Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday's Foto

Normally I only post North American species for my “Friday’s Foto” series. Today I’ve decided to post about a Eurasian species that has only been recorded around a dozen times in the New World since 1900. The occasion being that one recently appeared in New York on one of the barrier beaches and I had the good fortune to see it.

The Corncrake, also known as the Corn Crake or Landrail, is a medium-sized rail related to moorhens and coots. Unlike most rails, which prefer wet or marshy habitats, this species make its living on dry land. Described in most guides as “secretive”, they spend most of their time in tall grasses. Their diet is primarily made up of invertebrates such as earthworms and insects. They also consume plant material such as seeds of grasses and sedges.

This long-distance migrant breeds in Europe and central Asia, as far east as western China, wintering in Zaire, Tanzania and eastern South Africa. The vast majority of their global population is across Russia.

The conservation status of the Corncrake via the IUCN Red List is “Least Concern”.

Their scientific name, Crex crex, is supposedly derived from the sound that they make, which some describe as “two cheese-graters rubbed together”. In addition, the Greek word “krex” means "noisy braggart". Judge for yourselves:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website “Earther”:

Scientists Slam Republican Plan to Drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Maddie Stone
Friday 8:45am

When Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski re-ignited a decades-old push to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, she tried to make the case that science was on her side. Thanks to technological improvements, the Republican senator argued, drilling on ANWR’s oil-rich coastal plain will have a much smaller footprint in 2017 than it would’ve 30 years ago.

This week, dozens of Alaskan scientists called bullshit on this.

In a letter addressed to Murkowski and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the chair and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, thirty seven top Alaskan wildlife biologists explained why drilling on ANWR’s coastal plain could spell disaster for Arctic wildlife.

The signatories, including retired former officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game, and the U.S. Geological Survey, explain that while the coastal plain is small—encompassing just 1.5 million acres of the 19 million acre refuge— it’s vital to the biodiversity of the region.

“Within the narrow coastal plain, there is a unique compression of habitats which concentrates a wide array of wildlife native to the Arctic,” including polar bears, grizzly bears, wolves, caribou, and more, the letter reads.

Drilling proponents say the industry’s footprint would be limited to just 2,000 acres. But these scientists argue that framing is misleading. In reality, those 2,000 acres could be spread across most of the coastal plain, causing it to become criss-crossed with roads and well pads.

In effect, the result could be that even a small amount of industrial activity impacts virtually the entire region.

“Since the effects of industrial activities, starting with seismic surveys, are not limited to the footprint of a structure or to its immediate vicinity, it is highly likely that such activities would result in significant impacts on a variety of wildlife in the refuge’s narrow coastal plain,” the letter reads.

The scientists specifically call out polar bears, which are “highly vulnerable to disturbance due to oil and gas activities” and which have already been affected by drilling elsewhere on the North Slope. Three quarters of the coastal plain is designated critical habitat for these iconic Arctic predators.

On Wednesday, Murkowski unveiled the first draft of a bill that would open ANWR’s coastal plain to drilling, which Republicans are hoping to attach to a larger 2018 tax reform package. The bill would require the Department of the Interior to conduct two lease sales for at least 400,000 acres of land apiece over a ten year budget window.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday that the plan would bring about 1.1 billion into federal coffers. But drilling opponents have argued that the math is fuzzier. When the left-leaning Center for American Progress crunched the numbers, it found that the federal government is more likely to see a return of just 37.5 million.

Contrasting this potential revenue is the intrinsic value of the refuge itself. At least according to these scientists—and many Alaskan Natives, and even some nuns—that’s something you can’t put a price tag on.
...Read more

Monday, November 13, 2017

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, November 18, 2017 to Sunday, November 19, 2017:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, November 18, 2017, 12 pm – 1 pm
Introduction to Bird Watching
Join Prospect Park Alliance for a birdwatching walk and learn about Prospect Park’s magnificent array of birds and how to identify them!

