Check out City Birder Tours, and Green-Wood sponsored tours on their calendar pages here.
Celebrate your inner nerd with my new t-shirt design! Available on my Spreadshirt shop in multiple colors and products.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Friday's Foto

Swainson's Thrush, Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY

Like North America's other, forest thushes, the Swainson's Thrush eats mostly insects during the breeding season and fruits during the fall and winter. Named after English naturalist William Swainson this ground-dwelling species breeds primarily in the Boreal forests across North America. Their sweet, flute-like song is an up spiraling melody. Their winter range extends from northern South America south, through the western Amazon Basin to northern Argentina. The IUCN Red List lists this species as "Least Concern", although populations have been declining.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Upcoming Trips

Below are the birding/nature trips for the weekend of September 25-26, 2021:

Bedford Audubon Society

Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch
August 26, 2021 - November 24, 2021, 9:00am - 5:00 pm
Leader:
Description:It’s officially Hawkwatch Season! Spectacular flocks of Broad-winged Hawks pass through our area in mid-September, but Accipiters such as Sharp-shinned + Cooper’s Hawks provide the most consistent flight throughout the fall hawk-watching season. Join us for Science in Action: Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch to experience the miracle of raptor migration. Our data is combined with other Hawkwatch sites to create population and migration analyses that help us better protect raptors and their habitats. Hawkwatch takes place daily through November, 9:00am-5:00pm (weather permitting). Arthur Butler Sanctuary on Chestnut Ridge Road in Bedford Corners. Registration not necessary, but please abide by current Covid-19 guidelines based on your vaccination status.
Registration: Registration required by emailing Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or by calling 914-302-9713.
View Details


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Brooklyn Bird Club

Prospect Park Saturday Fall Migration Walk
Saturday, September 25, 2021, 7:45am - 11:00 m
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik
Description: Meet 7:45 am at the “Pergola” entrance on Ocean and Parkside Avenues.
Registration: No registration necessary; however, if more than 20 people show up we will split the group.
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Introduction to Birdwatching
Saturday, September 25, 2021, 10:00 am - 12:00pm
Leader: A member of the Brooklyn Bird Club
Description: Whether you're just starting out or have already joined the birding ranks, this introductory walk is for you. Join a member of the Brooklyn Bird Club to learn the basics of birding and search for the dozens of species that visit Prospect Park through all seasons. All levels are welcome.
Registration: No registration necessary. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Please bring binoculars if you have them.
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Freshkills Park Alliance

Insect Walk with Staten Island Museum
Saturday, September 25, 2021, 10:00am
Leader: Rangers
Description: As a part of the High Line’s Insectageddon, all-ages are invited to walk and explore the insects that live at Freshkills Park with the Staten Island Museum’s Director of Natural Sciences Colleen Evans and a Freshkills Park biologist. Pariticpants will use nets to catch and learn about insects up close and see what makes Freshkills an ideal habitat!
Registration: Register via Eventbrite
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Moth Light: Insects and Cyanotypes
Saturday, September 25, 2021, 6:30pm
Leader: Rangers
Description: As a part of the High Line’s Insectageddon, join artist Ash Ferlito for an all-ages evening of mothing and cyanotypes, a time-based photography, at the Freshkills Park Studio + Gallery. Through a process of attracting, studying, and capturing the image of insects to create a visual record, participants will learn about the many moths that call Staten Island home as well as how to explore and capture the likeness of moths on their own! Participants can sign up for drop-in sessions from 6:30PM-8:00PM or 8:00PM-9:30PM to observe, talk with the artist, and try their hand at mothing!
Registration: Register via Eventbrite
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Green-Wood Cemetery

Lookin’ at Lichen Walking Tour
Saturday, September 25, 2021, 11:00am – 12:30pm
Description: What are these organisms brightening up the landscape in shades of orange, yellow, green, blue, and even black? No, it’s not the flowers, it’s the lichens! Green-Wood is the ideal ecological oasis for lichens—colorful fungi that grow on gravestones and trees. Nova Patch, a member of the New York Mycological Society, will lead you on a walk to explore, identify, and appreciate the lichens found in the Cemetery, which is home to over fifty species. The next time you visit Green-Wood you won’t be able to take your eyes off them!.
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Hudson River Audubon Society

