Thanks once again to an alert from Rob Stone, I got the chance to see approximately 40 American Golden-Plovers at the Pine Island Turf Nursery this evening. Earlier in the day he had 75! What a treat to see these beautiful birds, I even managed to get close enough for some decent photos (distant and heavily cropped, but useable!).
I also think that I had one Black-bellied Plover, here is a photo of that bird.
I also had two American Pipits and 4 Horned Larks while I was out there. The American Pipit is for some reason not a bird that is on my radar. When I saw these two birds, I did not know what they were. It was a case of shoot first and ask questions later. Unfortunately I did not get any quality photos of the birds. The following really should not be posted anywhere, but since it is a life bird for me…
**If you go to the Pine Island Turf Nursery, please stop in the office and ask permission to bird there. The people there are really nice.**
I also made a quick run through Turtle Bay Road, where I found three American Golden-Plovers and about 75 Killdeer.
I only have time for a quick post. I met Karen Miller over at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge yesterday evening where, to me, it was really beginning to feel like fall (in spite of the warm temperatures). We had some good ducks – many Mallards, some Green-winged Teals, and a single northern Shoveler. There were still some shorebirds present, including Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, and three Wilson’s Snipes. Green Herons are plentiful at the refuge right now for sure. Last week, we had eight (!) perched in one small tree! Here are some photos from the day, click on them to enlarge:
I have also made it out to the Mt. Peter Hawk Watch after work each night this week. It has been a slow week for me, in three visits I have a total of 4 migrating raptors (2 Sharp-shinned Hawks and 2 Osprey). Here’s a shot of one of the Turkey Vultures that hang out on the cell tower near the watch:
Hawk Watch Season officially began for me today; I made my first visit out to Mt. Peter Hawk Watch. Judy Cinquina was the official counter for the day, and while we did not have much action while I was there, she did count 135 migrating raptors for the day – mostly Broad-winged Hawks. To see details of today’s count, or to look up data from past years’ counts, go to Hawkcount.org. This site is a great resource; data from 275 hawk watches in North America can be found there. For daily counts and more raptor posts you can also check out and become a member of the Mt. Peter Facebook Group.
I spent the weekend with my family in the Poconos and did not do any birding to speak of. This morning, however, as Tricia and I were getting ready to head home, I received a text from Rob Stone – Black Tern at the Camel Farm. Luckily the bird was still present when we arrived in the early afternoon. We joined Ken McDermott and fellow Mearnser Lisa and got good looks in both the binoculars and in the scope. I snapped some distant photos – there was no way I was doing a third consecutive post with no photos! Thanks again to Rob Stone for the heads up on this one.