Saturday, February 24, 2018

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert fir the week ending Friday, February 23, 2018:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Feb. 23, 2018
* NYNY1802.23

- Birds Mentioned

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Cackling Goose
TUNDRA SWAN
Wood Duck
KING EIDER
BARROW’S GOLDENEYE
Red-necked Grebe
EARED GREBE
Killdeer
American Bittern
Rough-legged Hawk
American Woodcock
Bonaparte’s Gull
BLACK-HEADED GULL
LITTLE GULL
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Glaucous Gull
Red-winged Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird
Common Grackle

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, February 23, 2018 at 8:00 pm.

Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties we have not been able to completely record the tape recently, unexplained gaps continuing to appear in the message.

The highlights of today’s tape are LITTLE and BLACK-HEADED GULLS, PINK-FOOTED, BARNACLE and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, TUNDRA SWAN, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE and KING EIDER, EARED GREBE and more.

Even with waterfowl now on the move and a few expected early arrivals showing up in the area, this week’s report has a familiar ring to it.

The Montauk PINK-FOOTED GOOSE was noted both days last weekend back on the pastures at the Deep Hollow Ranch on the south side of Route 27.

Also in the Montauk area, the adult LITTLE GULL apparently moved away from the Point area, being seen Monday in a good-sized BONAPARTE’S GULL flock off Ditch Plains, and a male KING EIDER was a reported fly-by at the Point on Monday.

On Wednesday, two BARNACLE GEESE were found on the pond at Gerry Park in Roslyn, but haven’t been seen there since – this pond is south of Papermill Road below Roslyn Pond.

A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was spotted at Hook Pond in East Hampton Saturday, and the TUNDRA SWAN was still on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Wednesday, staying mostly up towards the north end. A few CACKLING GEESE also continue in the region.

A drake BARROW’S GOLDENEYE was still off Crab Meadow Beach last weekend, this Northport site reached from the end of Waterside Road. The wintering female BARROW’S GOLDENEYE in Fire Island inlet was spotted again last Saturday off the west end of Oak Beach Road. That site is also where the EARED GREBE was still present last Sunday.

A decently plumaged male KING EIDER was still at Old Field Point last Sunday, this site at the end of Old Field Road also hosting a LESSER BLACK-BACKED and up to four ICELAND GULLS.

Sightings of BLACK-HEADED GULLS this week included an adult at Brooklyn’s Plumb Beach last Saturday and one Monday at Calvert Vaux Park, as well as the adult at New Rochelle’s Five Islands Park on Wednesday.

A GLAUCOUS GULL was still at Orient Point State Park Saturday, and ICELAND GULLS featured one on Central Park Reservoir Thursday and one last Saturday at Coney Island Beach.

Two RED-NECKED GREBES at unexpected locations included one on the Alley Pond Park Restoration Pond next to the Douglaston Parkway from Saturday to Wednesday and another on Lake Ronkonkoma Monday.

A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK was spotted on Ruffle Bar in Jamaica Bay as viewed from Floyd Bennett Field last Wednesday.

AMERICAN BITTERN continues to be seen along Dune Road west of the Ponquogue Bridge.

Along with the brief warm weather spell came the first of the early spring’s AMERICAN WOODCOCKS, hopefully not to be trapped by a cold snap like they were last year. Also appearing are some KILLDEER and WOOD DUCKS and flocks of COMMON GRACKLES and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, as well as a few RUSTY BLACKBIRDS.

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, February 20, 2018

Treehugger Tuesday

From Popular Science:

We suck at recycling straws—so maybe we should ban them
Reduce, reuse.
By Amal Ahmed February 8, 2018

Walk into any casual restaurant and before you’ve finished looking at the menu, your waiter will probably give you a glass of cold water. There might be a lemon in it. There might be ice. There’s probably a plastic straw sticking out of the cup. Perhaps this morning you slurped up your daily dose of caffeine through an iconic green straw, and then tossed it into a trash can along with your plastic coffee cup without a second thought. The point is, Americans use a lot of straws, and we rarely stop to think about the environmental impact of the hollow, single-use tubes that we discard daily.

A state representative in California is hoping to change that. Assemblyman Ian Calderon introduced a bill in January that would ban single-use plastic straws in sit-down restaurants. (The bill’s first draft didn’t apply to most take-out or fast-food establishments.) The bill stirred up a lot of controversy around the harsh fines and possible jail time it proposed for violators, but Calderon’s office has since offered amendments that wouldn’t actually make criminals out of waiters who give customers straws.

But why go through the lengthy process of banning straws in the first place, instead of encouraging recycling?

It turns out that in the United States, we don’t actually have systems in place to effectively recycle most straws. They quite literally fall through the cracks.

“You can have straws made out of polypropylene, which is entirely recyclable,” says Kartik Chandran, a professor at Columbia University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering. “But the machines we have aren’t really capable of capturing something in the size range of straws.”

That’s how they end up in the ocean, and most viscerally, lodged into the noses of sea turtles.

While of course animals deserve not to be impaled by our plastic debris, resource specialist Darby Hoover at the Natural Resources Defense Council points out that plastics are made from fossil fuels to begin with—which threatens the planet, sea turtles included. “This is part of a bigger issue,” says Hoover. “There are all kinds of plastic products we use everyday made from fossil fuel derived materials, and we should be prioritizing [using] stuff that’s designed not to be used once and thrown away.”

So why don’t we just make our recycling machines better at grabbing straws? Americans have a pretty dismal track record for recycling in the first place, and most of the plastic recycling that’s collected is shipped overseas to be sorted and manufactured into other products, so there’s little incentive to do the dirty work at home. But even with better sorting techniques or higher recycling rates, Hoover says that most recycled plastics end up in products like lumber that we don’t use every day. “That means you have to keep going back and getting more virgin fossil fuel material for new cups, new straws, and new bottles,” she explains. Reducing and reusing, it turns out, are actually the most important of the three R’s you learned in elementary school.

