Tuesday, December 06, 2011

November Birds

November wasn't a big month for new birds, although I did manage to add a handful of year species. One nice surprise was the addition of a life bird.

During November of 2010 I added a total of four new year birds, one of which was a life bird. Coincidentally, this past November I also added four new birds, one of which was also a life bird. The month had a very promising start when I found three new species in one day.

Spring Creek is a muddy little inlet located between two capped landfills, runs under the parkway at Erskine Avenue and ends (or begins) at a water treatment plant. The water rarely freezes here and is an interesting place to look for waterfowl, wading birds and raptors in the winter. On the first weekend of the month there were several Long-billed Dowitchers and a flock of yellow-legs feeding along the creek's exposed, low-tide mudflat. From there we headed over to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge to look for a reported Eared Grebe. We found the grebe and, while still at the refuge, also spotted a pair of Blue-winged Teal resting on the shore of the West Pond. Ironically, I had given up on the possibility of finding one of these beautiful ducks this year. It would be three weeks before I located another new bird species for the year.

During Thanksgiving week, when I was 200 miles from Brooklyn, I got to read all about the happy birders going to see a Ross's Goose near Flatbush Avenue. I'd somehow managed to miss seeing this diminutive, white goose in the nearly 20 years that I've been looking at birds. I assumed that this one would also elude me. Fortunately, I was wrong as the bird seemed to enjoy the accommodations in Brooklyn and I got to see it when I returned after the holiday.

Just a quick note about my "October Birds" posting. I hadn't entered my October 30th sightings when I created the posting, so one NYS species was inadvertently omitted from the total. Heydi and I had seen several White-winged Scoters while scoping from the beach at Fort Tilden. My state final total should have been 253.

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NYS total: 257
Kings total: 245

254) Long-billed Dowitcher (Spring Creek--Brooklyn, 11/06/11)
255) Blue-winged Teal (Jamaica Bay West--Brooklyn, 11/06/11)
256) Eared Grebe (Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, 11/06/11)
257) Ross's Goose (Brooklyn Golf Center, 11/28/11)

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