetty, regroup in the air, and land within the inside of the rocks. I knew they had to be purples. I've seen plenty of Red Knots foraging and roosting along jetties but these guys landed in low and deep, right along the water edge. I was still several hundred yards from the birds but my scope immediately picked up on a group of Purple…

A Visitor From Sable Island, Nova Scotia

Savannah "Ipswich" Sparrow

This morning, I joined friends Mike and Lynne Scheibel at Point Lookout Town Beach for a brief bird outing. Diversity was somewhat low all around. The first jetty yeilded several numbers of our common gull species. Four Harlequin Ducks were a nice surprise but are always fairly reliable at this location. We made our way east toward the inlet, the usual suspects continued. Horned Grebes were gaining some color as the early signs of the breeding season were apparant in their plumage.
While scanning the inlet, Mike called out, "Ipswich." He located the sparrow about 30 feet from us on the jetty of which we were standing. The Ispwich variety of the Savannah Sparrow is one of my favorite of the sparrow species. While not entirely uncommon on Long Island, or the coastal Northeast, you will very rarely see an Ipswich sparrow inland.

The Ispwich Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis princeps) is one of many subspecies of the widespr…