Hawk Watch at Lenoir Nature Preserve
Saturday, September 25, 2021, 10:00am
Leader: Michael Bochnik
Description: We will search the skies for Broad-winged Hawks migrating South. Their peak numbers are mid September and we may see hundreds or even thousands, Meet behind the Lenoir Mansion; we suggest bringing a chair.
Registration: Pre-register with Michael bochnikm@cs.com or call him at 914-237-9331 for more information
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Bird Walk and Hawk Watch
Sunday, September 26, 2021, 10:00am
Leader: Michael Bochnik
Description: Meet us for the bird walk at 8:30AM or 10AM for Hawk Watching. Stateline Lookout is across from Lenoir on top of the Palisades. After the bird walk we will hawk watch from the top of the cliffs. The hawk watch is only a few steps away from the parking lot. Hawks migrate sometimes at eye level. Bathrooms and concession stand nearby. Notice: The parking lot can fill up quickly on a nice day!
Registration: Pre-register with Michael bochnikm@cs.com or call him at 914-237-9331 for more information
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Linnaean Society of New York

Watch Hill, Fire Island
Saturday, September 25, 2021
Leader: Paul Sweet
Description: Located in the middle of Fire Island, the barrier beach that runs along the south shore of Long Island, Watch Hill is a great place to witness fall migration. Many birds are moving down the narrow barrier strip and often stop to feed. We expect to see raptors, particularly falcons, harriers, osprey and accipiters if winds are right. Warblers and other songbirds can fill the thickets, and the beaches and marshes are good for water birds. Some special things we might see are Royal Terns, Glossy Ibis, Saltmarsh Sparrows and Boat-tailed Grackles. We will meet at the Fire Island ferry, then take a pleasant 30-minute boat ride to Watch Hill. Bring plenty of water and food, sun lotion, and bug spray, and a hat is strongly suggested.
Registration: Nancy Shamban — nancyshamban@gmail.com
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New York City Audubon

Van Cortlandt Park Bird Walks, The Bronx
Saturdays, September 4 - November 27, 9-10:30am
Leader: NYC Audubon
Description: Explore Van Cortlandt Park's ecologically diverse grounds and celebrate a long tradition of birding in the park. We will look for various resident and migratory bird species and discuss a wide range of avian topics.
Registration: Via Eventbrite
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Queens Botanical Garden Bird Walk
Saturday, September 25, 2021, 9:30-10:30am
Leader: NYC Audubon with Queens Botanical Garden
Description: Explore Queens Botanical Garden in search of migrant songbirds and learn about the valuable resources that the Garden offers birds and other wildlife. Binoculars available. Register for one date or the whole series of five walks (walk-ins welcome). Visit www.queensbotanical.org/calendar to register.
Registration: Each walk limited to 25. Free (with Garden admission)
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Governors Island Bird Walk
Saturdays, July 10-October 30, 2021, 2-3:30pm
Leader: NYC Audubon
Description: Meet the birds of Governors Island with one of our expert guides! Over 220 bird species have been spotted on the island, which provides excellent habitat all year round. Whether you’re an expert birder or a beginner, these tours will help you discover all of the bird life the island has to offer. Binoculars are available to borrow. Reserve your spot by signing up at Nolan Park #17. Limited to 10. Free.
Registration: Not required.
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North Shore Audubon Society

Valley Stream State Park
Saturday, September 25, 2021, 8:00am – 12:00pm
Leader: Bobby B. - (516) 578-6324
Description: Valley Stream State Park is located 18 miles from Manhattan off the Southern State Parkway in Valley Stream, Long Island, New York. The park consists of 97 acres of fields, woodlands, streambeds, and freshwater wetlands. In addition to bird watching, visitors can enjoy self-guided nature trails, picnicking., children’s play areas, basketball, bocce ball, softball, volleyball, soccer, football, cross-country skiing, and exercise trail. Interpretive programs, arts & crafts, and guided nature tours are available year-round by reservation.
Registration: Limited registration. You must register via email to nsaudubonsociety@gmail.com, and you will receive a confirmation email. If you become unable to attend, please email to allow someone on the waiting list to take your slot.
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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods

Butler Manor Woods and the Unique Area
Sunday, September 26, 2021, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Leader: Ray Matarazzo
Description: Meet in the Mt. Loretto Unique Area, Kenny Road parking lot, then loop the Butler Manor Woods Green Trail and return to the parking lot by the bluff and meadow trail of the Unique Area to view the milkweeds and fall flowers of the grassland. Monarchs, American Lady and Red Admiral butterflies as well as an assortment of late-flying skippers will be nectaring throughout the meadow enjoying the last bright sun of summer. This walk will be approximately 2 miles, and heavy rain will cancel.
Registration: For more information call Don Recklies at (718) 768-9036.
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Queens County Bird Club

Prospect Park
Saturday, September 25, 2021, 7:00am - 3:00pm
Leader: Ian and Eric (917) 626-9562
Description: Meet at Prospect park entrance south of zoo - see map. We will break for lunch at noon, then proceed to Green-Wood Cemetery.
Registration: Please contact trip leader for meeting time and location. Contact trip leader for lunch plans.
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South Shore Audubon Society

Point Lookout Town Park (and Lido Preserve afterwards)
Sunday, September 26, 2021
Leader: Members of SSAS
Description: From the Southern State Parkway, exit onto the Meadowbrook State Parkway south. Exit from the Meadowbrook at Loop Parkway (just before the Jones Beach toll booths) toward Point Lookout. The Loop Parkway ends west of Point Lookout at Lido Boulevard. Continue straight across Lido Boulevard into Point Lookout Park. Travel past the ticket booths and curve left into the very large parking lot on the south side of the park. Park in the southeast corner, closest to the private homes of the village of Point Lookout and the beach. We will walk east along the beach toward Jones Inlet. After returning to the parking lot, we will drive west on Lido Boulevard to Lido Beach Passive Nature Preserve on the north side of Lido Boulevard to walk through the bay marsh.
Registration: Registration is required by calling Joe Landesberg at 516-467-9498
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Urban Park Rangers

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Fall Bird Migration Tour at Margaret Corbin Circle (in Fort Tryon Park), Manhattan
10:00am –11:30am
Description: This nature tour will search for songbirds throughout the Heather Garden grounds and along the Hudson River as they move south during their annual autumn pilgrimage.
Free

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Raptor Time

Here's a few raptor photos from the past couple of weeks. Next cold front should be a good time to do a Brooklyn hawkwatch:

After his usual summer absence, "Rover" has returned to Green-Wood Cemetery for regular visits. Look for him in the pines near Horace Greeley or Samuel F.B. Morse.
It's clearly not a great photo, but definitely identifiable as a Black Vulture. This species is rare around Brooklyn and I spotted him soaring over Green-Wood Cemetery.
Another regular around Green-Wood Cemetery, the American Kestrel is a locally breeding species. Look for them harassing the Monk Parakeets at the main entrance.
The Merlin is another small falcon seen around the cemetery, but only during the fall and winter months. In spring they'll head north again.
During a day trip up to the Croton Reservoir we spotted both Osprey and a few young Bald Eagles. With an abundance of food here for these pescaterians I assume they are locally breeding birds.

Plumage looks like it's a second year Bald Eagle.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Friday's Foto

Philadelphia Vireo, Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY

The Philadelphia Vireo is a relatively scarce Fall migrant seen around Brooklyn and NYC. Despite its common name, this Boreal forest breeding species is very uncommon in the meeting place of our Founding Fathers. It got its name as it was first described by John Cassin in 1842 from a specimen collected near Philadelphia. This small songbird is sometimes confused with the similar Warbling Vireo or Tennessee Warbler. Unlike warblers, though, vireos forage in a slower, more deliberate manner as they move through trees in search of food. This page has a nice in-hand photo comparison of three vireos. The IUCN Red List lists this species as "Least Concern".

