Today John Turner, Stella Miller, and I took a trip to various locations on Long Island. Our prime targets were Black-legged Kittiwake, Pink-footed Goose, and Barnacle Goose. Our first stop was Sunken Meadow State Park, where a Pink-footed, Cackling, and Barnacle Goose have been hanging around recently. As we scanned the fields it became apparent that there were none of these species in the few goose flocks present. We decided to check out the marsh outflow pipe and the island of vegetation nearby. In this area we had some House Finches, Northern Flickers and American Goldfinches. On the water there were numerous Common Loons and some Red-breasted Mergs. A Belted Kingfisher and a Black-crowned Night-heron were on the creek. Another check of the Sound revealed a small Bonaparte's Gull movement consisting of about 25 birds and an adult Northern Gannet. This mockingbird perched nicely for a photo.
Afterwards we headed over to Shinnecock Inlet. There were lots of Laughing Gulls and Common Eiders, with at least 60 LAGUs and 70 COEI. There were also a few Bonaparte's Gulls in evidence along with loads of Double-crested Cormorants. Down the beach a little we did a seawatch that turned up good numbers of Scoter and Red-throated Loons, Common Eider, and Northern Gannets. A bird that could have possibly been a large alcid also flew by. From here we headed over to Calverton, where we birded the former Grumman facility. Over the vast fields we located an immature Northern Harrier, and in the trees there were 7 Eastern Bluebirds.
Overall it was a productive day of birding despite the lack of our target species. Thankfully we did manage to see some relatively good species and John taught us an incredible amount of information about the Pine Barrens.