2017 Field Trip Observations

2017 Field Observations

Contributed by LSNY Members

Please send in your field observations, with or without illustration, for review and publishing to info@linnaeannewyork.org

List of 2017 Field Observations:

Staten Island: High Rock, Midland Beach & Clove Lake with Howard Fischer — Sunday 4/2/2017

Weather: 40 degrees F am to 60 degrees F pm, wind 5-10 mph, sunny
Registrar: Anne Lazarus
Drivers: Anne Lazarus and Judy Rabi
Participants: Mary Beth Cooper, Lenore Swenson, Louise Fraza, Dale Dancis, Miriam Rakowski, and Gina Goldstein

We started the walk at High Rock and were greeted by several Rusty Blackbirds and Eastern Phoebes. We climbed the hill to Pouch Camp where we saw two Ring-necked Ducks and other water birds. This area attracted Golden-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Downy Woodpeckers plus many other bird species.

Our next stop was Midland Beach. Our leader, Howard Fischer, spotted at least three hundred Northern Gannets foraging in the ocean. He directed our attention to Horned Grebes, Red-throated Loons, Red-breasted Mergansers and other water birds. A Great Egret flew over the beach, initially spotted earlier by Mary Beth Cooper.

Our final stop was Clove Lake to look for a Louisiana Waterthrush. Judy Rabi spotted the bird. This bird was very cooperative. We also saw Fox Sparrows and another Great Egret, plus many more species.  We scanned the nest of the Great Blue Heron with our binoculars.

We want to thank our excellent leader Howard Fischer for leading and teaching us about the birds of Staten Island, Anne Lazarus for registering this trip, and Mary Beth Cooper for her lovely photographs.

Bird List for Staten Island 4/2/2017
Brant Herring Gull Brown Creeper
Canada Goose Great Black-backed Gull Golden-crowned Kinglet
American Black Duck Rock Pigeon Carolina Wren
Mallard Mourning Dove American Robin
Ring-necked Duck Red-bellied Woodpecker Northern Mockingbird
Red-breasted Merganser Yellow-bellied Sapsucker European Starling
Red-throated Loon Downy Woodpecker Louisiana Waterthrush
Horned Grebe Northern Flicker Fox Sparrow
Northern Gannet Eastern Phoebe Song Sparrow
Double-crested Cormorant Blue Jay White-throated Sparrow
Great Egret American Crow Dark-eyed Junco
Turkey Vulture Fish Crow Northern Cardinal
Sharp-shinned Hawk Tree Swallow Red-winged Blackbird
Cooper`s Hawk Black-capped Chickadee Rusty Blackbird
Red-tailed Hawk Tufted Titmouse American Goldfinch
Ring-billed Gull White-breasted Nuthatch House Sparrow

Great Egret by Beth Cooper

Louisisana Waterthrush by Beth Cooper

Ring-necked Ducks by Beth Cooper

Brooklyn Southern Coastal trip with Peter Dorosh — 3/25/2017

Leader: Peter Dorosh
Registrars: Kathleen Howley, Anne Lazarus
Participants: Drivers: Peter Dorosh, Anne Lazarus, Susan Axelrod, Isabel Conte, and Ryan Goldberg. Passengers: Angie Co, Richard Payne, Dale Dancis, Louise Fraza, Kathleen Toomey, Hilary Salk, and Miriam Rakowski.
Weather: 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, occasional rain, wind 5-10 mph.

Visited Marine Park, Floyd Bennett, Coney Island Pier, 35th St. Coney Island from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, distance covered ~4 miles

Despite clouds, intermittent rain raw, chilly weather, we saw 70 species of bird, under the masterful leadership of Peter Dorosh. We began our walk at Marine Park where we were greeted by our first Eastern Phoebe. Kathy Toomey immediately spotted Wood Ducks, and she made sure we all saw the ducks. They were obscure, not easy to see. We then scanned the area for other water birds, and saw many duck species, including Greater Scaup, one Lesser Scaup, (Peter can tell Lesser and Greater apart under all conditions.) Green-winged Teals, Gadwall, American Black Ducks, Mallards Hooded Mergansers, spotted by Miriam Rakowski, Buffleheads and Northern Shoveler. Ryan Goldstein, Angie Coe and Richard Payne sighted a Wilson’s Snipe, which flew into the marsh grasses. Suddenly Peter called our attention to the Eurasian Wigeon, a year bird for almost all of us. We had our last looks at the American Tree Sparrow before it departs from our area. The Ospreys were back at the nest. We can thank Susan Axelrod for spotting the Killdeer when it landed in a sandy patch in the marsh grasses, and also for spotting several American Oystercatchers. 