That’s why, in theory, the plastic straw ban could be effective. It could reduce the overall plastic straw waste produced in California. The ban also reminds customers that they have a choice in consuming things so mundane we don’t even think about them. And it puts pressure on manufacturers to design more environmentally-friendly options.

The straw ban is more than just a theoretical proposal. California banned single-use plastic grocery bags in 2016, and Ocean Conservancy estimates that bags now make up around three percent of the trash in California’s beaches, down from 7.4 percent in 2010.

While the image of littered beaches and injured animals can spur action on environmental problems, there’s another huge problem that we can’t see as clearly: microplastics. These sesame-seed sized particles shed from all the myriad plastic products we use every day, from our clothes to our cosmetics and, yes, our straws. “They’re everywhere—not just in the water, not just in the soil, but in the gas phase as well, in the air,” Chandran says. And not much is known about the potential health and environmental impacts of miniscule plastic debris floating around everywhere.

In terms of reducing plastic waste, Chandran says it’s pretty clear that reducing use is a more effective solution than recycling. “There’s no reason for us to be adding plastics products into the environment, from a very black and white perspective,” he says.

So if you have to use a straw and you want to reduce your environmental impact, consider carrying a reusable, stainless steel one next time you pack a lunch or eat out. It works just as well as a the plastic version, and you’ll know for certain that no sea turtles are getting stabbed in the face because of your soda.
...Read more

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, February 24, 2018 to Sunday, February 25, 2018:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, February 24 , 12pm – 1pm
Introduction to Birdwatching
Join Prospect Park Alliance for a birdwatching walk and learn about Prospect magnificent array of birds and how to identify them!

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Western trails of Rockaway, Queens
Leader: Peter Dorosh
Focus: Raptors, winter seabirds, open dune and brush species, ducks, gulls
Car fee: $12.00
Registrar: Peter Dorosh Prosbird@aol.com or text only cell 347-622-3559
Registration Period: Feb 17th – Feb 22nd
Note: some extensive walking required
Please review our general trip information and guidelines on this page.

**********

Gateway National Recreation Area
Saturday, February 24, 2018, 10:00am to 1:00pm
Bird Walk Late Winter Thaw
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Meet at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge for a slide program and hike around the reserve with naturalist Don Riepe.
View Details

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Birding in Peace
Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean that there aren’t interesting birds to discover in Green-Wood. For some bird species that migrate south after the breeding season, Brooklyn is their Miami during the cold months. Spend the early morning exploring the cemetery, looking for overwintering waterfowl, nuthatches, woodpeckers, sparrows, finches and any half-hardy birds that decided to stick around. By February we’ll see some of the early north-bound birds beginning to trickle back into the area.

$10 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $15 for non-members

Click here for our inclement weather policy.

**********

Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, February 24, to Sunday, February 25
Montauk Weekend
Leader: Joe DiCostanzo Registrar: Dale Dancis — ddancis@gmail.com or 212-724-3269
Registration opens: Monday, January 29
Ride: $80 – lodging not included

**********

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

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Barnegat
Leader: Ian Resnick
Where: Barnegat Light, NJ (map)
Description: Harlequins!
more details»

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Mill Pond Park
Use street parking on the westbound side of Merrick Road. The park is four blocks west of the Wantagh State Parkway.
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
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Natural Areas Conservancy Walk and Talk at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum (in Pelham Bay Park), Bronx
11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Tour leader and ecologist Helen Forgione will show you how to identify trees in winter and interpret signs of wildlife, with a special eye toward owls and tracks.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, February 17, 2018

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, February 16, 2018:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Feb. 16, 2018
* NYNY1802.16

- Birds Mentioned

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
PURPLE GALLINULE+
MEW GULL+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
ROSS’S GOOSE
EURASIAN WIGEON
KING EIDER
Common Eider
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
BARROW’S GOLDENEYE
Red-necked Grebe
EARED GREBE
Black Vulture
Razorbill
Bonaparte’s Gull
BLACK-HEADED GULL
LITTLE GULL
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
Pileated Woodpecker


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, February 16, 2018 at 9:00 pm.

Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties we have not been able to completely record the tape recently.

The highlights of today’s tape are MEW GULL, LITTLE, BLACK-HEADED and GLAUCOUS GULLS, PINK-FOOTED, ROSS’S and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, KING EIDER and EURASIAN WIGEON, EARED GREBE, and another PURPLE GALLINULE.

Last Saturday out at Orient Point an adult MEW GULL was spotted and fortunately nicely photographed before it shortly took off and flew north towards Connecticut. Two GLAUCOUS GULLS were also at that location, one still there Thursday.

The PINK-FOOTED GOOSE continues out at Montauk but is moving about a bit more. It was seen up to Tuesday at the Deep Hollow Ranch fields on the south side of Route 27, but on Monday and Tuesday it also visited the Theodore Roosevelt County Park on the north side of Route 27 just west of the ranch; by Wednesday it had also moved farther west to Rita’s Stable on the north side of Route 27 across from Ditch Plains Road. (There’s been no sign of the Westchester Barnacle Goose since the 9th.)

A ROSS’S GOOSE was still feeding on the lawns at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale at least to Monday, this bird usually roosting overnight at Belmont Lake State Park to the east.

A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was still visiting Tung Ting Pond in Centerport to Sunday, with another in Northport Saturday.

A drake BARROW’S GOLDENEYE was still off Crab Meadow Beach on Thursday, this in Northport as approached from Waterside Road.

The adult male KING EIDER around Jones Inlet was seen Monday across the inlet near Meadow Island, viewable from the Jones Beach West End Coast Guard Station area. A female KING was in Shinnecock Inlet Monday, and an immature was still at Old Field Point at the end of Old Field Road today.

