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Showing posts from April, 2013

Red-necked Phalarope on Dune Road, Hampton Bays

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I had a conversation with Peter Polshek this morning about birds we've being seeing and, of course, birds we hope to see. At some point in the conversation I said, "I'd like to find a Red-necked Phalarope today" while reminiscing of last year's Mecox bird.

I had plans to meet friend Bruce Horwith and his brother Michael, who was in from Colorado, for a morning of birding in the Dune Road area. We started off at Road K. The tide was low and still receding and the flats were well exposed. Many usual suspects were in sight like Dunlin, Piping Plover, Black-bellied Plover and my first of season Willets. Moving on to Shinnecock Inlet, where we saw hundreds of mixed scoters stacked along the shoreline, some in flight, occupying much of the offshore action.

We doubled back to Dune Road and noted some nice flats exposed on the bay side across from Road L. We scoped across to the distant flats but it took some time to figure out that there was Red-necked Phalarope, tucke…

Yellow-throated Warblers on Long Island

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The Yellow-throated Warbler, Dendroica dominica, is the most handsome of its tribe. This is of course my own opinion and I've long debated which Dendroica might win the prize. The Dendroica genus undoubtedly contains an array of spectacular looking wood warblers. Blackburnian once held the number 1 spot, then Cerulean. But now I am convinced that the Yellow-throated Warbler is the most striking of them all.

Their name suits them quite well. They have a bright yellow throat that extends down the upper chest in an almost "bib-like" fashion. Notice the black face pattern that strongly contrasts with, and outlines, the upper yellow throat area. This, combined with slaty gray upper parts and some black flank streaking, makes for a great looking bird. 

Yellow-throated Warblers are still an uncommon sight on Long Island and in New York. Much of their breeding range is south and west of New York within New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where two known populations breed. The nominate,…

Black Brant at Timber Point Country Club

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I was on my way home from work this evening and decided to follow up on Pat Lindsay's reported Black Brant from yesterday. Pat had a single Black Brant among a flock of about 35 Pale-bellied (Atlantic) Brant at Hecksher State Park early yesterday afternoon. Well it just so happened that I as at Hecksher State Park yesterday morning and likely saw the same flock of Brant at a distance. I birded my way over to flock but they were gone. They warm Spring day had the park crawling with recreational activity and the birds eventually took off. "Oh well, they were probably all Pale-bellieds." Of course, a couple hours later the post came in about Pat's Black Brant, Branta bernicla nigricans.

I have yet to see this Pacific Coast subspecies and usually take the time to detail for them. Needless to say I was anxious to get back to Hecksher. I shot over right after the post but the Brant were gone and the rest of my day was filled with Easter plans. So as I was saying, I decide…