Black Brant at Timber Point Country Club


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 decided to check out Timber Point Country Club this evening while on my way home from work. I know Timber is a "honey hole" for Brant as I rarely fail to find them during their wintering months on Long Island. That Black Brant must have traveled here from nearby Hecksher. I pulled in around 5:15 and noted a fairly sizable flock of Brant, estimated at about 800, feeding behind the main building. "Here we go!"

I posted up patiently and watched as the flock shuffled and foraged on the open grass. They were feeding tightly, as Brant normally do, so detailing is not always that easy. Every now and then they would synchronously pop their heads up and check me out. I picked one out with a thicker, more complete white collar that looked really good. Eventually, the Black Brant came into view. Pardon the shaky images. These iPhone digiscope images were taken in high wind from quite a distance with my Meopix adapter and Meostar S2 Scope. The lighting had darkened considerably and conditions were not ideal for photographs. Regardless, I managed some decent record shots. Note the nearly complete white collar that wraps around the neck, black apron that extends past legs, bright white upper tail coverts and slightly darker above than the Pale-bellied (Atlantic) Brant. It was fairly easy to pick out this bird among the more common Pale-bellied but I must say it is a chore, especially when they are feeding so tightly.
Black Brant at Timber Point C.C. in Great River, 4/1/13 - distant iScope image with Meopix Adapter and Meostar S2 


Black Brant at Timber Point C.C. in Great River, 4/1/13 - distant iScope image with
 Meopix Adapter and Meostar S2
I returned to Timber Point Country Club on the afternoon of 4/2/13, around 5:30 PM to have another look at this bird. The weather conditions on 4/1 were rather poor with heavy NW wind, cold temperatures and occasional drizzle. I wanted to see this bird in better lighting. The conditions were much better than the previous day's and the large flock of Brant continued behind the main building at the Golf Course. Despite the golf activity, the flock of Brant carried on about their business. The Black Brant showed nicely in the setting sunlight and I managed some more iScope shots with my Meopta set up. 

Black Brant iScoped with Meostar S2 Spotting Scope and Meopix Adapter at Timber
Point Country Club in Great River, NY on 4/2/13. Not the black apron that extends well
and boldly down birds chest and stomach and eventually past the extent of its legs. Thick,
     nearly completely connected white collar also diagnostic.


Black Brant iScoped with Meostar S2 Spotting Scope and Meopix Adapter at Timber
Point Country Club in Great River, NY on 4/2/13. Classic frontal view of black apron.







Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Female Eurasian Wigeons - What To Look For

Puerto Rico Trip - January 13-22, 2012

Leach's Storm-Petrels in New York State