A drake EURASIAN WIGEON was on Avon Lake in Amityville north of Route 27A midweek.

The adult LITTLE GULL was still present off Montauk Point at least to Wednesday, the bird usually spotted from the restaurant overlook as it and accompanying BONAPARTE’S GULLS continue to circulate around the Point. The number of COMMON EIDERS and BLACK, SURF and WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS there is also very impressive, and a few RAZORBILLS continue there as well.

Last Saturday two BLACK-HEADED GULLS featured the immature on Prospect Park Lake and the adult at Five Islands Park in New Rochelle.

A GLAUCOUS GULL was at Montauk Point last Saturday and on the Montauk harbor west jetty Monday, where an ICELAND GULL also continues. Other ICELANDS include Brooklyn sightings at Coney Island and Gravesend Bay and three noted at Old Field Point last Monday.

LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS include one at Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier Four Wednesday and one off Coney Island Monday, with another reported from Westhampton Beach Marina Wednesday.

An EARED GREBE continues in Fire Island Inlet as viewed from the western end of Oak Beach Road, with another reported from the bayside at Gilgo Monday.

Two RED-NECKED GREBES were off the Timber Point marina Sunday, another in Gravesend Bay Monday.

Interesting Suffolk County birds include three BLACK VULTURES in Riverhead, seen recently around Roanoke Avenue and the Supreme Court complex, and a PILEATED WOODPECKER at West Hills County Park in Melville.

Much more interesting, though, was the recent uncovering of a third Long Island PURPLE GALLINULE, this found in Rockville Center January 14 and expiring two days later. The date range for the three now deceased PURPLE GALLINULES was from January 13th in Manorville to January 16th in Southampton, an amazing dispersal with a very unfortunate ending.

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

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday's Foto

In 2010 this tiny North American wren was split taxonomically between the eastern and western species. Previously known entirely as the Winter Wren, its western cousin is now called the Pacific Wren. David Sibley has a nice comparison of the differences here. It is also closely related to the Eurasian Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes).

Despite its common name one is more likely to encounter this species around Brooklyn and NYC during the spring and fall migration and not during the winter. The Winter Wren breeds in coniferous forests from British Columbia east to Newfoundland, and south to New England and the Great Lakes region. They overwinter across the eastern half of the United States, south to the Gulf Coast.

This diminutive, chocolate-brown bird with its stubby, cocked tail can be found hopping along fallen trees and roots in dense tangles foraging for food. It can sometimes even be mistaken for a mouse. Their diet is predominantly insects eating ants, beetles, caterpillars, flies, millipedes, mites and spiders. During the fall and winter they also eat berries. Weighing, one average, only 9 grams is one of North America’s smallest birds. Nevertheless, their song is surprisingly explosive. According to Birdwatcher’s Digest “On a per-pound basis, the winter wren generates more song for its weight than any other North American songbird.”

The Winter Wren's conservation status according to the IUCN Red List is Least Concern.

It’s scientific name, Troglodytes hiemalis, means cave dweller, of winter.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Treehugger Tuesday

From Treehugger.com:

Dunkin’ Donuts to have all paper coffee cups by 2020
Melissa Breyer
February 7, 2018

Eliminating polystyrene foam cups starting this year, the company will eventually be saving 1 billion plastic coffee cups from the waste stream annually.

In a perfect world, we would all have reusable coffee cups that we carried around with us wherever we went. But until that ginormous sea change happens, the next best thing would be to see major coffee chains using sustainable materials in their single-use coffee cups. Starbucks has taken a lot of heat, so to speak, for adding 4 billion non-recyclable cups annually to the landfill – which may stand out even more now that Dunkin’ Donuts has announced a transition away from polystyrene foam cups.

From a press release for the new cups, the chain says:

As part of its commitment to serve both people and the planet responsibly, Dunkin’ Donuts, a leading retailer of hot, brewed coffee, today announced plans to eliminate all polystyrene foam cups in its global supply chain beginning in spring 2018, with a targeted completion date of 2020. In U.S. restaurants, Dunkin’ Donuts will replace the foam cup with a new, double-walled paper cup. The majority of Dunkin’ Donuts’ international markets are currently using paper cups, and the brand will work with its franchisees to eliminate foam cups from the remaining international markets by the 2020 goal.

It has been a long time coming, and goes to show that big changes can’t just happen over night – in fact, it took seven years in this case. In 2011, the chain announced that its number one sustainability goal was to find an environmentally friendly coffee cup. Since then they have been working on creating a replacement that “met criteria for performance, environmental impact and cost.”

Dunkin’ Donuts’ transition to paper cups will remove nearly 1 billion foam cups from the waste stream annually, notes the release.

The new cup is made with paperboard certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard. It is a positive development and aligns with the company’s other commitments, like eliminating artificial dyes from items on the menu, building more energy-efficient restaurants, and partnering with the Rainforest Alliance to source certified coffee. In 2014, they announced their commitment to source 100 percent responsible, deforestation-free palm oil.

While the company has quietly been working on other initiatives as well – including an increase in the use of recycled materials in manufacturing their packaging, as well as transitioning away from non-recyclable packaging – the new cups seem worthy of a shout-out. One billion plastic cups a year is a big deal and a great place to start. It appears that the lid will not be changing; even though the cold drink lids were changed from PET to the recyclable polypropylene earlier. Thankfully, unless you're driving on a bumpy road, you can usually do without a lid anyway. (Update: We wrote to the company and asked about the lids. They replied: "The lids are made of high impact polystyrene and are not recyclable, but we are working on a recyclable #5 lid for this cup." They also told us that the new cups' recyclability will vary by city, state and municipality.)

