When Life Gives You Lemons…

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~A Seaside Sparrow calling at Gardiner County Park, 6/5/16.~

…make lemonade. An embroidered version of this saying hung above the  front door in our house growing up. I never really understood it as a kid, probably because at that age, I really loved lemons and would eat them straight. I can remember going to restaurants as a kid and eating the lemons from everyone’s drinks. A lot has changed since then – I don’t eat lemons anymore, and I understand the saying.

John Haas and I were scheduled to attend an overnight pelagic birding trip out of Brooklyn. We were supposed to set sail at 8:00 pm on Sunday, but the incoming bad weather was putting the trip in jeopardy. John suggested that we leave early in the day, this way we would beat the southbound traffic, and we could also do some birding on Long Island before the trip. Well, as you can guess, the trip was ultimately cancelled, but I’m glad we went down early, because at least we got in some quality birding before having to eventually head back north.

We made three stops and did pretty well at all of them. Our first stop was at Smith Point County Marina where we got very lucky; we arrived and there was already another birder on our target bird, a previously reported BLACK-NECKED STILT. The bird was distant but still we had great looks in our scopes and took some documentary photos. Our second stop was Gardiner County Park, where we saw both Seaside and Saltmarsh Sparrows. The Saltmarsh Sparrow was a life bird for me, which was exciting, but, of course they wouldn’t cooperate for photos. Meanwhile, I did get some decent shots of one of the Seaside Sparrows. Our final stop was at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, where we went to chase a White-face Ibis that had been reported earlier in the day. When we arrived at the southeast section of the East Pond the bird had just flown, but we waited and in due time, the bird came back, flying in with a group of approximately 35 Glossy Ibis. We also walked out to the West Pond where our best birds were a couple of Little Blue Herons on the ocean side of the trail.

It was disappointing to have the trip canceled; I have really been looking forward to it for a while, but on the bright side I got to do some fun birding with John, which included one life bird and several new birds for my New York State list. And, it looks like they are trying to reschedule the pelagic trip for next weekend… fingers crossed that they get enough folks  and we can go.

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~What a good looking bird. Black-necked Stilt at Smith Point County Marina, 6/5/16.~
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~Forster’s Tern in flight at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, 6/5/16.~
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~White-face Ibis (left) and Glossy Ibis (right), at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, 6/5/16. The size difference between these two birds is evident event this very distant photo.~
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~A young Little Blue Heron hunts at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, 6/5/16.~

5 thoughts on “When Life Gives You Lemons…”

  1. Thanks for helping make it a great day in spite of the cancelation! Your shot of the Forster’s Tern is just great! John

    1. Now you are pushing it John, ha ha. But, thanks I was pretty happy considering the conditions. Great day. Matt

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