Our next stop was Marine Park. Our first exciting bird was a Red-shouldered Hawk. Peter identified the hawk and explained to us the salient characteristics. He took us to the best places to see raptors, and we saw five American Kestrels, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk and Osprey. Peter also found an Eastern Bluebird. We enjoyed observations of two singing Field Sparrows, Carolina Wren Song Sparrows and more.  Our leader knew where the Horned Larks like to forage, and we were not disappointed.  They were accompanied by two Killdeer. The cricket field attracted 13 more Killdeer. At the bay we were entertained by Horned Grebes, some almost in alternate plumage. Common Loon, Red-breasted Merganser, Bufflehead were among the water birds there. After lunch we took off to Coney Island Pier.

Almost immediately, we saw flocks of Long-tailed Ducks in alternate plumage. We saw a male Surf Scoter. To my surprise, an Iceland Gull appeared in my scope. It was in the water with other gulls. It then flew with the other gulls and put on a show. Other water birds included Common Loon, Northern Gannets, Bufflehead, Red-breasted Mergansers and Double-crested Cormorants.

Our final stop was 35th St at Coney Island to see the Red-necked Grebe. Peter quickly spotted the Red-necked Grebe, and drew our attention to it. We kept following it with our scopes and binoculars. Also, we saw a Laughing Gull, a sign of spring. We enjoyed fascinating observations of about 150 Northern Gannets. Our attention was then drawn to the jetty, a perfect place for Purple Sandpipers, and we were rewarded. We had great looks at three of them plus a bonus of three, close Red-throated Loons. It was time to go home after an exciting day of birding.

We want to thank Peter Dorosh for his excellent leading and for teaching us how to identify difficult birds. We want to thank Kathy Toomey for spotting, identifying birds for showing them to us in her scope and for her lovely photographs. We want to thank our registrars, Kathleen Howley and Anne Lazarus for organizing the trip. We want to thank all the participants for also spotting birds, driving and making this trip happen.

Bird List for Brooklyn Southern Coast 3/25/2017
Brant  Double-crested Cormorant x Blue Jay 
Canada Goose  Great Blue Heron 4 American Crow 
Wood Duck 8 Osprey  Fish Crow 
Gadwall  Northern Harrier  Horned Lark 9
Eurasian Wigeon 1 Red-shouldered Hawk Tree Swallow 
American Wigeon  Red-tailed Hawk  Black-capped Chickadee 
American Black Duck  American Oystercatcher  White-breasted Nuthatch 
Mallard  Killdeer 16 Carolina Wren 
Northern Shoveler  Purple Sandpiper 3 Eastern Bluebird
Green-winged Teal Wilson’s Snipe 1 American Robin
Greater Scaup  Laughing Gull 1 Northern Mockingbird
Lesser Scaup 1 Ring-billed Gull x European Starling 
Surf Scoter 1 Herring Gull  American Tree Sparrow
Long-tailed Duck  Iceland Gull 1 Field Sparrow 2
Bufflehead  Great Black-backed Gull Fox Sparrow
Hooded Merganser Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  Dark-eyed Junco
Red-breasted Merganser  Mourning Dove  White-throated Sparrow
Red-throated Loon 3 Red-bellied Woodpecker  Song Sparrow
Common Loon  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  Northern Cardinal
Pied-billed Grebe  Downy Woodpecker  Red-winged Blackbird
Horned Grebe  Northern Flicker  Boat-tailed Grackle
Red-necked Grebe 1 American Kestrel 5 Brown-headed Cowbird
Northern Gannet 150 minimum estimate Eastern Phoebe 4 House Sparrow

