Sunday, January 11, 2004

Jones Beach & Pt. Lookout with Steve N.

I thawed out enough after Saturday's Croton Point "expedition" to be able to lend a hand on the waterfowl count. Steve and I were assigned all water west of the Jones Beach tower up to Jones Inlet. After covering the required areas we took a drive over to Pt. Lookout just to add a few more birds to our personal day list.

It was a beautiful, calm, clear morning to be walking along the beach. There was barely a ripple on the ocean but, unfortunately, much of the usual diversity of waterfowl seemed to be somewhere else. At the top of our tally list was, expectedly, Brant with Red-breasted Merganser coming in second. As we walked to the jetty spotting some Horned Lark and Snow Buntings kept the conversation a bit more interesting as up to that point it was primarily, "hey, look, some more mergansers." Also, among a flock of Dunlin on the jetty were a few Purple Sandpipers.

The highlight of our day was at Pt. Lookout. A flock of 10 Harlequin Ducks were hanging out close to the rocks in the usual location and a pair of drake Redheads were among a large flock of American Black Ducks nearby. The best bird of the day, however, was seen a short distance east of the jetty where the harlequins congregate. Steve first spotted what appeared to be a female eider. It stayed fairly close to us and, with the help of Sibley's and another birder who joined us, we all agreed that it was a first winter female King Eider.

In all, it was a great day for waterfowl but, unfortunately, the best birds of the day were on the "wrong" side of the inlet for our count.
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Jones Beach & Pt. Lookout, 1/11/2004
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Common Loon (Jones Beach)
Horned Grebe (Jones Beach)
Great Cormorant (Jones Beach)
Great Blue Heron (Jones Beach)

Canada Goose (Jones Beach)
Brant (everywhere)
Mute Swan (Jones Beach)
American Black Duck (both locations)
Mallard (Pt. Lookout)
Redhead (2 drakes, Pt. Lookout)
Greater Scaup (both locations)
King Eider (fem., Pt. Lookout)
Harlequin Duck (10, Pt. Lookout)
Surf Scoter (Pt. Lookout)
Long-tailed Duck (both locations)
Bufflehead (Jones Beach)
Common Goldeneye (Jones Beach)
Red-breasted Merganser (both locations)

Northern Harrier (Jones Beach)
Black-bellied Plover (Jones Beach)
Sanderling (Jones Beach)
Purple Sandpiper (Jones Beach)
Dunlin (both locations)
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Northern Flicker (Jones Beach)
American Crow
Horned Lark (Jones Beach)
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Jones Beach)
Northern Cardinal
American Tree Sparrow (Jones Beach)
Song Sparrow (Jones Beach)
White-throated Sparrow (Jones Beach)
Snow Bunting (Jones Beach)
House Sparrow

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