Long Island – end to end

Northern Gannett flying low over the waves at Montauk Point

Northern Gannett flying low over the waves at Montauk Point

Iceland Gull at Montauk Harbor

Iceland Gull at Montauk Harbor

four of the five Harlequin Ducks at the Point Lookout Jetties 1/30/13

four of the five Harlequin Ducks at the Point Lookout Jetties 1/30/13

Renee Davis, Marge Gorton and I spent two days hitting all the hot spots on Long Island trying to pick up many of the great birds that have been being seen. We started out at Point Lookout Jones Beach on Wednesday morning. We walked out to the jetties in high winds, but it was worth it. Our best birds were 5 HARLEQUIN DUCKS. They have not been regularly reported here this winter and we weren’t expecting them. We had 2 NORTHERN GANNETS, 20 COMMON EIDER and an unexpected Semipalmated Plover. Other expected species were Sanderling, Horned Grebe, Common Loon, Long-tailed Duck, Red-breasted Merganser and Brant. From Point Lookout we moved to Jones Beach West End. On the sandy spit we had 1 AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER, DUNLIN and BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER numbering hundreds of birds. We finally connected with 3 RED CROSSBILLS! From there we headed east. Our next stop was St. Charles Cemetery. We were fortunate enough to have a flock of about 50 Canada Geese fly in right after our arrival. It contained the BARNACLE GOOSE. From there we headed to Montauk. It was late by the time we arrived, so we checked into our Hotel. We stayed at the Ocean Beach Resort in Montauk. It is a very nice place, clean, comfortable and warm! After dinner we went out to Camp Hero where we called owls. We had a beautiful red-phase Eastern Screech-owl come right in. He posed in the glow of our headlights, giving great looks. Back to the hotel for a good night sleep. Up early, we met high winds and driving rain. We decided to wait it out, and by 8 am, it had cleared up. A beautiful morning at the point. We went directly there where we ran into Peter Polshek. He had already seen many of our targets and thanks to him, we were able to get on a DOVEKIE that he spotted and directed us to. Great find! Thanks Peter! Other great birds included Razorbills, Northern Gannets and Bonaparte’s Gulls. Other good birds included all three Scoters, Long-tailed Duck, Common and Red-throated Loon, Horned Grebe and Common Eiders. Peter gave us some good pointers for some other target birds. We headed over to Montauk Harbor where we had a ICELAND GULL and Great Cormorant. From there we went to Napeague Harbor where we easily found “Larry” the Lesser Black-backed Gull. On to Hook Pond. We found no birds there, but were familiar with fields on Further Lane where we found 6 Greater White-fronted Geese and a Snow Goose among the many Canada Geese. On to Dune Road. We passed Mill Pond where we found little other than a juvenile BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON. Dune Road produced few birds. An American Bittern was the only good find. On to the Eastport Ponds. Here we had many ducks. Canvasback, Redhead, Greater and Lesser Scuap, Ring-necked Duck, American Coot, Ruddy Ducks and all the expected species. We then headed west to start back to Sullivan County. Our misses for the trip included the Ross’ Goose and Cackling Geese. We had ended our trip with 65 species, having had a great trip!
YTD: 123

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2 Responses to Long Island – end to end

  1. matthewzeitler says:

    What a great couple of days! I feel like I need to head down to LI to visit my family and see some birds!

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