Monday, September 13, 2021

Upcoming Trips

Below are the birding/nature trips for the weekend of September 18-19, 2021:

Bedford Audubon Society

Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch
August 26, 2021 - November 24, 2021, 9:00am - 5:00 pm
Leader:
Description: It’s officially Hawkwatch Season! Spectacular flocks of Broad-winged Hawks pass through our area in mid-September, but Accipiters such as Sharp-shinned + Cooper’s Hawks provide the most consistent flight throughout the fall hawk-watching season. Join us for Science in Action: Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch to experience the miracle of raptor migration. Our data is combined with other Hawkwatch sites to create population and migration analyses that help us better protect raptors and their habitats. Hawkwatch takes place daily through November, 9:00am-5:00pm (weather permitting). Arthur Butler Sanctuary on Chestnut Ridge Road in Bedford Corners. Registration not necessary, but please abide by current Covid-19 guidelines based on your vaccination status.
Registration: Registration required by emailing Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or by calling 914-302-9713.
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Guided Canoe Trip at Constitution Marsh
Saturday, September 18, 2021, 9:30am - 11:30am
Leader:
Description: You won’t want to miss this year’s Guided Canoe Trip at Constitution Marsh. Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary is in Putnam County on the east shore of the Hudson River. The marsh is an Audubon New York Important Bird Area (IBA), a NY State Bird Conservation Area, and is designated as a Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat. Registration is very limited and there will be two people per canoe.
Registration: Cost: $45.00 (Member); $50.00 (Non-member).
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Brooklyn Bird Club

Prospect Park Saturday Fall Migration Walk
Saturday, September 18, 2021, 7:45am - 11:00am
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik
Description: Meet 7:45 am at the “Pergola” entrance on Ocean and Parkside Avenues.
Registration: No registration necessary; however, if more than 20 people show up we will split the group.
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Introduction to Birdwatching
Saturday, September 18, 2021, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Leader: A member of the Brooklyn Bird Club
Description: Whether you're just starting out or have already joined the birding ranks, this introductory walk is for you. Join a member of the Brooklyn Bird Club to learn the basics of birding and search for the dozens of species that visit Prospect Park through all seasons. All levels are welcome.
Registration: No registration necessary. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Please bring binoculars if you have them.
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Gateway National Parks

4th Annual Jamaica Bay Monarch/Pollinator Festival
Sunday, September 19, 2021, 10:00am
Leader: Park Rangers
Description: Learn about the amazing journeys of butterflies such as the monarch butterfly, along with many different species of moths, bees, and other pollinators at the second annual Jamaica Bay Pollinator Festival. Meet at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center for a fun day of activities.
Registration: No registration necessary.
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Great South Bay Audubon Society

Connetquot River SP Preserve Talk and Walk
Saturday, September 18, 2021, 8:00am - 10:00am
Leader: Hosted by Great South Bay Audubon and NYS Parks
Description: Connetquot River State Park Preserve 3525 Sunrise Hwy, Oakdale.
Registration: Reservations required – call Connetquot River State Park Preserve at 581-1072 to register. Registration fee $4, plus $8 parking fee per car – unless you have yearly Empire Pass.
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Green-Wood Cemetery

Mushroom Walk for Spanish Speakers
Saturday, September 18, 2021, 10:00am - 11:30am
Description: Green-Wood is a special place for fungi of all kinds. Sigrid Jakob and Potter Palmer, members of the New York Mycological Society and founders of the Green-Wood Fungi Phenology Project, will lead a mushroom walk into the depths of Green-Wood’s lovely and extensive woodlands where all types of fascinating fungi will be encountered: amanita, russula, boletes, agaricus, polypores, puffballs, jellies, even tiny ascomycetes (“dots on sticks,” an often overlooked but ubiquitous fungi that, though difficult to identify, are fascinating to study). Learn how to differentiate the delicious from the deadly and start putting names to some of the city’s more common summer (or fall) fungi. And come prepared for off-road walking.
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Birding in Peace
Sunday, September 18, 2021, 6:30am - 8:00am
Description: Before our gates open to the general public, birding expert Rob Jett leads these peaceful Sunday morning walking tours to discover the birds that make Green-Wood their home—at least temporarily. By September, offspring of these nesting birds 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 feathered denizens from the north. View Details