Central Park with Richard ZainEldeen — 3/4/2017

Long-eared Owl by Anders Peltomaa

Leader: Richard ZainEldeen
Registrar: Kathleen Mathews
Participants: 12
Weather: Sunny, 30 degrees Fahrenheit, calm

We had fun viewing the typical wintering birds of Central Park. We observed the water birds and land birds and were ready for a break at the Boathouse. Just as we were about to sit down for a hot beverage and snack, Richard announces that we are to leave and go to the Shakespeare Garden for the Long-eared Owl. We raced to the Shakespeare Garden, and there it was.  We had great looks. We were very quiet as we gazed at the owl and then left. We returned to the Boathouse for our hot beverage and snack. What a grand finale to a lovely bird walk!

We want to thank Richard ZainEldeen for leading such an excellent and exciting trip.
We want to thank Kathleen Mathews for an excellent job organizing this walk.

Bird List for Central Park 3/4/2017
Canada Geese Long-eared Owl European Starling
Mallard Rock Pigeon Fox Sparrow
Northern Shoveler Mourning Dove Song Sparrow
Hooded Merganser Downy Woodpecker White-throated Sparrow
Bufflehead Hairy Woodpecker Northern Cardinal
Ruddy Duck Red-bellied Woodpecker Red-winged Blackbird
Pied-billed Grebe Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Common Grackle
Red-tailed Hawk Blue Jay Brown-headed Cowbird
American Coot Black-capped Chickadee American Goldfinch
Ring-billed Gull Tufted Titmouse House Sparrow
Herring Gull White-breasted Nuthatch
Great Black-backed Gull American Robin

Montauk Weekend with Joseph DiCostanzo — 2/25/2017 to 2/26/2017

Leader: Joseph DiCostanzo
Registrar: Dale Dancis
Participants: Kathy Drake, Lynne Hertzog, Lenore Swenson and John Suggs were drivers. Dale Dancis, Judy Rabi, Anne Lazarus, Louise Fraza, Miriam Rakowski, Gina Goldstein, Sandra Maury, Katherine Howley and Alan Drogin were passengers.

Sandhill Crane by Lynn Hertzog

We started our journey at the Coast Guard Station in a dense mist.  A Peregrine Falcon was sitting on top of a tall pole.  We had distant looks at a few Snow Buntings and Horned Larks. Also seen at that site were both Common and Red-throated Loon.  The resident Black Scoter made its usual appearance. We saw 4 Killdeer.  At our second stop, Oak Beach. Joe spotted the female Barrow’s Goldeneye among a flock of Common Goldeneye, and he showed us where to look.  We also saw many Long-tailed Ducks, Red-breasted Mergansers, and a Red-throated Loon.  Joe spotted distant Greater Scaup. 

Common and Red-throated Loo by Lynn Hertzog

Our next stop was Eastport.  There we saw many Greater Scaup, Hooded Mergansers, American Wigeons and many other water birds.  A Belted Kingfisher flew past us.  We explored a nearby pond and had good lucks at Gadwall and other water birds. We then proceeded to Dune Road. The tide was out, and shorebirds were on the sandbars. We saw Black-bellied Plovers, Dunlins, Sanderlings and American Oystercatchers. Also, in that area we saw Common Eiders, but the big surprise was a close and very cooperative Razorbill, spotted by Lenore Swenson. A dramatic moment occurred when Joe spotted the Snowy Owl. There were 2 Boat-tailed Grackles at the Ponquogue Bridge.  We were becoming tired, as the day waned, but were motivated by our next stop, Wainscott Hollow Road. By the time we arrived the fog was returning.  As we slowly drove down the road, Lenore spotted the Sandhill Crane, fairly close in the field. We had beautiful looks through the mist. Also, a Carolina Wren was singing.  We continued on our way to Montauk. We stopped at Fort Pond to see American Coots and Mallards as the day darkened into night.

