Another great day on Long Island!

 

IMG_1650I met Tom Burke and Gail Benson on Long Island this morning to seek out the birds that I haven’t seen yet this year and conduct a “Sea Watch” from Cupsogue. We started out in Calverton just off the Grumman Airport where Tom and Gail already found the BLUE GROSBEAKS! (above) These beautiful birds showed very well! From there, we headed to Cupsogue to try for more birds and conduct a “Sea Watch” for pelagic type birds. We started in the marsh and almost immediately heard at least three CLAPPER RAILS! Though they vocalized most of our time there, we never caught a glimpse. Tom heard a SEASIDE SPARROW  sing and it didn’t take long before we spotted it. We would see a couple and hear yet another this morning. The next nice find was a group of at least five RED KNOTS! We think there were actually more, but they were mixed in a tremendous flock of shorebirds including many Ruddy Turnstones, Black-bellied Plovers and Semipalmated Sandpipers. We then went to the beach to do the sea watch. Tom almost immediately spotted a SOOTY SHEARWATER! He would spot several more during the day! They were almost immediately followed by two PARASITIC JAEGERS! Both of these birds can be tough from land and I was really glad to get them! We also had many Common Loons, Common Terns, Gulls and Northern Gannets. Once things quieted down a bit on the Ocean, we headed back to the marsh. Tom had heard SALTMARSH SPARROWS earlier, (below) but we failed to spot any. This time around we managed to track one down and it perched up nicely for some photos. It was a great morning with Tom and Gail and I managed to get seven new year birds, some of them quite special!

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