The cups will be introduced at all Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in New York City and California in spring 2018, and will be phased in across the U.S. as supplier manufacturing capabilities ramp up. Let’s hope other coffee chains are not far behind. In the meantime, we still advocate for refillable cups; but we'll be happier to take paper over plastic in a pinch.

Update: We reached out to the company about the recyclability of the hot cups and lids. They tell us that the cup is made of paper and that "The recyclability of the paper cup will vary significantly by city, state and municipality and is based on the recycling services that are offered."
...Read more

Monday, February 12, 2018

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, February 17, 2018 to Sunday, February 18, 2018:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, February 17 , 12pm – 1pm
Introduction to Birdwatching
Join Prospect Park Alliance for a birdwatching walk and learn about Prospect magnificent array of birds and how to identify them!

**********

Bedford Audubon Society
Friday, February 16, 2018 - Monday, February 19, 2018
Cape Ann and Newburyport in Winter
Leader: Tait Johansson
The coast or northeast Massachusetts is the winter home to a spectacular array of seabirds. Our masterful Naturalist will guide this special trip around the region in search of such stunners as Harlequin Duck, King Eider, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Red-necked Grebe, Rough-legged Hawk, Iceland and Glaucous Gulls, Purple Sandpiper, Black Guillemot, Black-legged Kittiwake, Razorbill, and Snowy Owl. It’s also possible to see Dovekie, Thick-billed Murre, and Eastern and Short-eared Owls. Add these to your year(or life) list this month!
Cost: $100/members, or $130/non-members and we’ll credit $30 to an annual membership; travel, lodging, and meals not included.
Note: The fees for this trip help support environmental education so we can continue to deliver high-quality programs for free.
Please register with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914.302.9713.
See more details

**********

Feminist Bird Club
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Great Backyard Bird Count - Inwood Hill Park

An inclusive bird watching club dedicated to providing a safe opportunity to connect with the natural world in urban environments and having an ongoing conversation about intersectionality, activism, and the rights of all women, non-binary folks, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, February 11, 2018 rescheduled due to rain
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Birding in Peace
Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean that there aren’t interesting birds to discover in Green-Wood. For some bird species that migrate south after the breeding season, Brooklyn is their Miami during the cold months. Spend the early morning exploring the cemetery, looking for overwintering waterfowl, nuthatches, woodpeckers, sparrows, finches and any half-hardy birds that decided to stick around. By February we’ll see some of the early north-bound birds beginning to trickle back into the area.

$10 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $15 for non-members

Click here for our inclement weather policy.

**********

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
Saturday, February 17, 2018, 9am – 6pm
Winter Birding on the South Shore of Long Island
Guide: Gabriel Willow
Winter in New York brings the excitement of possibility: Will snowy owls appear in the dunes? Will harlequin ducks move westward from Cape Cod and Montauk and appear in closer waters? Will irruptive northern finches and bohemian waxwings move south from Canada? All of these species and more are possible on Long Island in the winter, along with more expected species such as loons, grebes, scaup, eider, northern harriers, and purple sandpiper. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $95 (67)
Click here to register

**********

South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Massapequa Lake

Massapequa Lake is at the southern end of Massapequa Preserve. Use street parking on the westbound side of Merrick Road, west of Lake Shore Blvd.
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
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Animal of the Month Club: Bald Eagles at Satterlee Street and Hylan Boulevard (in Conference House Park), Staten Island
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
New York City is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife. Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!

**********

Young Birders Club
Sunday February 18, 2018
Montauk / Eastern Long Island (Suffolk County)
Sponsoring NYSYBC Partner: Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Trip Leader: Bob Adamo
Our good friend Bob Adamo will be leading this field trip on Presidents' Day weekend.
Montauk Point and nearby areas are famous for fantastic winter birding. Target birds include loons, grebes, scoters, Northern Gannet, Harlequin Duck, Common Eider, Long-tailed Duck, Razorbill, and more!
Watch your email Inbox and check back here for details coming soon!
Trip Registration Form due by 2/10/17
...Read more

Saturday, February 10, 2018

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, February 9, 2018:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Feb. 9, 2018
* NYNY1802.09

- Birds Mentioned

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
ROSS’S GOOSE
Cackling Goose
Canada Goose
Tundra Swan
KING EIDER
HARLEQUIN DUCK
BARROW’S GOLDENEYE
EARED GREBE
DOVEKIE
Razorbill
Bonaparte’s Gull
BLACK-HEADED GULL
LITTLE GULL
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Glaucous Gull
Lapland Longspur

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, February 9, 2018 at 8:00 pm.

Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties we have not been able to record the tape recently.

The highlights of today’s tape are PINK-FOOTED, BARNACLE, ROSS’S and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, HARLEQUIN DUCK and KING EIDER, LITTLE and BLACK-HEADED GULLS, DOVEKIE and EARED GREBE.

Water birds, not unexpectedly, continue to dominate our regional rarities. The Montauk PINK-FOOTED GOOSE continues to move between the Deep Hollow Ranch farm fields on the south side of Route 27 and the Montauk Downs golf course, noted at the farm Tuesday and on the golf course last Sunday and yesterday.

The BARNACLE GOOSE, originally found at Playland Park in Rye on January 29th, has recently spent most of its time on local private golf courses in Rye and Harrison, but today it, as well as its companion CACKLING GOOSE and most of the CANADA flock, visited a mill pond in Rye off Kirby Lane, flying in early and leaving around 10 am, headed back inland. The mill pond does have a small parking turnout on Kirby Lane but is otherwise surrounded by private property. This area is just east of Playland Lake, which the geese will hopefully return to once it thaws.

This week’s ROSS’S GEESE include one recently spending the overnight on the lake at Belmont Lake State Park and feeding at St. Charles Cemetery to the west in Farmingdale, and two ROSS’S found off Doctors Path north of Riverhead last Sunday.