Iceland Gull by Lynn Hertzog

Sunday morning we arrived at Montauk Point where we quickly saw Black Scoters, Surf Scoters, White-winged Scoters, Common Eiders, Long-tailed Ducks, Red-breasted Mergansers, both Loon species, Northern Gannets, Great Cormorants and the three gull species. I have not mentioned land birds, but we did see Red-winged Blackbirds and American Crow. We saw the same water birds from the Bluff, but many of them were very close. Our next stop was the Montauk Inlet to look for the Black Guillemot, but alas, it was nowhere to be seen, but we had another reward. Joe took us to the west  Lake Montauk Inlet, and spotted another beautiful Razorbill and then to top things off, he spotted an Iceland Gull, and we observed it. Our morning was not yet over.  We went to Ditch Plains.  Our leader led us to the rocks along the beach and showed us the Black-headed Gull among the Bonaparte Gulls. As we walked along the beach to the gulls, Kathy Drake spotted Purple Sandpipers on a different set of rocks.  We watched a Horned Grebe diving for food in Fort Pond Bay.

Our final destination was North Sea Drive in Southold to look for the Townsend’s Solitaire.  We arrived in the afternoon.  It was windy and cold.  We did not see it. We did see Blue Jays, American Crows, and there were two Red-tailed Hawks.  Kathy spotted a Turkey Vulture on route from the car. I had a quick look at it. We thank our excellent leader, Joseph DiCostanzo for an exciting, birding adventure.  We thank our excellent registrar Dale Dancis for organizing this trip.

Bird List for Montauk Weekend 2/25/2017 to 2/26/2017
Brant Common Loon Herring Gull
Canada Geese Horned Grebe Iceland Gull
Mute Swan Northern Gannet Great Black-backed Gull
Wood Duck Double-crested Cormorant Razorbill
Gadwall Great Cormorant Rock Pigeon
American Wigeon Great Blue Heron Mourning Dove
Black Duck Turkey Vulture-car sighting Snowy Owl
Mallard Northern Harrier Belted Kingfisher
Ring-necked Duck Cooper’s Hawk Blue Jay
Greater Scaup Red-tailed Hawk American Crow
Common Eider Peregrine Falcon Horned Lark
Surf Scoter American Coot Red-breasted Nuthatch - Coast Guard Sta.
White-winged Scoter Sandhill Crane Carolina Wren
Black Scoter Black-bellied Plover American Robin
Long-tailed Duck Killdeer Northern Mockingbird
Bufflehead American Oystercatcher European Starling
Common Goldeneye Sanderling Yellow-rumped Warbler - Coast Guard Sta.
Barrow’s Goldeneye Purple Sandpiper Song Sparrow
Hooded Merganser Dunlin Snow Bunting
Red-breasted Merganser Black-headed Gull Red-winged Blackbird
Ruddy Duck Bonaparte Gull Boat-tailed Grackle
Red-throated Loon Ring-billed Gull House Sparrow

Hook Pond, Montauk trip by Lynn Hertzog

Central Park with Richard ZainEldeen — 2/11/2017

Leader: Richard ZainEldeen
Registrar: Nancy O’Keefe
Participants: 11 members of Linnaean Society
Weather: Cloudy, wind calm, 30 degrees F, snow cover, a lovely winter setting
We all want to thank Richard for leading an excellent trip.  We also want to thank Nancy for organizing this trip so well.

Bird List for Central Park 2/11/2017
Canada Goose Ring-billed Gull American Robin
Wood Duck, Halllett Sanctuary Herring Gull European Starling
American Black Duck Great Black-backed Gull Fox Sparrow
Mallard Rock Pigeon Song Sparrow
Northern Shoveler Mourning Dove White-throated Sparrow
Northern Pintail, Hallett Sanctuary Red-headed Woodpecker Northern Cardinal
Bufflehead Red-bellied Woodpecker Red-winged Blackbird
Hooded Merganser Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Common Grackle
Ruddy Duck Downy Woodpecker Brown-headed Cowbird
Pied-billed Grebe Blue Jay House Finch
Red-necked Grebe American Crow American Goldfinch
Double-crested Cormorant Black-capped Chickadee House Sparrow
Red-tailed Hawk Tufted Titmouse
American Coot White-breasted Nuthatch

Coney Island Beach & Coney Island Creek Park with Rob Jett — 2/4/2017

Leader: Rob Jett
Registrar: Regina Ryan 
Participants: Susan Axelrod, Anne Lazarus, Heydi Lopes, Michael Yuan. These are the folks who did manage to handle the cold.
Sadly, more people cancelled at the last minute than actually showed up. Those who did participate had a great day despite the blustery weather.

