Suffolk County Long Island

Bill Fiero and I took a trip to Suffolk County Long Island on Monday 6/23/14. We had many target birds and though we missed a number of them, we had a great day. Our first stop was Cupsogue County Park. We arrived at 11 am an hour and a half before low tide. We were hoping for a number of species of terns. We spent considerable time combing through the roosting terns, but Common Tern (250) and LEAST TERN(60) were the only species found. We returned again a couple of hours later, but still nothing different. This was a real contrast to my trip at this time last year. Other highlights of the area were SEASIDE SPARROW, SALTMARSH SPARROW, American Oystercatcher, Glossy Ibis, PIPING PLOVER, and CLAPPER RAIL.

a breeding plumaged Sanderling at Cupsogue.

a breeding plumaged Sanderling at Cupsogue.

Other species seen included: Willet, Double-crested Cormorant, 4 gull species, Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone and Great and Snowy Egrets. From Cupsogue we headed to Montauk Point. Here we had more birds than I expected. 42 Black Scoters were a bit of a surprise to me. Also a surprise were two BONAPARTE’S GULLS! I just didn’t expect either of these birds in the summer. Passerines included Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Gray Catbird, Eastern Towhees and Bank Swallows. From there we went to Napeague State Park. We walked to the beach here where we found few birds. Along the road in, we did have a couple each of Field Sparrows and Prairie Warblers among the Song Sparrows and Eastern Towhees.

We ended the day at sunset on Napeague Meadow Road trying for our state CHUCK-WILLS-WIDOW. We had no birds calling until 8:45 when the first Whip-poor-will began singing, followed shortly afterward by another. We began driving the area where all the recent reports were generated. On Lazy Point Road, about half a mile from the intersection with Napeague Meadow Road, we had a Chuck-wills-widow singing loudly just off the road. Music to our ears! We drove around some more, finding a couple more Whips, but no more Chucks. We returned to the original spot and listened to the Chuck for several minutes before starting our four hour ride home! A great day!

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