Saturday, September 25, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
While the mosquitoes were out in full force and foiled a beautiful morning for photography at Jones Beach West End - I did end up photographing three new species (two of which directly because of the mosquito problem) so all was not lost. I arrived at Jones Beach this morning just as the sun was rising and saw a slew of black skimmers out on the bar by the Coast Guard Station. I got about 15 feet from my car and realized there was a thick cloud of blood sucking creatures trying to attack me and I ran back to my car as soon as possible. It was obvious that I'd only be able to drive around the West End in hopes of finding a perched merlin or peregrine falcon and lowering the window quick to photograph it. But after driving around for a bit I only spotted a few merlins flying around and decided to call it quits. I did, however, find a buff-breasted sandpiper hanging out on one of the grass medians. I apologize for the quality of the image as I had to photograph it using manual focus through my car window (because of the pest problem). The buff-breasted is a beautiful bird with alluring plumage and it seems to be the rarity of the month. These migratory birds that breed in the high arctic have been turning up at grasslands all over the island. (Above: Savannah Sparrow, Northville Fire Training Center)
I decided to try visiting the SoFo Museum (South Fork Natural History Museum) as a western kingbird had been reported the day earlier. Last fall in November I photographed my first Weki's, as they are known, (below) in Sagaponack next to Ira Rennerts house. As I arrived a few birders were leaving and said there was no Weki but plenty of other birds. The SoFo Museum is in the Long Pond Greenbelt which stretches from Sag Harbor to Sagaponack and comprises thousands of acres of unique and preserved habitat that provides a home for a lot of rare and endangered species as well as more common animals. Please take a look at the website for the Greenbelt here: Long Pond Greenbelt
As I searched the fields and ponds hoping the Weki would show up I discovered my second new species of the day - the blue-winged teal. I've photographed the green on several occasions in the winter and have seen blue-winged teal before but never got any pictures of them so I was happy with this flight shot.
And here is the hawk trying to evade another jay:
Wild Long Island) I headed home but as I drove I spotted a red-tailed hawk on the transmission lines on the north end of Stony Brook Southampton. A quick trip to the campus provided this:
Need help identifying new birds? Pick up a copy of The Sibley Guide to Birds
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I have not been able to get out and photograph anything (birds or otherwise) in the last few weeks which has been extremely frustrating so I made it a point to get out after work today even if it was for a short while. I had seen a Peregrine Falcon the other day on the big communications tower at the Coast Guard station in Hampton Bays on friday night (conditions didn't allow for a photograph) so hoped for at least that but maybe some shorebirds as well. Since I have moved from Hampton Bays, it is now more convenient for me to get to Dune Rd. via Quogue and I'm glad I did because I found this gorgeous merlin in the residential area of Quogue that I normally skip when coming from Hampton Bays.