Second SNOWY!

The second Snowy Owl in as many days. Black Dirt Region, Orange County NY 11/27/13.
The second Snowy Owl in as many days. Black Dirt Region, Orange County NY 11/27/13.

I got home early from work today, and as I was walking in the door I got a call from Rob Stone: A second SNOWY OWL had been located by Ken McDermott! In case you are thinking this is perhaps the same owl, Rob was out looking at the first Snowy Owl when Ken called him to say he had a second one! Incredible birding days in Orange County!  I zipped right over to check out the bird and snap some photos. Thanks again to Rob and of course, Ken who located the bird.

I also went to check on the first owl (which I did not locate), but thanks to fellow birder Maria (sorry I did not catch her last name), I was able to finally get some decent Snow Bunting photos:

Snow Bunting in the Black Dirt Region, Orange County NY, 11/27/13.
Snow Bunting in the Black Dirt Region, Orange County NY, 11/27/13.
Snow Bunting in the rain. Black Dirt Region 11/27/13.
Snow Bunting in the rain. Black Dirt Region 11/27/13.

 

 

Northern Shrike Continues 11/11/13

Northern Shrike in the distance. Lower Wisner Road in Warwick, 11/11/13.
Northern Shrike in the distance. Lower Wisner Road in Warwick, 11/11/13.

I was happy I ran into Judy Cinquina this evening. It’s always good to see Judy, she is one of my favorite people, but tonight it was especially nice because she relocated the Northern Shrike while we were out on Lower Wisner Road in Warwick NY. What a great bird, I was so happy to get a better look and to be able to at least take some documentary photographs of the bird. I’ve said it before, but, I REALLY hope this bird sticks around!

The bird was located in the two taller trees a 150-200 yards south of the parking pull over area on Lower Wisner Road.

Bergen County American Avocet

_MG_3494After work today, I drove over to the Clay Avenue Wetlands, located in Lyndhurst NJ. I had received a rare bird alert email from eBird, indicating that an American Avocet had been seen at the wetlands. The bird was easily located and what a beautiful bird it is! Unfortunately the bird was pretty heavily backlit and there are not many spots to view the birds from, which made taking photos difficult. I am not really thrilled with the above photo for various reasons, but I had to post this awesome bird. I hope to get back in the morning when the sun will be at my back. Stay tuned for more photos.

Here’s one more from today: _MG_3429

Long-billed Dowitchers Continue

It was not a great night for photos, but it was good to see that the pair of LBDOs continue out at 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary 10/10/13.
It was not a great night for photos, but it was good to see that the pair of LBDOs continue out at 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary 10/10/13.

Tonight at 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary, the two Long-billed Dowitchers continue in the small pond to the south of the Heritage Trail. Additional shorebirds included 11 Lesser Yellowlegs and 4 Pectoral Sandpipers. I also enjoyed a decent showing of waterfowl with Canada Geese, Mallards, Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, a single American Black Duck and a single Northern Pintail.

I also tried something new for me tonight: I wore camouflage. I’ve heard many photographers talk about how effective camouflage is for photographing wildlife, and tonight I experienced it for the first time. While shooting Yellow-rumped Warblers, I noticed that the birds seemed far less likely to flush. Also, while shooting the two Dowitchers, 10 Lesser Yellowlegs flew in and landed between myself and the Dowitchers – pretty darn close really. It’s only one outing, but it does appear to make a difference.

Yellow-rumped Warbler at 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary, 10/10/13.
Yellow-rumped Warbler at 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary, 10/10/13.
One of 11 Lesser Yellowlegs seen today at 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary.
One of 11 Lesser Yellowlegs seen today at 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary.
I had to wait for this LBDO to do some scratching to get a shot with his bill completely out of the water.
I had to wait for this LBDO to do some scratching to get a shot with his bill completely out of the water.

 

 

Dowitcher Update

_MG_2013As of 5:30 this evening (10/5), the two Dowitchers at 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary continue. The consensus is that these birds are in fact Long-billed Dowitchers. I sent John Haas over 20 photos last night and he re-located the birds this morning to get a look himself. John feels that these are Long-billed Dowitchers – see his comment in my original post about these birds and go to his blog to see his post. Both are interesting and informative – well worth clicking over to. I also posted on the NY Birders Facebook page and all comments have been supporting LBDO.

