Cupsogue Long Island

Roseate Terns (two in middle) at Cupsogue 6/23/13

Roseate Terns (two in middle) at Cupsogue 6/23/13

Red-necked Phalarope, Cupsogue, Long Island

Red-necked Phalarope, Cupsogue, Long Island

Transitional Black Tern

Transitional Black Tern

Saltmarsh Sparrow

Saltmarsh Sparrow

This morning Renee Davis and I headed for eastern Long Island with hopes of our state Arctic Tern. We arrived at 8am and of course I had the tides wrong again. It didn’t really matter, as the tides were now going out and it was just a matter of waiting them out. The most amazing thing to me was that after having just found both SALTMARSH and SEASIDE SPARROWS , the very next bird I spotted at the end of spit was the breeding plumage RED-NECKED PHALAROPE! While this bird was on my target list for the day, I didn’t really expect to find it. Shortly after 9 am, we were joined by Bob Adamo. It was nice to finally meet this gentleman whom I’ve read about for years. As the tide receded, I waded across the flats to see what great birds I could find. As I made the half way mark, two beautiful ROSEATE TERNS passed overhead calling continuously. Both Renee and Bob were able to see them from shore. Bob eventually crossed and joined me, thrilled to hear that I had just relocated the Red-necked Phalarope. He had great looks at the bird. Besides the Phalarope, I found three Black Terns. Two in transitional plumage and one in full breeding plumage. The terns were soon flushed by a family picnicking on the island. That is when I found 3 ROSEATE TERNS, which unfortunately flew off. As Bob and I scanned the terns, Jeff Ritter and Eric Miller arrived. I informed them of what we had had and they were able to see most of the birds. A short time later, the Roseate Terns returned and I was able to get some decent photos of them. At that point I went back to shore and convinced Renee that she could make it out, which we both did, having many more good looks at the birds. We spent 4 1/2 hours scanning the terns and never found an Arctic. Upon leaving the Cupsogue flats, we went to Connetquot State Park to try for the Yellow-throated Warbler. Bob had informed us that he thought he was the last one to have seen it on Thursday. When we arrived, the lady there informed us that indeed it hadn’t been seen since Thursday. We went to all the spots she told us about, but had no success. All in all, it was a great day and we had some birds we hadn’t seen in several years. It was also nice to get to bird with the group of guys I mentioned above. We had a total of 50 species. Additional highlights: Rednots, Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Ruddy Turnstones etc. I have to admit, I was surprised at the numbers of shorebirds present today. We later learned that Eric Miller had indeed picked out a juvenile Arctic Tern, glad they got to see one, maybe next time for us.

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2 Responses to Cupsogue Long Island

  1. matthewzeitler says:

    Nice photo of the Red-necked Phalarope, and I love the Black Tern too. I grew up on Long Island but never really birded there until the last couple of years when I made it out to Jones Beach a couple of times. Cupsogue seems like a great spot, I’ll have to get out there – it’s only 30 miles from my sister’s house.

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