A wild couple of days!

Since my last post, I haven’t stopped moving for a moment. I will tell you the highlights. On Monday evening, Arlene Borko and I called NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS at the Summitville Hawk Watch site. We managed to call in two birds. Though we never got a visual, both birds called repeatedly. On Tuesday, I headed up county in Sullivan to try for some overdue waterfowl. I was very successful in finding a lot of species. Horned Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Common and Hooded Mergansers, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked and Ruddy Ducks and Green-winged Teal were all seen. Among the birds on Swan Lake was a female SURF SCOTER! My first this year in the county. I was moving around, trying to find a spot where I could get an identifiable photo of her when I got a call from Tom Burke informing me he had found a VIRGINIA’S WARBLER at Marshlands Conservancy in Rye! I flew the 105 miles down in just 90 minutes. The bird took an hour to show again. While I was able to see it, I just couldn’t get identifying looks. The bird disappeared again. Once again it took an hour before it showed again. This time I was in a better location and got good identifying looks at the bird! Once again it disappeared. I decided to wait it out a while longer, wanting a photo if I could get one. It didn’t show and I decided to leave, since someone else had gotten identifying shots of the bird. While I was there, I heard that a PINK-FOOTED GOOSE had been found on Long Island that morning. Food for thought for the next day. I made connections with Sean Sime in hopes he could let me know if the goose had returned (it flew out last night before dark). Sean texted me first thing this morning to let me know it was seen flying in right at dawn. I also heard last night that an ASH-THROATED FLYCACTHER had be seen on Staten Island. I headed right down to Nassau and was able to find the Pink-footed Goose immediately (New York State year bird #300!). I had already decided to go from there to the Marine Nature Center in Brooklyn to try for the Eurasian Wigeon which I had missed last week, but which has been seen every day since. I arrived there at the wrong tide, and no birds were present at all (fourth dip on this bird this year). I spoke with Sean and he informed me that Ash-throated Flycatcher was being seen again this morning. I headed to Staten Island. As soon as I arrived, I ran into Anthony Ciancimino and Shai Mitra. Shai informed us that he thought he had seen a glimpse of the bird and was checking the area where he had seen it. The bird eventually showed, and actually quite well and frequently. I was able to get some decent shots of it. It has been a whirl wind few days which has proved to be very productive!

The Pink-footed Goose at Hendrickson Park in Nassau County was my 300th New York State bird this year!

The Pink-footed Goose at Hendrickson Park in Nassau County was my 300th New York State bird this year!


A good shot of the Ash-throated Flycatcher at Wolf Pond Park on Staten Island.

A good shot of the Ash-throated Flycatcher at Wolf Pond Park on Staten Island.

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6 Responses to A wild couple of days!

  1. Congrats on breaking 300 John. Love the Pink-footed Goose shot, that’s such a great bird. Which was more exciting for you, the goose or the flycatcher?

  2. Thanks Matt! Definitely the flycatcher. My last Ash-throated was in 2004, and I only had one other before that. Believe it or not, I’ve had Pink-footed Goose quite a few times.

  3. Kathleen Ashman says:

    What a day you had, John, with five fabulous birds as well as breaking 300 hundred birds for the year in New York! Congratulations!

  4. Thanks Kathy! Its amazing how things can all seem to happen at once. There is still quite a bit of the year left and hopefully some more great birds!

  5. Karen Miller says:

    I’ll try this again, John. I’m quite impressed with your dedication and stamina to handle this level of birding. Your new vehicle is getting quite a workout. Congrats on surpassing the 300 mark!! Love the Ash-throated Flycatcher. Very pretty bird.

  6. Thanks Karen, very nice of you!

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