**********

Bedford Audubon Society
August 25, 2017-November 22, 2017 @ Arthur Butler Sanctuary on Chestnut Ridge Road, Bedford Hills
Experience the Miracle of Migration at the Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch
The HawkWatch starts August 25! Join us at the Chestnut Ridge HawkWatch at the Arthur Butler Sanctuary on Chestnut Ridge Road in Bedford Hills every day from 9am to 5pm, weather permitting, to experience the miracle of raptor migration. Our data is combined with other sites across North America to create powerful population and migration analyses that help us better protect raptors and their habitat.
See more details

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Jones Beach State Park region
Leader: Mike Yuan
Focus: Coastal waterfowl, dune relevant species, raptors
Car fee: $22.00
Registrar: Bob Washburn nyc_bob@earthlink.net
Registration Period: Nov 11th - Nov 16th
Please review our general trip information and guidelines on this page.

**********

Gateway National Parks
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Have a Hoot with a Ranger
Junior Rangers are invited to an owl adventure.
Time: 10:00am to 11:30am
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
View Details

Saturday, November 18, 2017
Winter Waterfowl Workshop
Join naturalist Don Riepe for a digital slide program on the many species of waterfowl in NYC during winter.
Time: 10:00am to 1:00pm
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
View Details

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 8:00am
Wertheim NWR
Leader(s): John Gluth (631-827-0120) Vera Capogna (516-639-5430)
From the intersection of Montauk and William Floyd Highways in Shirley, proceed West on Montauk Highway 7/10 of a mile to traffic light (Smith Road) turn left, go over the railroad tracks and proceed to a right into Wertheim visitor Center. There are signs both on Montauk Highway and on Smith Road at the turnoff into Wertheim.

Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 9:00am
Morton NWR
Leader(s): Bob Grover (516-318-8536) Ken Thompson (631-612-8028)
Sunrise Highway east past Shinnecock Canal. Look for a North Sea Road Noyack sign and bear left on CR52. Stay on CR52 and then turn left at light onto CR38. After 1.4 miles on CR38, turn right onto Noyack Road after 5 miles turn left onto refuge.

(Nature walks will be cancelled if it is raining or snowing.)

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Birding in Peace

Before our gates open to the general public, birding expert Rob Jett leads these peaceful Sunday morning walking tours to discover the many birds that call Green-Wood home. By September, all our nesting birds’ offspring will be on their own. Returning warblers will be in their less flamboyant fall plumage. Large numbers of blackbirds, flycatchers, sparrows, vireos, and swallows will also be passing through. By October, waterfowl are returning, and we’ll look for raptors heading south. November will bring back our overwintering denizen from the north.

Grab a copy of our Bird Checklist before you begin. Comfortable footwear is recommended.
$10 for members of Green‑Wood and BHS/$15 for non-members.
Click here for our inclement weather policy.

**********

Hudson River Audubon Society
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Jones Beach – Late Fall Migrants
Meet at 8am at the Coast Guard Station in West End II
This is a good time for a rarity or a western stray to show up. A variety of bird should be seen from seabirds, ducks, hawks, shorebirds and late land migrants.
http://hras.org/wtobird/jonesbeach.html

**********

Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 9:00am
Jones Beach State Park
By late November, many of the winter species have returned. We may see a variety of seaducks, raptors, and Snow Buntings. Lost birds from all over the country can end up at barrier beaches this season, so we may see something surprising!
Registration: 516-782-0293
Directions: Meadowbrook Parkway south, take first right into West End after drawbridge. Continue past tollbooth (no fee), Police Station, and stop sign, and make a right after the sign for the West End Boat Basin and Coast Guard. Meet by the little concession building facing the boat basin.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Leader: Joe DiCostanzo
Registrar: Pearl Broder — pbroder3@nyc.rr.com or 212-924-0030
Registration opens: Monday, November 6
Ride: $15 or public transportation

