Thursday, August 02, 2012

July Birds

By the end of July the coast of Brooklyn (and New York City) starts to see an increase in the diversity and abundance of seabirds and shorebirds. It isn't until August that the southbound migration really gets rolling. For that reason, it was no surprise to me that I only managed to add two new species to my Kings County year list, although the presence of one bird seemed strangely out of season.

I spent some time away from the city early in the month, then mostly cycled to the beach on weekends (when it didn't rain) the rest of the month. I did make a couple of trips to Coney Island with delusions that last year's rare gull might return ... hey, you never know.

One unexpected sighting, but not nearly as rare or exciting as a Gray-hooded Gull, was of a female Black Scoter at Dead Horse Bay. Heydi had spotted it hanging around in the cove just south of the Flatbush Marina a week earlier. Scoters are seaducks that are generally found in fairly large flocks during the winter months off the Rockaways and Coney Island. During last winter's mild conditions, however, they were few and far between off of Brooklyn's coast. Heydi reported that, as of last weekend, the scoter was still present at Dead Horse Bay.

I ended the month by spotting a Lesser Yellowlegs at the Marine Park Saltmarsh Center. The small, slender shorebird was easy to pick out within a flock of its much larger cousin the Greater Yellowlegs.

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NYS total: 218
Kings total: 204

203) Black Scoter (Dead Horse Bay, 07/21/12)
204) Lesser Yellowlegs (Marine Park Saltmarsh Nature Center, 07/31/12)

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