A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE has also been noted at Belmont Lake State Park since last Sunday, with another seen again on Tung Ting Pond in Centerport Tuesday.

The TUNDRA SWAN on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge was present at least to last Saturday, and two were still on Hook Pond in East Hampton last Sunday.

A drake BARROW’S GOLDENEYE has been present recently off Crab Meadow Beach in Northport, with the female still in Fire Island inlet off Oak Beach Road last weekend.

KING EIDERS around the Point Lookout jetties have included drake and immature males and a female or two, while out in the Montauk area last weekend sightings of KINGS featured young males off the Point and at Culloden Point, with a female at Ditch Plains.

At least five HARLEQUIN DUCKS remain around the Point Lookout jetties, with a female also at Ditch Plains last Saturday.

A KING EIDER at Old Field Point at the end of Old Field Road last Saturday was just one of several nice birds there, including a BLACK-HEADED GULL plus two ICELAND and one LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS.

The best GULL, however, was the adult LITTLE GULL found off Montauk Point last Friday afternoon and continuing there over the weekend and noted Tuesday as well, usually near a small group of BONAPARTE’S GULLS.

Last weekend the Montauk area also provided several other nice birds, perhaps topped by a DOVEKIE that visited the Point briefly Sunday morning. The large congregation of ducks there was a highlight in itself, supplemented by an estimated 80 RAZORBILLS on Sunday, when an EARED GREBE was also spotted at the sound end of Lake Montauk. Up to seven ICELAND GULLS were thought to be around the Montauk harbor inlet, and single GLAUCOUS GULLS were spotted off the Point as well as at the harbor inlet Tuesday.

Besides the adult at Old Field Point, other BLACK-HEADED GULLS included an immature visiting Prospect Park Lake Tuesday to Thursday and an adult at Bush Terminal Piers Park in Brooklyn Wednesday, with the adult continuing around Five Islands Park in New Rochelle.

The Fire Island inlet EARED GREBE was still off the west end of Oak Beach Road last Sunday.

A LAPLAND LONGSPUR was spotted around Lot 2 at Jones Beach West End today.

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

Friday, February 09, 2018

Urban Marine Mammals

For various reasons, not the least of which is cleaner coastal waters in the Big Apple, marine mammals are being seen more regularly. As I've reported here and on my Twitter account, Harbor Seal sightings around coastal Brooklyn during the winter months is fairly common. What IS unusual is one hauling out at Brooklyn Bridge Park to take a siesta. I thought I might take a moment to remind New Yorkers how to behave around these incredible animals.

First, let's take a look at where exactly this adorable blubbo stopped to rest:
The waterways are treacherously busy along the East River, not to mention the gauntlet of ships he or she had to run in Upper and Lower New York Harbor just to get to this location. Then there are the humans he or she has to deal with at this very busy city park. Which brings me to the primary reason for writing this non-bird posting. There were several employees of the parks department who, at first, tried to scare the Harbor Seal away by yelling and waving their arms. When that didn't work they took out their cameras and walked within 5' of the seal to take some photos. They should have known better for a couple of reasons...

All marine mammals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. NOAA guides state that when observing wild dolphins, porpoises, and seals you must do it from "safe distances of at least 50 yards (150 feet) by land or sea." As more of these at risk animals come in closer contact with urban environments it is critical that we do our best not to disrupt their normal behavior. Here is a detailed page of information on the Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina) from the Seal Conservation Society. If you are lucky enough to see a Harbor Seal or any marine mammals around New York City, the best way to observe them is through binoculars. If you decide to try and get close remember they are wild animals and you could also get slapped with a very substantial fine.

Friday's Foto

One of my favorite waterfowl, the Redhead is a medium-sized diving duck with a vibrant red-copper colored head and bright blue bill with a black tip. Similar to the Canvasback, they are smaller with a rounder head, smaller bill and a grayer back.

Feeding mainly on aquatic plants, their diet also includes mollusks, aquatic insects, and small fish.

Female Redheads are “brood parasites” and will lay their eggs in other species' nests. They use the nest of at least 10 species of waterfowl including American Wigeon, Canvasback, Gadwall, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler and Ruddy Duck. There are also records of them laying their eggs in the nests of American Bittern and Northern Harrier!

Redheads breed in the northern prairies of the United States and Canada from Alaska south to Colorado and the intermountain marshes of the west and southwest. They overwinter across the southern United States from California to Florida and south into Mexico. Eastern populations will winter in South Carolina, although they are declining in the east. Estimates speculate that 80% of North America’s redhead population overwinter in the Laguna Madre lagoon of Texas and Mexico.

This species conservation status according to the IUCN Red List is “Least Concern”, due to their extremely large range and increasing population trends.

The etymology of it’s scientific name, Aythya americana, is Gr. aithuia unidentified seabird mentioned by Aristotle, Hesychius, and other authors, and America.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Treehugger Tuesday

From Arstechnica:

Tesla and South Australia at it again, this time building a virtual power plant
Thousands of panels across South Australia will work together
Megan Geuss - 2/5/2018, 6:40 PM

Just a few months after Tesla completed the world's biggest lithium-ion battery installation outside of the Hornsdale wind farm in South Australia, the Australian state and the electric vehicle-slash-energy company look like they're ready to partner again.

This time, South Australia wants to build a 250MW virtual power plant. The plant will consist of thousands of solar panels and batteries running software that decides when the batteries charge and discharge to maximize efficiency and value to the grid.

The build out will start with 1,100 public housing properties. Residents sign up if they're interested in the program, and a Tesla contractor comes out to the home and tries to outfit a solar and battery storage solution to the house in question.