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New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 11:00 a.m.
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11am to 12:30pm beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Included in All-Garden Pass
Get Tickets

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturdays, September 2–November 25, 2017, 8-9:30am
Van Cortlandt Park Bird Walks
Guides: NYC Audubon with the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy
Meet at Van Cortlandt Nature Center. The history of birding and Van Cortlandt Park are inseparable. Influential birders such as Roger Tory Peterson and Allan D. Cruickshank got their starts on Van Cortlandt’s ecologically diverse grounds. These walks celebrate the tradition set forth by these great ornithologists. Participants will look for various species of residents and migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics. For more information, please call 212-691-7483. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

Saturday, November 18, 2017, 9am – 3pm
Van Trip to the Winter Waterfowl Workshop at Jamaica Bay
Register for our van trip to the Winter Waterfowl Workshop (see description below) and get to Jamaica bay the easy way - by passenger van! Bring lunch and water. Limited to 12. $53 (37)
Click here to register

Saturday, November 18, 2017, 9:30am – 12:00pm
"Duck Walk" starting at Macy's Manhasset
Walk starts in Macy's Manhasset parking lot, southwest corner, near Whitney Pond. Walk will proceed to other locations afterwards.
Wear water-resistant footwear, bring binoculars and drinking water. Wear long pants and socks so you do not touch poison ivy.
Leader: Jennifer - (516) 767-3454

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

From the Southern State Parkway, travel west to the Belt Parkway. Exit at Cross Bay Boulevard (Exit 17) south. Continue south on Cross Bay Blvd. through Howard Beach and over the North Channel Bridge (also known as the Congressman Joseph P. Addabbo Bridge). The entrance to the refuge parking lot is on the right side of the road, at a traffic light approximately one and a half miles past the bridge.
Directions via Google Maps

Bird walks led by a member of SSAS are conducted nearly every Sunday morning from late August through early June. Walks are open to the public and are free of charge. We especially encourage youngsters to attend.
All walks start at 9:00 A.M.
There is no walk if it rains or snows or temperature is below 25°F.
For more information or in case of questionable weather conditions, please phone Joe at 516 467-9498.


**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
Join NYC Audubon on birding walks through Van Cortlandt Park to discover wildlife happenings in the park.
Free!

Sunday, November 19, 2017
Waterfowl Watch at the South Beach Fishing Pier at Ocean Breeze Pier, Seaview Avenue and Father Capodanno Boulevard (in Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach), Staten Island
9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
'Tis the season for the return of sea ducks, gulls, and grebes to the lower New York Harbor. We will stand at the end of the fishing pier to observe the wildlife in…
Free!

Birding: Owls at Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle. Registration for this program is required.
Free!
...Read more

Sunday, November 12, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending November 10, 2017:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Nov. 10, 2017
* NYNY1711.10

- Birds Mentioned

CORN CRAKE+
BROWN BOOBY+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Greater White-fronted Goose
Cackling Goose
Tundra Swan
Eurasian Wigeon
SANDHILL CRANE
American Golden-Plover
HUDSONIAN GODWIT
Long-billed Dowitcher
Parasitic Jaeger
Black-legged Kittiwake
BLACK-HEADED GULL
NORTHERN FULMAR
Great Shearwater
American Bittern
SAY’S PHOEBE
Red-headed Woodpecker
NORTHERN SHRIKE
Lapland Longspur
Orange-crowned Warbler
Clay-colored Sparrow
BLUE GROSBEAK

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 nysarc44nybirdsorg

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

Gary Chapin - Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
125 Pine Springs Drive
Ticonderoga, NY 12883

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

Compilers: Tom Burke and Tony Lauro
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, November 10, 2017 at 8:00 pm. [Note: Posted late due to technical difficulties.]

