Saturday, February 05, 2011

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, February 4, 2011:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* February 4, 2011
* NYNY1102.04

- Birds Mentioned:
VARIED THRUSH+
WESTERN TANAGER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

KING EIDER
Harlequin Duck
Red-necked Grebe
Northern Gannet
Great Cormorant
Bald Eagle
Rough-legged Hawk
Merlin
Clapper Rail
Purple Sandpiper
Wilson's Snipe
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE
Razorbill
SNOWY OWL
Short-eared Owl
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
NORTHERN SHRIKE
WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL
Common Redpoll

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form found at http://www.nybirds.org/NYSARC/goodreport.htm

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc1 AT nybirds.org .

If electronic submission is not possible, hardcopy reports and photos or sketches are welcome. Hardcopy documentation should be mailed to:

Jeanne Skelly - Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
420 Chili-Scottsville Rd.
Churchville, NY 14428

~ Transcript ~

Hotline: New York City Area Rare Bird Alert Weekly Recording: (212) 979-3070

To report sightings call:
Tom Burke (212) 372-1483
Tony Lauro (631) 734-4126

Compilers: Tom Burke, Tony Lauro
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
Transcriber: Karen Fung

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, February 4, at 8:00pm. The highlights of today's tape are WESTERN TANAGER, VARIED THRUSH, SNOWY OWL, KING EIDERS, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES, NORTHERN SHRIKE, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, and RED-HEADED WOODPECKER.

Despite the weather, or because of it, the Montauk area continues to produce exciting birds. Last weekend's highlight out there was a male WESTERN TANAGER first seen by birders on Saturday but perhaps present for three weeks or so, visiting feeders at private residences. It is important that birders visiting this site do not trespass onto these properties but remain on the roadways. To reach this site from Montauk Highway (Route 27), east of the town of Montauk, take East Lake Drive north to Big Reed Path, a dead-end road before the entrance to Big Reed Pond. Take Big Reed Path to its end at a T-intersection, with a very short road called Deer Way. Park on the roadway so as not to block traffic, and look at the feeders in the open at the house across from the T-intersection or, especially, at the feeders in the backyard of the house on the right of the intersection, these feeders visible from Deer Path by looking over a brushy area to the trees behind the house. Also keep your eye on the surrounding brush and trees for the tanager. A WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL paid a brief visit to this area Saturday afternoon, and a BALD EAGLE flew over Monday. Patience can be required to see the tanager.

At Montauk Point the sea duck spectacle continues, featuring many thousands of three species of scoter and Common Eider. One or two BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES and a couple of NORTHERN GANNETS finally reappeared Saturday after their recent absence, and two dozen or more RAZORBILLS continue within the mass of sea ducks. Also found Saturday were three KING EIDERS: a drake off the restaurant, and an immature male and a female off the Camp Hero overlook. On Sunday four females joined the young male off Camp Hero. Some COMMON REDPOLLS were around the Point on Sunday as well.

At the Montauk Harbor inlet one or two ICELAND GULLS have been present along the beach just west of the inlet, and a BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE was seen there Saturday with some GREAT CORMORANTS continuing on the jetty structure.

At Ditch Plains a RED-NECKED GREBE was offshore Sunday along with a BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, and 25 PURPLE SANDPIPERS were along the rocks there.

The Napeague NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen today at the western end of Napeague Meadow Road, and the adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL does continue at Lazy Point.

On Monday a SNOWY OWL was spotted on Hicks Island [northwest side of Napeague Harbor], just across from the boat launch site at the end of Lazy Point Road.

Along Route 27 where Georgica Pond ends and a marshy section on the south side of the road, there were six or more WILSON'S SNIPE last Saturday.

Birds along Dune Road west of Shinnecock Inlet featured SHORT-EARED OWL, CLAPPER RAIL, and MERLIN this past week.

In Central Park the VARIED THRUSH was spotted today, and the RED-HEADED WOODPECKER has been seen recently. The thrush is generally on the slope on the east side of a building called the Ramble Shed containing restrooms which is part of the maintenance area which is just south of the 79th Street Transverse. The closest park entrance is at 5th Avenue and 79th Street. The immature RED-HEADED WOODPECKER is usually in trees along the south side of the Sheep Meadow, just north of the 66th Street Transverse.

A few ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS, both light and dark phases, have been along the Jones Beach strip lately.

A WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL was near the fish hatchery at Connetquot River State Park today, and HARLEQUIN DUCKS continue at the Point Lookout jetties.

Documenting that there are now many BALD EAGLES along the Hudson River, the Mearns Bird Club last Saturday counted 191 BALD EAGLES between the Croton Point Park and Bear Mountain Bridge, and at Croton Reservoir. Due to icy conditions though, the Eaglefest at Croton Point scheduled for this weekend has been cancelled. However, the eagles can be seen easily from several vantage points along the River.

To phone in reports on Long Island, call Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126, or weekdays call Tom Burke at (212) 372-1483.

This service is sponsored by the Linnaean Society of New York and the National Audubon Society. Thank you for calling.

[~END TAPE~]

~ End Transcript ~

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