Fall Mushroom Walk
Sunday, September 19, 2021, 10:00am - 11:30am
Green-Wood is a special place for fungi of all kinds. Sigrid Jakob and Potter Palmer, members of the New York Mycological Society and founders of the Green-Wood Fungi Phenology Project, will lead a mushroom walk into the depths of Green-Wood’s lovely and extensive woodlands where all types of fascinating fungi will be encountered: amanita, russula, boletes, agaricus, polypores, puffballs, jellies, even tiny ascomycetes (“dots on sticks,” an often overlooked but ubiquitous fungi that, though difficult to identify, are fascinating to study). Learn how to differentiate the delicious from the deadly and start putting names to some of the city’s more common summer (or fall) fungi. And come prepared for off-road walking.
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Hudson River Audubon Society

Hawk Watch at Lenoir Nature Preserve
Saturday, September 18, 2021, 10am
Leader: Michael Bochnik
Description: We will search the skies for Broad-winged Hawks migrating South. Their peak numbers are mid September and we may see hundreds or even thousands, Meet behind the Lenoir Mansion; we suggest bringing a chair.
Registration: Pre-register with Michael bochnikm@cs.com or call him at 914-237-9331 for more information
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Linnaean Society of New York

Green-Wood Cemetery
Saturday, September 18, 2021
Leader: Rob Jett
Description: Situated along the Harbor Hill Terminal Moraine in Brooklyn, this 478-acre National Historic Landmark features hills, valleys and kettle ponds. Green-Wood Cemetery is a magnet for migrating birds, which makes perfect sense given the more than 500 species of woody plants that qualify it for Class III Arboretum status—one of only 31 in the world. In addition to spotting numerous songbirds, we’ll visit the hawk-watch hill north of the Civil War Monument, which affords a great vantage point to scan for migrating raptors. Thirteen species of raptor, plus both vultures, have been recorded at the cemetery.
Registration: Barbara Saunders — bsaunders002@nyc.rr.com or 646-872-4029
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Prospect Park
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Leader: Tom Stephenson
Description: Prospect Park, one of New York State’s Important Bird Areas, is a must visit for every New York City birder, especially during migration time. We will cover the park at a slow pace, and point out park exits and subway lines for those who want to leave early. Highlights from previous walks include a Yellow-billed Cuckoo and a Common Nighthawk, as well as numerous warbler species.
Registration: Crystal Thiele — cthiele7777@gmail.com
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New York City Audubon

Canarsie Park Bird Walks
Saturdays, September 18th, October 2nd, and October 9th, 8:00am -10am
Leader: Mike Yuan
Description: Meet at the Canarsie Park House at Seaview Avenue and East 88th street. Experience fall migration on the Brooklyn coast with Mike Yuan, NYCA Board Executive Vice President. All birding levels welcome. No registration necessary. Limited to 15. Free.
Registration: No registration necessary.
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Birding Gems of Staten Island: Clove Lakes Park
Saturday, September 18, 2021, 9:00am - 1:00pm
Leader: Gabriel Willow
Description: Journey to the "forgotten borough" to discover some of the beautiful forests and incredible birding spots at Clove Lakes Park. Look for ducks and seabirds in New York Harbor on our way across on the ferry ride and then catch a bus to the Park. Numerous warblers, vireos, tanagers, and other migratory songbirds can be seen here. We'll even see one of the largest and oldest trees in NYC. Bus fare ($2.75 each way; please bring your MetroCard or exact change) not included in registration price. Limited to 15. $36 (25).
Registration: Click Here to Register
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Van Cortlandt Park Bird Walks
Saturdays, September 4 - November 27, 9-10:30am
Leader: NYC Audubon
Description: Meet at the Van Cortlandt Park 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. RSVP required, click here to sign up. Limited to 20. Free.
Registration: No Registration Necessary
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Governors Island Bird Walk
Saturdays, July 10-October 30, 2021, 2-3:30pm
Leader: NYC Audubon
Description: Meet the birds of Governors Island with one of our expert guides! Over 220 bird species have been spotted on the island, which provides excellent habitat all year round. Whether you’re an expert birder or a beginner, these tours will help you discover all of the bird life the island has to offer. Binoculars are available to borrow. Limited to 12. Free.
Registration: Reserve your spot by signing up at Nolan Park #17.
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North Shore Audubon Society