The highlights of today’s tape are CORN CRAKE, BROWN BOOBY, SAY’S PHOEBE, BLACK-HEADED GULL, SANDHILL CRANE, NORTHERN FULMAR, NORTHERN SHRIKE, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, BLUE GROSBEAK and much more.

But firstly, our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Holly Wilson, who passed away this week much too early in life. Holly was a spirited young lady and exuberant new birder, and we will certainly miss seeing her in the field.

Quite spectacular this week was the discovery of a young CORN CRAKE feeding along Ocean Parkway at Cedar Beach Tuesday morning. The bird fed along a stretch of grass next to the brushline continually disappearing into the bordering brush throughout the day. The Crake remained there all day Wednesday but was venturing out further into the grass, much closer to the roadway, and this may have been its undoing, as it was found dead Thursday morning, having been struck by a car. The retrieved specimen was transported to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where quick analysis determined it was a somewhat underweight male in otherwise decent condition. Most unusual in this case was that many birders got to enjoy this individual before it died, as most U.S. records of this very rare vagrant involve Crakes dispatched by hunters.

The adult BROWN BOOBY was still present on Lake Montauk last Sunday, our only report this week.

A nice find was a SAY’S PHOEBE seen briefly near Field 8 at Heckscher State Park Wednesday morning but not seen again thereafter, despite searching. During the week Heckscher has hosted some nice shorebirds, including 4 different HUDSONIAN GODWITS, an AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER and a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, these mostly at a puddle in Field 7.

Three SANDHILL CRANES flying over the Greenwich Audubon hawk watch Tuesday may have been the same three reported over northern Staten Island on Wednesday.

An adult BLACK-HEADED GULL was seen mostly in the Orchard Beach parking lot at Pelham Bay Park, visiting there at least to Tuesday, and also there on Sunday were an immature BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE photographed before it flew off and a LAPLAND LONGSPUR feeding in the parking lot most of the day.

A NORTHERN SHRIKE was photographed Thursday morning at Jones Beach West End Field 2, and a BLUE GROSEAK was found at the West End turnaround last Sunday, while 21 TUNDRA SWANS were reported flying over the West End mid-day Thursday.

A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was with CANADAS off Oakleigh Avenue north of Sound Avenue in Calverton today, a couple of CACKLING GEESE have been reported this week, and last Saturday EURASIAN WIGEON were seen on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and on Eastport Pond. An HUDSONIAN GODWIT was also on the East Pond Saturday.

Pelagic birds from the south shore of Long Island featured 2 GREAT SHEARWATERS off Robert Moses State Park Sunday, a PARASITIC JAEGER off Fort Tilden Wednesday, with 2 Thursday, and 2 BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES off Camp Hero at Montauk Point Sunday, while a boat 6 miles south of Amagansett Monday reported a NORTHERN FULMAR and a GREAT SHEARWATER.

A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was in Greenwood Cemetery Brooklyn all week, and a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was seen at the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center Saturday. A LAPLAND LONGSPUR flew over Robert Moses State Park Thursday. Other species of note this week have included some AMERICAN BITTERNS and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS and numerous lingering late migrants.

To phone in reports, on Long Island call Tony Lauro at (631) 734 4126 or call Tom Burke at (914) 967-4922 and leave a message.

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

- End transcript
...Read more

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Treehugger Tuesday

From Fast Company:

The Largest Ever Tropical Reforestation Is Planting 73 Million Trees
The project in the Brazilian Amazon is using a new technique for planting trees that results in more, stronger plants–and hopes to cover 70,000 acres in new forests.
By John Converse Townsend
10.31.17

There are more habitable planets in our galaxy than humans living on planet Earth. But the nearest one is about 70 trillion miles away, which means that, for now, and for the foreseeable future, Earth is the only life-supporting rock hurtling through infinite space we’ll ever know. It’s really not the best idea to let it burn up–and key to keeping it cool are the massive rainforests of the Amazon. Sadly, we’ve had a hard time not cutting them down.

