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.

Which Dowitcher?

_MG_1962_MG_1939I had a pair of Dowitchers out at 6 1/2 Station Road Sanctuary this evening, between 5:00 and 6:00. I do not know whether they were Long-billed or Short-billed. I did hear them call, and my immediate thought was Long-billed, but I am not familiar enough with the calls to make a positive ID. Please comment if you get these birds or if you have any thoughts on the ID. Thanks!

10/5/13 – Here a several more shots of the birds from various angles. _MG_1846_MG_1852_MG_1870_MG_1913_MG_1949_MG_2056_MG_2064

 

Stilt Sandpiper?

_MG_1651I believe I had a Stilt Sandpiper out at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge between 5 and 6 o’clock this evening. I am feeling pretty good about this ID, but having only ever seen the bird once before, I am not totally convinced . If you have any thoughts on the identification of this bird please weigh in; you can make a comment here or email me at mattzeit@yahoo.com. Here are a few more photos: _MG_1669_MG_1611_MG_1615_MG_1608

Mt. Peter Hawk Watch – 9/28/13

A local Red-tailed Hawk flies right over the viewing platform at Mt. Peter Hawk Watch, 9/28/13.
A local Red-tailed Hawk flies right over the viewing platform at Mt. Peter Hawk Watch, 9/28/13.

Well, I had another slow day for migrating raptors at Mt. Peter Hawk Watch today. Overall I think the numbers of migrating hawks at the watch have been good this season, but I only had 21 today. Visit Hawkcount.org to see all the data for the year. Here is my report from today:

Mount Peter
Warwick, New York, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 28, 2013
——————————————————————-

Species            Day’s Count    Month Total   Season Total
—————— ———– ————– ————–
Black Vulture                0              0              0
Turkey Vulture               0              2              2
Osprey                       1            101            101
Bald Eagle                   1             71             71
Northern Harrier             2             26             26
Sharp-shinned Hawk           8            362            362
Cooper’s Hawk                0             21             21
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          1             20             20
Broad-winged Hawk            8           7591           7591
Red-tailed Hawk              0              6              6
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel             0             86             86
Merlin                       0              5              5
Peregrine Falcon             0              6              6
Unknown Accipiter            0              0              0
Unknown Buteo                0              3              3
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Falcon               0              1              1
Unknown Raptor               0             16             16

Total:                      21           8317           8317
———————————————————————-

Observation start time: 08:00:00
Observation end   time: 16:00:00
Total observation time: 8 hours

Official Counter:        Matt Zeitler

Observers:        Tom Millard

Visitors:
Steven Liss and family, several families eating their ice cream.

Weather:
A heavy fog rolled in from the valley shortly after my arrival to the
watch, but cleared up by the end of the first hour. It was a warm sunny day
with some clouds and a gentle NW breeze that shifted to NE during the fifth
hour of the watch. Temperatures ranged from 10 to 25 degrees Celsius.

Raptor Observations:
Migrating raptors included (1) Immature Bald Eagle, (2) unknown Northern
Harriers, and an immature Red-shouldered Hawk.
Non-migrating raptors: Turkey Vultures and Black Vultures were flying for
most of the day as was one local Red-tailed Hawk. Just before noon Eastern
Standard Time an immature Bald Eagle circled west of the viewing platform
but then headed north.

Non-raptor Observations:
Non-raptor species: Tufted Titmouse, Blue Jay (49), Black-throated Green
Warbler (2), Cedar Waxwing (18), Eastern Phoebe, Canada Goose (33), Chimney
Swift (5), Red-bellied Woodpecker, Palm Warbler.

Beautiful marking on this bird. Red-tailed Haw at Mt. Peter Hawk Watch, 9/28/13.
Beautiful marking on this bird. Red-tailed Haw at Mt. Peter Hawk Watch, 9/28/13.
I had a decent Blue Jay flight early in the day, with 49 Blue Jays, Mt. Peter Hawk Watch, 9/28/13.
I had a decent Blue Jay flight early in the day, with 49 Blue Jays, Mt. Peter Hawk Watch, 9/28/13.
I really think I should have gotten a better shot of this bird, this was the most accommodating warbler.
I really think I should have gotten a better shot of this bird, this was the most accommodating Black-throated Green Warbler. Mt. Peter Hawk Watch, 9/28/13.

 

 

 

 

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.

Wallkill River NWR 9/22/13

As soon as I got out of the car I snapped some shots of this Northern Mockingbird in the early morning light. Wallkill River NWR 9/22/13.
As soon as I got out of the car I snapped some shots of this Northern Mockingbird in the early morning light. Wallkill River NWR 9/22/13.

Here’s a quick post from my outing on Sunday morning. I arrived at Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge just after sunrise; the sunlight was beautiful and the birds were plentiful. Here’s my list for the day:

x
One of ten Great Egrets I counted out at the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge, 9/22/13.