Alley Pond Park
Saturday, September 18, 2021, 8:00am - 12:00pm
Leader: Ian R. (917) 626-9562
Description:
Registration: Limited registration. You must register by contacting the trip leader. If you become unable to attend, please contact trip leader.
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Queens County Bird Club

Robert Moses SP
Sunday, September 19, 2021, 7:30am - 12:00pm
Leader: Mary Normandia (516) 965-2282
Description: Fall is THE time to watch VisMig (visible migration) along the barrier beaches. We will be watching for birds and hawks as we walk to the lighthouse, and seabirds and whales on the ocean. Trip will end on Hawkwatch platform for falcon identification workshop.
Registration: This is a socially-distanced trip with limited registration. You must contact the trip leader to register.
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South Shore Audubon Society

Jones Beach Coast Guard Station Parking Area
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Leader: Members of SSAS
Description: From the Wantagh State Parkway, travel south. Upon entering Jones Beach State Park, exit at Bay Drive and continue west. Turn right (north) at entrance for Coast Guard Station and West End Boat Basin; turn right again for parking.
Registration: Registration is required by calling Joe Landesberg at 516-467-9498
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Urban Park Rangers

Saturday, September 18, 2021, 10:00am - 11:00am

Birding: Fall Migrants at Bay 32nd Street and Beach Channel Drive (in Bayswater Park), Queens
Description: Come see migrating shorebirds and other wildlife that refuel for their migratory journey in this unusual coastal environment that includes elements of shoreline, maritime forests, and more.
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Free

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Friday, September 10, 2021

Friday's Foto

Black-and-white Warbler, Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY
The Black-and-white Warbler shows that a bird doesn't need flashy colors to be stunning. Unlike other warblers, this specie's feeding strategy is more similar to the nuthatches and Brown Creeper, which hop along tree trunks and branches in search of insects. Its scientific name, Mniotilta varia, means "pluck moss" and "variegated"; the genus name likely refers to its method of plucking insects out of crevices. Common to abundant on migration in New York, this tiny, 8 gram bird breeds in the Boreal forests of central and eastern Canada, as well as, through much of the eastern US. They overwinter from southern Florida south, through the Bahamas, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean to northern South America. The IUCN Red List lists this species as "Least Concern" due to is population size and large range, although numbers are declining.

Monday, September 06, 2021

Upcoming Trips

Below are the birding/nature trips for the weekend of September 11-12, 2021:

Bedford Audubon Society

Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch
August 26, 2021 - November 24, 2021, 9:00am - 5:00 pm
Leader:
Description:It’s officially Hawkwatch Season! Spectacular flocks of Broad-winged Hawks pass through our area in mid-September, but Accipiters such as Sharp-shinned + Cooper’s Hawks provide the most consistent flight throughout the fall hawk-watching season. Join us for Science in Action: Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch to experience the miracle of raptor migration. Our data is combined with other Hawkwatch sites to create population and migration analyses that help us better protect raptors and their habitats. Hawkwatch takes place daily through November, 9:00am-5:00pm (weather permitting). Arthur Butler Sanctuary on Chestnut Ridge Road in Bedford Corners. Registration not necessary, but please abide by current Covid-19 guidelines based on your vaccination status.
Registration: Registration required by emailing Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or by calling 914-302-9713.
View Details


Exploration of Leonard Park
Saturday, September 11, 2021, 11:00am – 12:30pm
Leader: Steve Ricker
Description: Bedford Audubon is pleased to partner with Mount Kisco Recreation for an Exploration of Nature at Leonard Park. Naturalist Tait Johansson will be there to point out birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and other wildlife in this family-friendly casual drop-in event. Get close-up views of cooperating birds and insects through a scope or binoculars that we’ll have on hand, ask nature questions, and pick up goodies for kids and adults.
Registration: Meet at the picnic tables near the tea house. Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy. No need to register, but note that Leonard Park is open to residents of Mount Kisco.
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Brooklyn Bird Club