A new project should help prevent–or at least slow down–that hot future. If all goes to plan over the next six years, a project led by Conservation International will become the largest tropical reforestation project in history. Seventy-three million trees will sprout up across what’s known as the “arc of deforestation,” in the Brazilian states of Amazonas, Acre, Pará, Rondônia, and throughout the Xingu watershed. The short-term plan is to restore 70,000 acres (the area of 30,000 soccer fields) that have been cleared for pastureland to their former forested glory.

“If the world is to hit the 1.2°C or 2°C [degrees of warming] target that we all agreed to in Paris, then protecting tropical forests in particular has to be a big part of that,” M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International, tells Fast Company. “It’s not just the trees that matter, but what kind of trees. If you’re really thinking about getting carbon dioxide out of atmosphere, then tropical forests are the ones that end up mattering the most.”

Read the entire article here

Monday, November 06, 2017

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, November 11, 2017 to Sunday, November 12, 2017:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, November 11, 2017, 12 pm – 1 pm
Introduction to Bird Watching
Join Prospect Park Alliance for a birdwatching walk and learn about Prospect Park’s magnificent array of birds and how to identify them!

**********

Bedford Audubon Society
August 25, 2017-November 22, 2017 @ Arthur Butler Sanctuary on Chestnut Ridge Road, Bedford Hills
Experience the Miracle of Migration at the Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch
The HawkWatch starts August 25! Join us at the Chestnut Ridge HawkWatch at the Arthur Butler Sanctuary on Chestnut Ridge Road in Bedford Hills every day from 9am to 5pm, weather permitting, to experience the miracle of raptor migration. Our data is combined with other sites across North America to create powerful population and migration analyses that help us better protect raptors and their habitat.
See more details

November 12, 2017, 8:00am - 1:00pm
Edith Read Sanctuary/Marshlands Conservancy, Rye
A favorite trip among members! Targets include waterfowl, Great Horned Owls, and lingering songbirds
Depart Bylane at 7:15am or meet us at the boathouse on Playland Lake at 8am
Level of difficulty: Easy to moderate
Please let us know if you’d like to borrow binoculars
Register with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914.302.9713
See more details

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, November 11, 2017
A New Jersey Tour: Lake Takanassee and Sandy Hook National Seashore
Leaders: Peter Dorosh and Ryan Goldberg
Focus: Late sparrows, raptors, upland wetland birds, ducks and seabirds, coastal waterfowl, open space birds, dune relevant species
Car fee: $25.00
Registrar: Peter Dorosh, Prosbird@aol.com or text only cell 347-622-3559
Registration Period: Nov 4th - Nov 9th
Note: due to Daylight Savings ending (Nov 5th) the leaders will try to leave by 6 […]
Please review our general trip information and guidelines on this page.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Prospect Park, Bartel Pritchard Park Entrance
Leader: Steve Nanz
Registrar: Kathleen Howley — kathleenhowley@gmail.com or 212-877-3170
Registration opens: Monday, October 30
F train to the 15th Street – Prospect Park station
Meet at the Bartel Pritchard entrance at 8:00 am

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 11:00 a.m.
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11am to 12:30pm beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Included in All-Garden Pass
Get Tickets

**********

New York City Audubon Society
Saturdays, September 2–November 25, 2017, 8-9:30am
Van Cortlandt Park Bird Walks
Guides: NYC Audubon with the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy
Meet at Van Cortlandt Nature Center. The history of birding and Van Cortlandt Park are inseparable. Influential birders such as Roger Tory Peterson and Allan D. Cruickshank got their starts on Van Cortlandt’s ecologically diverse grounds. These walks celebrate the tradition set forth by these great ornithologists. Participants will look for various species of residents and migrants and discuss a wide range of avian topics. For more information, please call 212-691-7483. No registration necessary. No limit. Free

**********

North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, November 11, 2017, 8am – 12pm
Nassau County Museum of Art
Where: One Museum Dr, Roslyn, NY 11576, USA (map)
NOTE EARLY START TIME