Read the entire article here.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, February 10, 2018 to Sunday, February 11, 2018:

Bedford Audubon Society
Saturday, February 10, 2018 @ 9:00am - 4:00pm
Eaglefest
Join us at the New Croton Dam for a day of viewing our Nation’s symbol, the Bald Eagle. We’ll also be monitoring the local waterfowl and other birds, too! No registration necessary. Snow date Sunday, February 11.
See more details

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, February 10, 2018 @ 9:00am
A “Presidential” Prospect Park Walk: Meet New BBC President Dennis Hrehowsik
Meet 9 am at the Prospect Park Pergola entrance (Parkside and Ocean Ave.) No registration required.
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik Note: Nearest Train is the “Q” line to local stop Parkside Ave.
Please review our general […]

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Eastern Long Island Audubon Society
Saturday, February 10, 2018, meet at 8am
Montauk Point
Leader: Eileen Schwinn
Meet at The Point/Lighthouse parking lot (Voted Warmest Rest Rooms in Winter, Suffolk County!) Dress appropriately!! Expect the worst and hope for the BEST!!! Seabirds galore, we will visit the Point, Camp Hero, Montauk Lake, Ditch Plains, The Ranch, TR Campground and any place birds may be reported!

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Gateway National Recreation Area
Saturday, February 10, 2018, 10:00am to 11:30am
Birding by Ear I
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Join us for an introduction to the calls of backyard birds.
View Details

Sunday, February 11, 2018, 10:00am to 11:30am
Birding by Ear II
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Welcome to the second installment in our auditory birding series.
View Details

Sunday, February 11, 2018, 10:00am to 12:00pm
Experience the Winter Beach at Fort Tilden
Location: Building 1 at Fort Tilden
Explore the littoral zone at low tide and walk along the edge of the sea.
View Details

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Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, February 11, 2018 rescheduled due to rain
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Birding in Peace
Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean that there aren’t interesting birds to discover in Green-Wood. For some bird species that migrate south after the breeding season, Brooklyn is their Miami during the cold months. Spend the early morning exploring the cemetery, looking for overwintering waterfowl, nuthatches, woodpeckers, sparrows, finches and any half-hardy birds that decided to stick around. By February we’ll see some of the early north-bound birds beginning to trickle back into the area.

$10 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $15 for non-members

Click here for our inclement weather policy.

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Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, February 10, 2018 - 9:00am
14th Annual Eaglefest (Croton-on-Hudson)
Join us in Croton Point Park in Westchester for a celebration of Hudson River’s eagles, hosted by the Teatown Nature Preserve. You can see both wild eagles by the river and captive eagles up close! There will also be music, food, heated tents, and activities for kids. Advance tickets are $17 for adults and $10 for children; day-of tickets are slightly higher. To purchase advance tickets and for more info visit https://www.teatown.org/events/eaglefest/.
Registration: 631-885-1881

Directions: Take the Taconic State Parkway just past where it merges with the Sprain Brook, and take 9A north to its end in Crotonville. Continue north on route 9 for 0.7 miles then exit and follow signs into Croton Point Park.

Sunday, February 11, 2018 - 9:00am
Heckscher State Park
This 1600 acre park is on the Great South Bay in East Islip. The forest and wetland areas are home to a variety of winter bird species.
Registration: 585-880-0915

Directions: Take the Southern State Parkway to the end and merge onto the Heckscher State Parkway. Follow signs to field 5.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Central Park Winter Bird Walk 1
Leader: Richard ZainEldeen
Registrar: Nancy O’Keefe — jessbird123@gmail.com or 212-734-9225
Registration opens: Monday, January 29
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

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New York City Audubon
Saturday, February 10, 2018, 9am – 2pm
Winter Birds of DeKorte Park
Guide: Nadir Souirgi
Explore the the wilds of the New Jersey Meadowlands at DeKorte Park. We'll take trails through wetland and salt-marsh habitat to look for a rich diversity of wintering ducks and rarities such as rough-legged hawk, short-eared owl, and northern shrike. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $88 (62)
Click here to register

Saturday, February 10, 2018, 9am – 11am
Randall's Island Winter Walk
Guide: Jacob Drucker
Situated at the junction of the East River and Long Island Sound, Randall's Island is an excellent place to observe birds using these major waterways to facilitate their movements. The presence of converging currents, a salt-marsh restoration project, excellent thickets, and lots of open space makes Randall's Island a great place to go birding. Some species like horned lark, snow bunting, red-throated loon, and Bonaparte's gull are more likely to be found at Randall's than anywhere else in New York County. Limited to 15. $36 (25)
Click here to register

Sunday, February 11, 2018, 8am – 3pm
Birding Gems of Staten Island: Winter at Freshkills Park
Guides: Cliff Hagen with NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
Winter at Freshkills Park is an exciting time for birding. The grass-covered slopes offer birds plenty of seed and shelter to huddled flocks of horned larks, snow buntings, and sparrow species, as rough-legged hawks soar overhead. Down below the mounds are a crisscross of tidal creeks filled with a variety of waterfowl. Grebes, geese, and coots swim alongside over a dozen species of ducks including teal, mergansers, and pintails. Transport by passenger van on S.I. included. Limited to 12. $57 (40)
Click here to register

Sunday, February 11, 2018, 9:30am – 11:30am
Winter Birding Along the Hudson: Wave Hill
Guide: Gabriel Willow with Wave Hill
Meet at the Perkins Visitor Center. The Hudson River valley hosts an impressive diversity of bird species, even during the winter months. Come explore the beautiful gardens and woodlands of Wave Hill and observe the hardy birds that spend the winter in this urban oasis. Walks run rain or shine. Ages 10 and up welcome with an adult. See www.wavehill.org for admission rates. NYC Audubon members enjoy two-for-one admission

