Thursday, December 29, 2011
This morning I set out to find the Mountain Bluebird that has been present in the Calverton area for approximately a week. There were a few other birders who were out there as well which helped because one of them located it along the fencing at the Haunted House on 25A and alerted me to it. While the bird didn't come nearly as close as I'd hoped, it was still a pleasure to photograph this rare visitor from the West.
Since I was out and about I figured I'd try and see if anything else of interest was around. Some time at EPCAL produced a flock of Eastern Meadowlarks and a handful of Savannah Sparrows - but there were some raptors as well. Two Red-tailed hawks were perched in a tree next to each other, Northern Harriers were hunting near the runways and a couple American Kestrels were seen including this one which was a bit more cooperative than usual.
In addition to the above mentioned birds were a couple male Eastern Bluebirds (which were far more attractive than the drab Mountain Bluebird). Another Red-tailed hawk was spotted on a light pole in Aquebogue, and I had time for a brief visit to the new North Fork Preserve Suffolk County Park which yielded a Red-tailed hawk being chased by a Cooper's. All in all a nice cold winter day with some raptors and a species of bird that's new to me.
For more on birds that can be found around Long Island - check out this book by John Turner: Exploring the Other Island: A seasonal guide to nature on Long Island