Prospect Park Saturday Fall Migration Walk
Saturday, September 11, 2021, 7:45am - 11:00am
Leader: Dennis Hrehowsik
Description: Whether you’re just starting out or have already joined the birding ranks, this introductory walk is for you. Join a member of the Brooklyn Bird Club to learn the basics of birding and search for the dozens of species that visit Prospect Park through all seasons. All levels are welcome.
Registration: No registration necessary; however, if more than 20 people show up we will split the group. Meet 7:45 am at the “Pergola” entrance on Ocean and Parkside Avenues.
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Introduction to Birdwatching
Sunday, September 11, 2021, 10:00 am - 12:00pm
Leader: A member of the Brooklyn Bird Club
Description: Whether you're just starting out or have already joined the birding ranks, this introductory walk is for you. Join a member of the Brooklyn Bird Club to learn the basics of birding and search for the dozens of species that visit Prospect Park through all seasons. All levels are welcome.
Registration: No registration necessary. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Please bring binoculars if you have them.
View Details


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Hudson River Audubon Society

Walter Chadwick Memorial Nature Walk at Lenoir Nature Preserve
Saturday, September 11, 2021, 8:00am
Leader:
Description: Meet at the Nature Center. We will look for birds, butterflies, dragonflies and nature. We’ll end up at our hawk watch site at 10 AM in front of the mansion.
Registration: Pre-register with Michael bochnikm@cs.com
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Linnaean Society of New York

Alley Pond Park and Kissena Park
Saturday, September 11, 2021
Leader: Alan Drogin
Description: Alley Pond Park and Kissena Park are located less than a mile apart in Flushing, Queens. Together, they include forested hills bordering wide grassy spaces, small boardwalk swamps, brackish marshland, two ponds, two lakes, and an overgrown meadow—a great area away to visit from tourist crowds to hit during peak fall warbler migration.
Registration: Miriam Rakowski — rakowskimiriam@gmail.com
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New York City Audubon

Morning Fall Migration Walk in Prospect Park
Saturday, September 11, 2021, 8:00am - 11:00am
Leader: Gabriel Willow
Description: Join Gabriel Willow for a leisurely walk to get to know the fall migrants of 'Brooklyn's backyard'. Beautiful Prospect Park has a wide variety of habitats that attracts a number of both breeding and passage migrant bird species, with even more recorded than in Central Park. We will explore the Park's meadows, forests, and waterways in search of migratory warblers, vireos, thrushes, tanagers, waterfowl, and more. Limited to 15. $36 (25) per walk.
Registration: Click to Register
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Intro to Birding: Bird Walk in Marine Park
Saturday, September 11,2021, 8:30am - 10:00am
Leader: Tod Winston
Description: Are you curious about "birding" but don't have much (or any) experience? Come on a relaxed walk along Marine Park's Salt Marsh Nature Trail to go over birding basics and look for wading birds, raptors, shorebirds, waterfowl, warblers, and more. Binoculars available. Limited to 15. $36 (25) per walk.
Registration: Click to Register
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Van Cortlandt Park Bird Walks, The Bronx
Saturdays, September 4 - November 27, 9-10:30am
Leader: NYC Audubon
Description: Explore Van Cortlandt Park's ecologically diverse grounds and celebrate a long tradition of birding in the park. We will look for various resident and migratory bird species and discuss a wide range of avian topics.
Registration: Via Eventbrite
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Queens Botanical Garden Bird Walk
Saturday, September 11, 9:30am - 10:30am
Leader: NYC Audubon with Queens Botanical Garden
Description: Explore Queens Botanical Garden in search of migrant songbirds and learn about the valuable resources that the Garden offers birds and other wildlife. Binoculars available. Register for one date or the whole series of five walks (walk-ins welcome). Visit www.queensbotanical.org/calendar to register.
Registration: Each walk limited to 25. Free (with Garden admission)
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Governors Island Bird Walk
Saturdays, July 10-October 30, 2021, 2-3:30pm
Leader: NYC Audubon
Description: Meet the birds of Governors Island with one of our expert guides! Over 220 bird species have been spotted on the island, which provides excellent habitat all year round. Whether you’re an expert birder or a beginner, these tours will help you discover all of the bird life the island has to offer. Binoculars are available to borrow. Reserve your spot by signing up at Nolan Park #17. Limited to 10. Free.
Registration: Not required.
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Fall Migration Birding Tour of Central Park
Sunday, September 12, 2021, 8:00am - 10:00am
Leader: Kellye Rosenheim
Description: Join co-author of Birdwatching in New York City and Long Island, Kellye Rosenheim, for the perfect Sunday morning activity: birdwatching! Tour the best Central Park birding spots in search of fall migrants. Limited to 15. $36 (25).
Registration: Click to Register
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Fall Migrants of Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx
Sunday, September 12, 2021, 8:30am - 11:00am
Leader: Tod Winston, Joseph McManus, Susan Olsen with Woodlawn Conservancy
Description: Join us for a morning bird walk and tour of beautiful Woodlawn Cemetery: Tod Winston and Joseph McManus will help look for fall migrants and year-round residents on the expansive, wooded cemetery grounds, while the Woodlawn Conservancy's Susan Olsen will share fascinating stories about Woodlawn’s history and the interesting mixture of individuals interred there. Limited to 15. $36 (25).
Registration: Click to Register
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North Shore Audubon Society