See "Walk locations" for directions.
Wear water-resistant footwear, bring binoculars and drinking water. Wear long pants and socks so you do not touch poison ivy.
Leader: Peggy (516) 883-2130

**********

NYC H2O
Saturday, November 11, 2017, 11:00am – 12:30pm
Ridgewood Reservoir Community Tour

The Ridgewood Reservoir in Highland Park is a 50+ acre natural oasis that straddles the border of Brooklyn and Queens. Built in 1859 to supply the once independent City of Brooklyn with high quality water, it became obsolete with the addition of new reservoirs in the Catskills in the 1950’s and was decommissioned in the 1980’s. Since then, nature took its course in a perfect case study of ecological succession. A lush and dense forest has grown in its two outside basins while a freshwater pond with waterfowl sits in the middle basin.

Join us to explore this incredible natural resource in the heart of NYC. Please make a reservation.

We will meet in the parking lot at Vermont Place.

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, November 11, 2017
South Shore Potpouri
Leader: Ian Resnick (917) 626-9562
Where: Lofts Pond, Baldwin, NY 11510, USA (map)

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Jones Beach West End 2

From the Southern State Parkway, exit onto the Meadowbrook State Parkway south. After entering Jones Beach State Park, exit right (west) into the West End. Continue west to West End 2 parking lot; we meet in the northeast corner of the lot.

From the Wantagh State Parkway, travel south. Upon entering Jones Beach State Park, exit at Bay Drive and continue west to West End 2 parking lot; we meet in the northeast corner of the lot.

Directions via Google Maps

Bird walks led by a member of SSAS are conducted nearly every Sunday morning from late August through early June. Walks are open to the public and are free of charge. We especially encourage youngsters to attend.
All walks start at 9:00 A.M.
There is no walk if it rains or snows or temperature is below 25°F.
For more information or in case of questionable weather conditions, please phone Joe at 516 467-9498.


**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Bird Walks at Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
8:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.
Join NYC Audubon on birding walks through Van Cortlandt Park to discover wildlife happenings in the park.
Free!

Birding: Winter Birding at Bush Terminal Park, Brooklyn
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!

Sunday, November 12, 2017
Fall Birding at Perkins Visitors Center (in Wave Hill), Bronx
9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Naturalist Gabriel Willow contributes his knowledge of bird species and their behaviors on these captivating walks at Wave Hill, the perfect habitat for resident and migrating birds.

Birding at 110th Street and Morningside Drive (in Morningside Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, November 04, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, November 3, 2017:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Nov. 3, 2017
* NYNY1711.03

- Birds mentioned
BROWN BOOBY+
LECONTE'S SPARROW+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
EURASIAN WIGEON
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Cory's Shearwater
MANX SHEARWATER
American Bittern
American Golden-Plover
HUDSONIAN GODWIT
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER
White-rumped Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher
Wilson's Snipe
Parasitic Jaeger
RAZORBILL
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Orange-crowned Warbler
Hooded Warbler
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW
Vesper Sparrow
Nelson's Sparrow
DICKCISSEL

Extralimital:
CAVE SWALLOW+ (seen in northern NY & along the Connecticut coast)

- Transcript

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 nysarc44(at)nybirds{dot}org.

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

Gary Chapin - Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
125 Pine Springs Drive
Ticonderoga, NY 12883

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

Compilers: Tom Burke and Tony Lauro
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, November 3rd 2017 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are BROWN BOOBY, LECONTE'S SPARROW, BLACK-HEADED GULL, MANX SHEARWATER, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, EURASIAN WIGEON, HUDSONIAN GODWIT, BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, RAZORBILL, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW and DICKCISSEL.