Canada Goose  45
Mallard  30
Northern Shoveler  5
Green-winged Teal  10
Great Blue Heron  5
Great Egret  10
Green Heron  5
Turkey Vulture  2
Northern Harrier  2
Sharp-shinned Hawk  1
Bald Eagle  1
Broad-winged Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Black-bellied Plover  1
Killdeer  6
Greater Yellowlegs  5
Lesser Yellowlegs  12
Pectoral Sandpiper  3
Wilson’s Snipe  2
Mourning Dove  2
Belted Kingfisher  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
American Kestrel  1
Eastern Phoebe  3
Red-eyed Vireo  1
Blue Jay  4
American Crow  10
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Tufted Titmouse  2
Northern Mockingbird  1
European Starling  40
Common Yellowthroat  4
Northern Parula  1
Black-throated Green Warbler  3
Song Sparrow  X
Northern Cardinal  1
Bobolink  X
American Goldfinch  2

I think the Northern Shoveler is a beautiful bird. Wallkill River NWR 9/22/13.
I think the Northern Shoveler is a beautiful bird. Wallkill River NWR 9/22/13.
This Black-throated Green Warbler had some sort of growth on the top of its bill. Wallkill River NWR 9/22/13.
This Black-throated Green Warbler had some sort of growth on the top of its bill. Wallkill River NWR 9/22/13.
Philadelphia Vireo in the shade at Wallkill River NWR 9/22/13.
Red-eyed Vireo in the shade at Wallkill River NWR 9/22/13.
I stumbled onto a nice mixed species flock that included Black-capped Chickadees, Titmice, Black-throated Green Warblers, a Philadelphia Vireo, and this Northern Parula. Wallkill River NWR 9/22/13.
I stumbled onto a nice mixed species flock that included Black-capped Chickadees, Titmice, Black-throated Green Warblers, a Philadelphia Vireo, and this Northern Parula. Wallkill River NWR 9/22/13.

Mt. Peter 9/21/13

-
-I have this as a Juvenile Broad-winged Hawk, Mt. Peter Hawk Watch 9/21/13.

Wow, today was a slow day at the hawk watch. Just one day after having over 2,700 migrating raptors, I had only 23 today. The good news is that the birds were flying a little lower so I was able to snap a few photos. Here is my report for the day:

Mount Peter
Warwick, New York, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 21, 2013
——————————————————————-

Species            Day’s Count    Month Total   Season Total
—————— ———– ————– ————–
Black Vulture                0              0              0
Turkey Vulture               0              0              0
Osprey                       0             81             81
Bald Eagle                   0             46             46
Northern Harrier             0             11             11
Sharp-shinned Hawk          16            208            208
Cooper’s Hawk                0             15             15
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          1             18             18
Broad-winged Hawk            4           7109           7109
Red-tailed Hawk              0              5              5
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel             2             49             49
Merlin                       0              4              4
Peregrine Falcon             0              3              3
Unknown Accipiter            0              0              0
Unknown Buteo                0              3              3
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Falcon               0              1              1
Unknown Raptor               0             13             13

Total:                      23           7566           7566
———————————————————————-

Observation start time: 08:00:00
Observation end   time: 16:00:00
Total observation time: 8 hours

Official Counter:        Matt Zeitler

Observers:        Bill Connolly, Bill O’Keefe, Rob Stone

Visitors:
Lee Geiger, several families.

Weather:
It was a little cool and very cloudy in the morning but warm and partly
sunny in the afternoon. Temperatures ranged from 15 to 24 degrees Celsius.

Raptor Observations:
For migrating raptors we had one adult Red-shouldered Hawk, one male
American Kestrel, and one unknown American Kestrel. Non-migrating raptors
included Turkey Vultures, Black Vultures, Red-tailed Hawks (2) and a low
flying Coopers Hawk that passed 50 yards to the west of the platform, below
eye level, and darted into the trees.

Non-raptor Observations:
Non Raptor Species: American Goldfinch (1), Cedar Waxwing (15), Blue Jay
(20+), Canada Goose (1), Ruby-throated Hummingbird (1), and Chimney Swift
(13). Non-raptor highlight was a Common Loon to the west of the platform,
heading north.

9/18/13 and 9/19/13

This Belted Kingfisher was very cooperative, perching and fishing in the pond right in front of the viewing platform. Wallkill River NWR, 9/18/13.
This Belted Kingfisher was very cooperative, perching and fishing in the pond right in front of the viewing platform. Wallkill River NWR, 9/18/13.

