A Great day on Long Island

Gyrfalcon

Gyrfalcon

Drake Common Eider at Point Lookout

Drake Common Eider at Point Lookout

The Happy Camper Brigade on our way back to shore after viewing the Gyrfalcon

The Happy Camper Brigade on our way back to shore after viewing the Gyrfalcon

Gyrfalcon at Gilgo Beach 3/3/13

Gyrfalcon at Gilgo Beach 3/3/13

Today, Renee Davis, Lance Verderame, Scott Baldinger and I journeyed to Long Island seeking some of the great birds that have been being seen recently. We headed directly to Gilgo Beach where shortly after we arrived a falcon appeared on a distant Osprey platform. The bird was not on its favorite perch. It was so distant that though we ruled out most other possibilities, we could not be absolutely certain that it was the Gyrfalcon. After 45 minutes of no change in status, a boat ventured into the marina. Renee asked us all if we would be willing to hire it to take us out to the bird. We all agreed and she went over to the operators of the boat. In just a couple of minutes we all jumped on board, heading for the falcon. The two men on the boat were really nice and got us close enough to positively identify the bird as a GYRFALCON, get some identifiable pictures and not too close to flush it. After several minutes of viewing, a happy bunch of birders were heading back to shore. The bird was a lifer for both Lance and Scott, congrats to them. Satisfied with our sighting, we headed to other locations for more birds. Along the way we spotted four BOAT-TAILED GRACKLES. On to Jones Beach, we saw few birds at this location. A single female WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL the best bird seen. High tide left few birds on the spit at the Coast Guard Station. We then headed to Point Lookout for lunch and then a try for some target birds. While we saw some nice birds, we failed to locate the Harlequin Ducks Renee and I had a couple of weeks ago. Common Eiders, Common Loons, Horned Grebes and American Oystercatchers were some of the highlights at this spot. From there we went to Oak Beach to try for the Barrow’s Goldeneye. Though we found one raft of 2O Goldeneye, no Barrow’s was among them. We then headed north to Hecksher Park for our third try at Tufted Duck this winter. Though the bird was present all day yesterday, it was a no show today. In spite of missing some of our targets, we had a great day and a lot of fun! Here is our total trip list:

Red-throated Loon
Common Loon
Horned Grebe
Northern Gannet
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Canada Goose
Brant
Mute Swan
American Black Duck
Mallard
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup
Common Eider
Long-tailed Duck
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Northern Harrier
Cooper’s Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
GYRFALCON
Peregrine Falcon
Killdeer
Dunlin
Sanderling
American Oystercatcher
Herring Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove
American Crow
Blue Jay
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
American Tree Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE
WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL
House Sparrow

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