Coney Island Beach & Coney Island Creek Park Bird List 2/4/2017
Brant  Red-breasted Merganser  large alcid sp. (most likely a Razorbill) 
Canada Goose  Red-throated Loon  Ring-billed Gull 
Mute Swan  Common Loon  Herring Gull 
Gadwall  Horned Grebe Great Black-backed Gull 
American Wigeon  Northern Gannet  Rock Pigeon 
American Black Duck  Double-crested Cormorant  Mourning Dove 
Mallard  Cooper's Hawk  American Crow 
Greater Scaup  Red-tailed Hawk  Fish Crow 
Long-tailed Duck  American Coot  European Starling 
Bufflehead  Sanderling  House Sparrow 
Common Goldeneye  Purple Sandpiper 

Pelham Bay Park with Rob Jett — 1/28/2017

Leader: Rob Jett
Registrar: Ellen Hoffman
Participants: Ellen Hoffman-driver, Anne Lazarus-driver, Gordon/Lori Lam (driver), Sarah Pollack, Christine Youngberg
Weather: Cloudy, tiny bit of snow flurries initially, 30 degrees F

Bird List for Pelham Bay Park 1/28/2017
Brant Great Cormorant Black-capped Chickadee
Canada Goose Red-tailed Hawk Tufted Titmouse
Gadwall Ring-billed Gull White-breasted Nuthatch
American Black Duck Herring Gull  Carolina Wren
Greater Scaup Great Black-backed Gull American Robin
Hooded Merganser Rock Pigeon Gray Catbird
Red-breasted Merganser Mourning Dove American Tree Sparrows
Common Goldeneye Red-bellied Woodpecker Chipping Sparrow - 1
Bufflehead Downy Woodpecker Fox Sparrow - 5
Red-throated Loon Hairy Woodpecker Song Sparrow
Common Loon Blue Jay White-throated Sparrow
Pied-billed Grebe American Crow
Horned Grebe Fish Crow

Croton Park with Paul Keim — 1/21/2017

Leader: Paul Keim,  Registrar: Anne Lazarus
Participants: Anne Lazarus, Miriam Rakowski, Sarah Pollack, Dale Dancis, Carmais Johnson, Gordon and Lori Lam (driver) and Katherine Romaine Mawson
Weather: Sunny throughout the day, 40 degrees F, winds calm, slight breeze

Screech Owl by Gordon Lam

Red-shouldered Hawk by Gordon Lam

This trip required sturdy hiking boots and stamina.  We walked everywhere, up and down hills, but we had many avian rewards. We want to thank our excellent leader, Paul Keim.  Paul is a naturalist as well as a bird expert. I will thank myself as a registrar, but special thanks to my very little scope through which we observed many birds, and also through which Gordon took his wonderful photographs. Our trip began with the Red-shouldered Hawk, sitting in a tree at the west end of the bridge (entrance to the park). It preened and posed. We walked up the landfill on the north side, and our raptor day began. First we saw a Cooper’s Hawk, then three Red-tailed Hawks, more as we proceeded into the park. We eventually saw a Sharp-shinned Hawk. Our goal was the Screech Owl and what a lovely bird it is. Next step, the Great Horned Owl in the Pine Trees. Paul immediately spotted it. We saw it, also with the help of the American Crows. We deserved a lunch break, but on the way to the lunch break, Gordon spotted a Merlin in the picnic area.

After lunch we went up the land fill and saw more Red-tailed Hawks and the China Praying Mantis egg case. As we descended we saw an American Kestrel and Turkey Vultures, but Paul with his knowledge and keen eyes, noticed that one of the birds had long, flat wings and was flapping. He confirmed his observation with the scope. It was an immature Bald Eagle. We learned to look more carefully and notice details. Not over yet. As we approached the bridge a Common Raven flew by us. We then piled into Gordon’s and Lori’s car (three people had left early) and went to the end of the road at the train station and saw Common Mergansers, far away and Black Ducks. That was the end of the wonderful trip. No need to exercise. This trip was quite aerobic at times.