Both yesterday and today I left work and spent an hour or so at Mt. Peter Hawk Watch. Yesterday I caught the tail end of a great day – over 1400 migrating raptors passed over. While I was there we had a large kettle of  fly over, comprised of over 160 Broad-winged Hawks and one immature Bald Eagle. It was really so cool to see. Today, although over 500 raptors were counted migrating over the watch, I did not fair too well. By the time I got there, things had pretty much dried up. I got a decent look at an immature Bald Eagle that did not migrate, but headed north instead. I also took a shot of one of the local Turkey Vultures, which seem to be the only birds flying low this year:

A bedraggled Turkey Vulture passes over the platform at Mt. Peter Hawk Watch, 9/19/13.
A bedraggled Turkey Vulture passes over the platform at Mt. Peter Hawk Watch, 9/19/13.

On both days, after the watch, I headed over to Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge. I mostly birded from the viewing platform both days, though I did walk west on the trail yesterday for a stretch. There were a good number of shorebirds present, including Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpipers, and a Solitary Sandpiper. Other favorites included Great Egrets, a Great Blue Heron, many Green Herons, a Northern Shoveler and a couple of Northern Harriers. But, the highlight for me was getting some good photo ops with this Belted Kingfisher:

It was great fun trying to shoot this bird, Belted Kingfisher out at Wallkill River NWR 9/18/13.
It was great fun trying to shoot this bird, Belted Kingfisher out at Wallkill River NWR 9/18/13.
A hovering Belted Kingfisher at Wallkill River NWR, 9/18/13.
A hovering Belted Kingfisher at Wallkill River NWR, 9/18/13.

 

Maybe it's because I haven't seen one in a little while, but I was not sure what bird this was for a while, until I got some help from a fellow birder who joined me on the platform. Solitary Sandpiper at Wallkill River NWR, 9/19/13.
Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen one in a little while, but I was not sure what bird this was for a while, until I got some help from a fellow birder who joined me on the platform. Solitary Sandpiper at Wallkill River NWR, 9/19/13.

Mt. Peter Hawk Watch

This Osprey flew right over the platform with a fish in its grasp. Mt. Peter Hawk Watch 9/14/13.
This Osprey flew right over the platform with a fish in its grasp. Mt. Peter Hawk Watch 9/14/13.

Today was my first day counting out at Mt. Peter Hawk Watch. It was a good day for me, we had enough hawks to keep it interesting, but not too many to make it difficult for me as the counter. The birds were flying high, but we had 200 migrating hawks today. Here is my report from hawkcount.org:

Mount Peter
Warwick, New York, USA
Daily Raptor Counts: Sep 14, 2013
——————————————————————-

Species            Day’s Count    Month Total   Season Total
—————— ———– ————– ————–
Black Vulture                0              0              0
Turkey Vulture               0              0              0
Osprey                      15             61             61
Bald Eagle                   3             29             29
Northern Harrier             0              8              8
Sharp-shinned Hawk          17             87             87
Cooper’s Hawk                1              7              7
Northern Goshawk             0              0              0
Red-shouldered Hawk          1              6              6
Broad-winged Hawk          156            870            870
Red-tailed Hawk              0              4              4
Rough-legged Hawk            0              0              0
Golden Eagle                 0              0              0
American Kestrel             3             36             36
Merlin                       1              3              3
Peregrine Falcon             1              2              2
Unknown Accipiter            0              0              0
Unknown Buteo                1              2              2
Unknown Eagle                0              0              0
Unknown Falcon               0              1              1
Unknown Raptor               1             10             10

Total:                     200           1126           1126
———————————————————————-

Observation start time: 08:00:00
Observation end   time: 16:00:00
Total observation time: 8 hours

Official Counter:        Matt Zeitler

Observers:        Ajit I. Antony, Beverly Robertson, Bill O’Keefe,
Judith C. Cinquina, Rob Stone, Scot Marchal

Visitors:
Penny Whitlick, Enid Hayflick, Mike Ipp., Jan Hesbon, Diane Brown

Weather:
Cool and cloudy for most of the day with a steady NW wind that was strong
at times. Temperatures ranged from 11 to 16 degrees Celsius.

Raptor Observations:
Raptors were flying high today even in the first hour of the watch. (3)
Adult Bald Eagles migrated and we had one adult Bald Eagle that headed
north. Also migrating were (1) Red-shouldered Hawk (unknown) and (3)
American Kestrels (2 unknown, 1 female).

Non-raptor Observations:
Bird Species identified: Tree Swallow (17), Canada Goose (34), Cedar
Waxwing (36), Common Raven (4), Chimney Swift (11), House Wren,
Black-capped Chickadee, American Crow (2), Blackburnian Warbler, Blackpoll
Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, American Redstart, Red-eyed Vireo,
and Magnolia Warbler. Non-raptor highlight was two Common Ravens flying
very close to one another and one of them doing a barrel roll.

After the hawk watch, I headed back to the Pine Island Turf Nursery to try for a better shot of the American Golden-Plovers:

American Golden-Plover out at the Pine Island Turf Nursery, 9/14/13.
American Golden-Plover out at the Pine Island Turf Nursery, 9/14/13.