Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fire Island and Jones Beach- 10/12/09

Columbus Day... most people think of it as a break from work, Italians think of it as a day to celebrate their heritage, and birders think of it as a day to get themelves out looking for mid-fall migrants and early rarities.  Thats why I found myself a good ol' Robert Moses State Park last Monday.  Love it or hate it, Robert Moses is a fun place to turn up birds that don't really belong on Long Island.  The past two years have brought a lot of good birds to the volleyball courts in the northeast corner of parking field two, so I decided to start my excursion there.  As I walked up, the dunes were filled with birds, but 90% were Song Sparrows.  A few other species were present, like this male Pine Warbler:

And a few Field Sparrows were an added bonus

But overall, there was nothing too good.  I decided to check out the picnic area as well.  I gave a pish over some nice thorn bushes, and a Gray Catbird popped out.  Then another, and another, and another... soon enough I was getting freaking mauled by Gray Catbirds; about thirty jumped out of this little area of brush.

I then headed down the Barrier Beach to Jones Beach State Park, known as a more reliably birdy location than the latter.  The rain kept my camera in the car, but the birds were still out.  At the Coast Guard Station I had a Clay-colored Sparrow among about five Chippies, and 3 Royal Terns and 8(!) Western Willets on the sandbar.  Thats my high tally for western in NY.  In the island of bushes in the middles of the West End 2 parking area, I had a imm. Lincoln's Sparrow and a imm. male Black-throated Blue Warbler, which I managed to photograph a the rain let up. Overall, a good day of barrier beach birding.

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