Bird List for Croton Park 1/21/2017
Canada Goose Killdeer (h) Black-capped Chickadee
American Black Duck Ring-billed Gull Tufted Titmouse
Mallard Herring Gull White-breasted Nuthatch
Canvasback (from train, Ossining) Great Black-backed Gull Carolina Wren (h)
Greater Scaup (from train, Ossining) Rock Pigeon American Robin
Bufflehead Mourning Dove Northern Mockingbird
Common Merganser Screech Owl European Starling
Turkey Vulture Great Horned Owl American Tree Sparrow
Bald Eagle (Immature) Red-bellied Woodpecker Song Sparrow
Sharp-shinned Hawk Downy Woodpecker White-throated Sparrow
Cooper’s Hawk Hairy Woodpecker (h) Northern Cardinal
Red-shouldered Hawk Blue Jay Red-winged Blackbird (h)
Red-tailed Hawk American Crow American Goldfinch
American Kestrel Fish Crow House Sparrow
Merlin Common Raven

Other species

China Praying Mantis by Gordon Lam

China Praying Mantis egg case on a stem. This species is invasive and crowding out our native Praying Mantis species

Jones Beach: West End Beaches and Camman’s Pond with Richard ZainEldeen — 1/14/2017

Leader: Richard ZainEldeen,
Registrar: Miriam Rakowski
Participants: Camille Cubello (driver), Anne Lazarus (driver), Katherine Romaine Mawson, Dale Dancis, and Barbara Saunders
Weather: 30 degrees F, sunny am, cloudy pm, winds, mild to slightly breezy. Due to a severe snow storm, this trip was rescheduled from Sunday, 1/8/2017 to Saturday, 1/14/2017. We did not bird Point Lookout, because the weather was becoming threatening in the afternoon.

We all want to thank our excellent leader, Richard ZainEldeen and our excellent registrar, Miriam Rakowski. We also thank Barbara Saunders for her beautiful photography, our drivers and participants, all of whom contributed to a successful experience. We saw five species of shorebirds, including excellent looks at Purple Sandpipers. The male Surf Scoter very close to the shore was a surprise. Our reliable Black Scoter at the Coast Guard Station swam very close to the Boardwalk and posed for photographs. The Snow Buntings put on a wonderful show at the West End 2 parking lot. The Lapland Longspur was with a group of Horned Larks in the swale. Some of us enjoyed seeing it. We scurried from the swale to the jetty where we were greeted by perhaps over l,000 Dunlins sitting on the jetty, with their heads tucked in. How we wished they would raise their heads!

We noticed that the weather was changing. Dark clouds were rolling into view. Richard then led us back through a path in the Dunes. We were rewarded as we completed the walk with beautiful sightings of American Tree Sparrows. After a brief lunch, Richard made a wise decision to skip Point Lookout and make a short stop at Camman’s Pond. At the pond we enjoyed close looks at Hooded Mergansers, N. Shovelers, Gadwall and Black-crowned Night Herons. Ultimately, we did drive home in a snowstorm, but we had our day!

Bird List for Jones Beach: West End Beaches and Camman’s Pond 1/14/2017
Brant Red-tailed Hawk ( from car ) Red-breasted Nuthatch
Canada Goose Black-bellied Plover American Robin
Gadwall   (Camman) American Oystercatcher  Northern Mockingbird
American Black Duck Sanderling European Starling
Mallard Purple Sandpiper Yellow-rumped Warbler
Northern Shoveler (Camman) Dunlin Northern Cardinal
Surf Scoter Bonaparte Gull American Tree Sparrow
Black Scoter Ring-billed Gull Snow Bunting
Long-tailed Duck Herring Gull Song Sparrow
Bufflehead Great Black-backed Gull Dark-eyed Junco
Hooded Merganser (Camman) Rock Dove Lapland Longspur
Red-breasted Merganser Mourning Dove Common Grackle
Red-throated Loon Downy Woodpecker American Goldfinch
Common Loon Horned Lark House Finch
Black-crowned Night Heron (Camman) Tree Swallow ( 1 ) House Sparrow
Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Camman) Black-capped Chickadee
Northern Harrier Tufted Titmouse (Camman)