The adult BROWN BOOBY still present on Lake Montauk last Sunday seen roosting on green buoy #11 as viewed by looking south from the Star Island entrance road off West Lake Drive. Its previously favored roosting sites, the tall masts of sailboats including the Maui, have apparently moved on and with again no reports since Sunday we wonder if the BOOBY has also moved on. Besides the Star Island causeway another observation point with a good vista of the lake is at the end of South Lake Drive. Please post updates.

A great find this week was the LECONTE'S SPARROW found Saturday morning at Turtle Cove in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx. Word got out early enough that many birders were at least able to glimpse the LECONTE'S during the day. Like two LECONTE'S along the Connecticut coast the week before this bird was not seen after the initial day. Nevertheless, Pelham Bay did also produce a variety of nice birds this week including an adult BLACK-HEADED GULL roosting in the Orchard Beach parking lot Thursday and today. This possibly the same returning bird that has recently wintered around Five Islands Park in New Rochelle. Also seen Thursday at Pelham Bay were 2 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, VESPER SPARROW and a DICKCISSEL and like in many saltmarshes regionally a few NELSON'S SPARROWS remain around Turtle [Cove].

At Heckscher State Park on Long Island two parking lots containing large puddles have been attracting a nice variety of shorebirds especially lot 7. Thursday and today up to 3 HUDSONIAN GODWITS have been visiting the lot 7 puddles though all 3 including one with 2 unfortunate tumors and another with wing and leg injuries are not there all the time. However this puddle during the week has also produced up to 3 AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS, a LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER and PECTORAL, WHITE-RUMPED and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS with a WILSON'S SNIPE at the lot 6 puddle on Monday.

Another notable shorebird was a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER reported today with Dunlin in the swale at Jones Beach West End.

A seawatch off East Hampton in the storm Sunday produced 2 RAZORBILLS and a CORY'S SHEARWATER. Further west at Robert Moses State Park Sunday there was a large sea duck flight with 17 thousand scoters estimated, mostly BLACKS and the terns offshore attracted 3 PARASITIC JAEGERS while later in the afternoon a MANX SHEARWATER also went by.

One of the high counts of LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS included 26 Sunday at Moses Park field 5. The EURASIAN WIGEON was still on Swan Lake in Patchogue last weekend and a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was found today in Westchester County at the Stone Barns Center off Bedford Road north of Pocantico Hills.

An AMERICAN BITTERN was at the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center last Saturday and 2 were seen Wednesday at Gilgo.

In Central Park a nice Fall record was the YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER found Saturday north of the Ramble and reported to Monday. A HOODED WARBLER was still in Central Saturday and a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW appeared at the north end at the Great Hill today. ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, generally on the late side, are now popping up in various locations along with some tardy migrants and as a note CAVE SWALLOWS have recently been seen in northern New York and along the Connecticut coast.

To phone in reports on Long Island call Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 or call Tom Burke at (914) 967-4922 and leave a message.

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

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Friday, November 03, 2017

Friday's Foto

Scoters are a family of seaducks that are normally seen fairly far offshore. This Surf Scoter not only was hanging around on Jamaica Bay, but was also just a stone's throw from the shore.

Nicknamed by hunters "skunk-head coot", this large seaduck is one of three species of scoter that are native to North America. The other two being Black Scoter and White-winged Scoter (the surf being the only one with all black wings when seen in flight).

Breeding in northern freshwater lakes, their large range includes from western Alaska through Central Labrador in Canada. Overwintering offshore on both sides of this continent, their range extends as far south as Baja California on the west coast and down to South Carolina on the east coast.

Diving for prey on or near the bottom, the Surf Scoter's diet is mostly mollusks but they also feed on aquatic insects, crustaceans, echinoderms, small fish and marine worms.

Their conservation status via IUCN is "Least Concern". They may have gone through a serious decline early in the 20th century, but now is mostly stable or only slightly declining. Wintering concentrations are vulnerable to oil spills and other pollution.

The Surf Scoter's scientific name, Melanitta perspicillata, means black duck; spectacled.

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