A Few County Ticks Near New York City
Not much to report this last weekend. It was cold, I was busy, but I did get to sneak out for a while on Saturday.
Last week, I added a couple of new birds to my New York County (basically Manhattan) list. This county, having been my home (or one of them) for 25 years, should be huge .... but it isn't because basically all of my birding happens in Central Park which has no coastal habitats. Still, this week I had the opportunity to add Killdeer (#213) and Great Cormorant (#214) to the list. Probably not the first time I've seen either species, just the first time I put them in eBird. Slow progress ....
Saturday, March 4 - Suffolk and Nassau Counties
Cold. Very cold. So a quick morning of birding that never really hit it's stride. I added a EURASIAN WIGEON to the year list at Seatuck Creek, then failed to find Rusty Blackbird at Quogue Wildlife Refuge or American Bittern at Dune Road.
At Oak Beach I failed to find a Barrow's Goldeneye - a classic dip day was clearly unfolding here - but then bumped into Brent Bomkamp and Taylor Sturm who gifted me some good intel. A few minutes later I added EARED GREBE to my Suffolk County List (#324) and later picked up some early migrants for the year list with Piping Plover, Eastern Phoebe and Tree Swallow all joining the list. Cold and not really feeling the birds though, I gave in and went home, some days it's best not to fight your karma.
When I got home, I settled in, put a cooking show on Netflix and opened a bottle of wine. I also logged on to catch up on social media and noticed a photo of a Long-eared Owl posted by Anders Peltomaa on Facebook. Now Anders pretty much sticks to Central Park where he birds while walking his dog, so I messaged him to see if the sighting was recent, and it turns out he'd found the bird that morning in the Shakespeare Garden ... and very generously shared exact directions. So what to do ... back in the Winter cloths and over to Central Park where ... the owl was exactly where it was supposed to be.
A year bird, and even though I've seen this species several times in Central Park before, they never get old. Such a cool creature.
So done for birding for the Winter. I saw what I saw, and now I'm off to Asia for a bit. And when I get home, hopefully Spring will have arrived.