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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Saturday, February 10, 2018 @ 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Mt. Loretto Unique Area, Beach and Bluffs
Enjoy a mid-winter walk to investigate the geology beneath the historic Princes Bay lighthouse. Naturalist Ray Matarazzo will discuss storm erosion at the Terminal Moraine. During the walk participants may find fossils. Winter storm action and erosion occasionally reveal glacial drift fossils from the Devonian Period, fossils which are millions of years old. Bring a magnifier. Meet in the Hylan Boulevard parking lot across from the CYO Community Center at Kenny Road. For more information contact Ray Matarazzo at 718 317-7666.
Read More

Sunday, February 11, 2018 @ 11:00am – 1:00pm
Willowbrook Park Gateway to the Greenbelt
This easy 3.5 mile loop walk takes us to a rich deep lowland woodlands and winding streams. We will focus on tree bark identification and look for overwintering plant. We will meet in the parking lot at the end of Eton Place off Richmond Avenue. To register for the walk please e-mail Hillel Lofaso at hillel5757@gmail.com or call 718-477-0545.
Read More

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Black Doit
Leader: Arie Gilbert 917-693-7178
Description: Rough-leg, Short-ear, Longspurs...

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Massapequa Preserve

From Sunrise Highway, turn north onto Broadway, Massapequa. Travel under the Long Island Rail Road overpass, then make the first right onto Veterans Boulevard (headed east). Go past the Massapequa train station and into the parking lot at the east end of the station. The preserve is directly east of the parking 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.


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Urban Park Rangers
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Winter Birding at Perkins Visitors Center (in Wave Hill), Bronx
9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
The Hudson River Valley hosts an impressive diversity of bird species in the winter. Observe birds in their winter habitats and explore Wave Hill with naturalist Gabriel Willow.

Birding: Winter Waterfowl at Orchard Beach Nature Center (in Pelham Bay Park), Bronx
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
New York City is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife. Our Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle. Appropriate for all skill levels.
Free!
...Read more

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Green-Wood Cemetery Birder Forum

As Green-Wood Cemetery’s official “Birding in Peace” tour guide I’m frequently asked about conservation or habitat related projects that are in the works. Occasionally I am also grilled about some landscape related issues that may or may not be in the best interest of wildlife in the cemetery. In an attempt to answer all of your questions the cemetery has scheduled a birder forum.

On Thursday, March 1st from 6:30pm to 8:00pm Brooklyn's Historic Green-Wood Cemetery will host a “Birder Town Hall”. Director of Horticulture and biologist Joseph Charap will be the speaker. The primary purpose of the talk will be to:

1 - Express Green-Wood Cemetery’s commitment to birds and birders.
2 - Present efforts currently underway to support wildlife habitats.
3 - Listen to feedback from the birding community.

Some other topics to be covered include native plantings, installing benches at the Dell Water, lawnmowers, and helping birders understand Green-Wood’s many constituencies.

The beautification, community outreach, educational programs and preservation of the cemetery is implemented by the non-profit Green-Wood Historic Fund. It has been proposed that the 2018 Birdathon could be used to both promote the nature of the cemetery and to help raise funds for habitat restoration. Any pledged funds would go directly to the historic fund and continued efforts to support birding at Green-Wood Cemetery. If you or your organization are interested in this unique conservation fundraising effort please contact:

Harry Weil, Director of Programs
harryweil [AT] green-wood.com

If you plan on attending the “Birder Town Hall”, the meeting will be held at the Modern Chapel, just to the right after the main entrance on 25th Street. Please RSVP on the Green-Wood Cemetery website here.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, February 2, 2018:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Feb. 2, 2018
* NYNY1802.02

- Birds Mentioned

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE+
BARNACLE GOOSE+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
ROSS’S GOOSE
Cackling Goose
Canada Goose
TUNDRA SWAN
EURASIAN WIGEON
KING EIDER
HARLEQUIN DUCK
Common Goldeneye
BARROW’S GOLDENEYE
Red-necked Grebe
EARED GREBE
Razorbill
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
GLAUCOUS GULL
Snowy Owl

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, February 2, 2018 at 8:00 pm.

Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties we have not been able to record the tape recently.

The highlights of today’s tape are BARNACLE, PINK-FOOTED, ROSS’S and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, TUNDRA SWAN, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, HARLEQUIN DUCK, KING EIDER, EURASIAN WIGEON, EARED GREBE and BLACK-HEADED and GLAUCOUS GULLS.

With waterfowl providing most of this week’s highlights, new for the area was a BARNACLE GOOSE showing up Monday on Playland Lake in Rye, Westchester County. The goose daily except for Wednesday, when it was on a nearby mill pond, has been roosting in the morning on the lake ice with about 400 CANADAS and an accompanying CACKLING GOOSE; the birds tend to arrive around 8 am and are generally gone by noon, though the times do vary. The BARNACLE was seen leaving a local golf course late this afternoon, headed to an unknown overnight location. Interesting that this BARNACLE and CACKLING pair is presumably the same pair seen initially in Western Massachusetts and later around Westport, Connecticut before moving to Rye.

The PINK-FOOTED GOOSE was still visiting the Deep Hollow Ranch in Montauk at least to Monday, usually seen on the pastures on the south side of Route 27 east of town. If not there, check the Montauk Downs Golf Course.

A ROSS’S GOOSE has been roosting overnight recently on the lake at Belmont Lake State Park and has been found feeding with CANADAS during the day at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale, west of Belmont Lake.

A GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was seen at least to Monday on Tung Ting Pond in Centerport.

A TUNDRA SWAN was still present on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge through Wednesday.

Among the ducks, a drake BARROW’S GOLDENEYE was spotted Thursday off Crab Meadow Beach in Northport, while the female in Fire Island Inlet was still in a COMMON GOLDENEYE flock as viewed from Oak Beach Road last Saturday.