Between these two birds and the Black Scoters located by Bruce Nott, it has been great weekend of birding!

BLACK SCOTERS in Orange County

Thirteen Black Scoters at Lake Washington today, 10/5/13.
Thirteen Black Scoters at Lake Washington today, 10/5/13.

Huge thanks and congratulations to Bruce Nott who located thirteen Black Scoters on Lake Washington today. Bruce gave me a call, as did John Haas to alert me about the birds. Luckily, Tricia and I were in Beacon and were able to stop by our way home. We got very good looks in Bruce’s scope and I was able to take a few photos that are distant and backlit, but still helpful I think. Thanks again Bruce – nice one!

One more shot of the Black Scoters that Bruce Nott located on Lake Washingon, 10/5/13.
One more shot of the Black Scoters that Bruce Nott located on Lake Washingon, 10/5/13.

Buff-breasted Sandpipers Continue – 9/25/13

I got a couple of closer photos tonight, but unfortunately it wasn't until the sun had gone over the horizon. Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Missionland Rd, 9/25/13.
I got a couple of closer photos tonight, but unfortunately it wasn’t until the sun had gone over the horizon. Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Missionland Rd, 9/25/13.

I stopped by Missionland road tonight around 6:15 and the three Buff-breasted Sandpipers continue. Here’s one more noisy shot (both shots were taken at ISO 3200):

BBSA at Missionland Road, 9/25/13.
BBSA at Missionland Road, 9/25/13.

 

Buff-Breasted Sandpiper 9/23/13

A distant shot of 2 of 3 Buff-breasted Sandpipers out at Missionland Road 9/23/13.
A distant shot of 2 of 3 Buff-breasted Sandpipers out at Missionland Road 9/23/13.

This evening at around 5:50 pm I had three Buff-breasted Sandpipers on the west side of Missionland Road, right across from Gurda Street.  This is a life bird for me, huge thanks go out once again to Rob Stone for locating and posting – it is appreciated!

One more distant and heavily cropped shot.
One more distant and heavily cropped shot, Buff-breasted Sandpipers at Missionland Road, 9/23/13.

Upland Sandpiper!

Tonight at Skinner Lane I had two UPLAND SANDPIPERS. Unfortunately, the birds were out too far for photos, so you can click here for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology page on Upland Sandpipers or here for Google images of the bird.

I went out birding on this rainy day in search of the Willet that Rob Stone had found the day before at Wallkill River NWR. I actually ran into Rob at the refuge where we walked the loop but had no luck with the Willet. From there I headed over to Skinner Lane. There was not much going on in the field that has recently had the pools of rain water, just some Killdeer and what I’m thinking were Least Sandpipers. A few fields later on the left side I saw a couple of interesting looking birds. When I got my scope on one, it appeared to be an Upland Sandpiper, with its long neck, shortish bill, and small head. It was walking in the short grass along the edge of longer grasses, ducking into the longer grasses from time to time. Rob Stone showed up after a while and enjoyed good looks at the bird and then and located a second Upland Sandpiper. Awesome night for me – life bird!

Yellow-crowned Night-heron in Orange County

Yellow-crowned Night Heron, found by Bruce Nott at ...8/21/13.
Yellow-crowned Night-heron, found by Bruce Nott at Masterson Memorial Park, 8/21/13.

I just barely made it. I received a couple phone calls during the day, one from John Haas and then another from Curt McDermott, letting me know that Bruce Nott had found a YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON at Masterson Memorial Park in New Windsor NY. I was told that this is only the second recorded observation of this bird in Orange County! I arrived at the park a couple minutes before 4:00 and as I pulled in a park employee informed me that the park was closing. I jumped out of my car without really saying proper hellos to John, Bruce and Ken McDermott who were all there observing the bird. Bruce got me on the bird in my scope and I was happy that I didn’t miss it. Bruce then chatted with the park employee long enough for me to click a few photos. On my way out I noticed that you could still see the bird from the road. Not only that, it was definitely closer than where we were before. I parked my car up the street, walked back and took a bunch photos from the roadside. I am not thrilled with the results, but I did manage few decent shots.  The bird was still quite distant, so all of these photos are heavily cropped. Huge thanks to John, Curt, and, of course Bruce – what a bird!

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