A young male KING EIDER was still present yesterday around the jetties off Point Lookout, best approached from Point Lookout Town Park, and a decent number of HARLEQUIN DUCKS also continue there. Another young male KING was present at Old Field Point up to Thursday at least, this at the end of Old Field Road.

And drake EURASIAN WIGEON continue on the Sayville Mill Pond on the north side of Montauk Highway and at Mill Creek on the southwest side of Staten Island.

Getting back to Old Field Point, an adult BLACK-HEADED GULL spotted there Monday was still present today, and other GULLS there featured up to three ICELAND and a LESSER BLACK-BACKED. An adult BLACK-HEADED GULL also continues at Five Islands Park in New Rochelle, and an immature visited the middle parking lot off the Belt Parkway at Gravesend Bay in Brooklyn Saturday.

A GLAUCOUS GULL was still on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Refuge Sunday, and out east single GLAUCOUS GULLS were noted at Montauk Point Saturday and Orient Point Tuesday.

An ICELAND GULL visited Central Park Reservoir last Saturday, with another at Crab Meadow Beach Thursday.

Five RAZORBILLS were off Montauk Point Thursday, with a single spotted at Breezy Point Saturday.

An EARED GREBE was still near the docks off the western end of Oak Beach Road yesterday, and last Saturday an EARED GREBE was spotted at Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, this bird off Rodman’s Neck and spotted there again Thursday as viewed from a marina just over the City Island bridge. One of a few regional RED-NECKED GREBES has also been around City Island, with others noted off Floyd Bennett Field, Riis Park and at Timber Point in Great River.

As part of the nice continuing invasion of SNOWY OWLS, last Sunday four could be seen along the marshes and offshore islands as viewed from Jamaica Bay’s West Pond.

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, January 30, 2018

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website "New Atlas":

Plastic Trash is the Latest Threat to Coral Reefs
Ben Coxworth
January 26th, 2018

Potentially bacteria-spreading plastic waste on a coral reef (Credit: Tane Sinclair-Taylor @Tanetangaroa)
As if the world's coral reefs weren't already in enough danger due to bleaching, a new study indicates that water-borne plastic trash is also killing them off. According to the study, when such debris comes into contact with corals, the likelihood of disease increases from 4 to 89 percent.

"Plastic items – commonly made of polypropylene, such as bottle caps and toothbrushes – have been shown to become heavily inhabited by bacteria," says lead scientist Joleah Lamb, a postdoctoral research fellow at Cornell University who began her research while she was a doctoral candidate at Australia's James Cook University. "This is associated with the globally devastating group of coral diseases known as white syndromes."

Read the entire article here.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, February 3, 2018 to Sunday, February 4, 2018:

Alley Pond Environmental Center
Sunday, February 4, 2018, 9:30am – 11:30am
Winter Bird Walk for Beginners
More Details

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Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Sunday, February 4, 2018, 10am – 11am
Early Morning Bird Walk: Backyard Birds
Join Prospect Park Alliance to learn about the Great Backyard Bird Count and search for your favorite “backyard bird”. Find woodpeckers, chickadees, and nuthatches eating from feeders along Prospect Park’s nature trails. Please note this tour leaves promptly at 10 am. Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club.

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Brooklyn Bird Club
Saturday, February 3, 2018
Jones Beach State Park
Leader: Joe Giunta
Focus: Raptors, winter seabirds, gulls, other winter birds
Car Fee: $22.00
Registrar: Janet Schumacher janets33@optonline.net or 718-594-7480
Registration Period: Jan 27th – Feb 1st
Please review our general […]

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Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, February 3, 2018 - 8:30am
Jones Beach West End
Leader(s): Mike Cooper (516-523-2369, Bob Grover (516-318-8536)
Meet in the parking lot near the Coast Guard Station at West End.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Saturday, February 3, 2018 (Rain date February 4)
Coney Island Pier to Coney Island Creek
Leader: Rob Jett
Registrar: Regina Ryan — reginaryan@reginaryanbooks.com or 212-787-5589
Registration opens: Monday, January 22
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
Saturday, February 3, 2018, 9am – 3pm
Winter Waterfowl of the Brooklyn Coast
Guide: Kellye Rosenheim
Join Kellye Rosenheim on a tour of Brooklyn’s most productive coastal winter waterfowl sites. We’ll visit Bush Terminal Piers Park, Gravesend, and Calvert Vaux in search of saltwater species such as common goldeneye, long-tailed ducks, loons, as well as horned and red-necked grebes. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $87 (61)
Click here to register

Sunday, February 4, 2018, 12pm – 7pm
Soaring Raptors: Eagles and Owls of the Hudson River Valley
Guide: Joe Giunta, Happy Warblers LLC
You don’t have to travel to Alaska to see our country’s emblem, the bald eagle. Thanks to one of the most successful reintroduction programs on record, many eagles now soar over the nearby Hudson Valley. Travel with us to see this spectacular raptor and try to spot the secretive short-eared owl. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $94 (66)
Click here to register

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, February 4, 2018
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.


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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, February 3, 2018
The NYC Naturalist Club: Eagle Watch at Payson Avenue and Dyckman Street (in Inwood Hill Park), Manhattan
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Winter is a great time to spot bald eagles. In the winter birds of prey tend to fly further south to New York City in search of food. The Rangers will guide you to the best viewing spots.
Free!

Animal of the Month Club: Bald Eagles at Lemon Creek Pier (in Lemon Creek Park), Staten Island
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Winter is a great time to spot bald eagles. Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!

Sunday, February 4, 2018
Birding: Winter Waterfowl (Light) at West 90th Street and Central Park West
1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
This program will focus on the different species of waterfowl that reside in our parks during the colder winter months. Birding programs sare appropriate for all skill levels.
Free!
...Read more

Exploring urban nature, birds, birdwatching, birding, hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, hawks, raptors, wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, environment, binoculars, spotting scope