"Birdability" Nature Excursion - TR Park, Oyster Bay
Saturday, September 11, 2021, 10:30am - 1:00pm
Leader: Jill Vomacka
Description:"Birdability" field trip for those who use wheelchairs, walkers, or canes, or who do not wish to walk far. Participants may stay in car and communicate via walkie-talkies, to be provided. Walking will be limited to wheelchair-accessible areas. Limited to 5 cars. Trip leader is Jill Vomacka - her car is a dark teal Volkswagen with birding steward signs on the side doors.
Registration: Please register via phone one or two days in advance of the trip. Call Jill's cell phone between 7pm and 10pm (516) 361-3288.
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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods

The 22nd Annual Little Big Day Bird Count
Saturday, September 11, 2021, 6:00am - 6:00pm
Leader:
Description: Each fall participants spread out across the Island in an effort to identify as many species of birds and butterflies as possible within a twelve-hour window of opportunity. The daylong event generates data, a snap shot of the annual, south bound migration, which highlights the importance of maintaining open space across the Island. Participants are encouraged to visit our local parks and share observations on birds and butterflies.
Registration: For more information call Cliff Hagen at (718) 313-8591 or e-mail us at PPOW@siprotectors.org.
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Queens County Bird Club

Alley Pond Park
Sunday, September 12, 2021, 7:45am - 12:45pm
Leader: Eric Miller (917) 279-7530
Description: This min-trip includes the forested areas of Alley Pond Park south of the Long Island Expressway. Meet at the east end of the 76th Ave. parking lot - see map.
Registration: Please contact trip leader for meeting time and location. Ask whether to pack a lunch or whether to plan on eating lunch out.
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South Shore Audubon Society

Hempstead Lake State Park
Sunday, September 12, 2021
Leader: Members of SSAS
Description: From the Southern State Parkway, take Exit 18 (Eagle Avenue) south to Field 3 (use second park entrance and make an immediate left turn.).
Registration: Registration is required by calling Joe Landesberg at 516-467-9498
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Urban Park Rangers

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Birding: Shorebirds at Salt Marsh Nature Center (in Marine Park), Brooklyn
9:00am - 10:00pm
What do Sandpipers, Oystercatchers and Stilts have in common? Join the Urban Park Rangers for a birding adventure and find out what makes shorebirds unique.
Free

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Friday, September 03, 2021

Friday's Foto

Osprey, Sylvan Water, Green-Wood Cemetery
The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is so distinctive, that it is the only species in its genus. One of their unique characteristics is having a reversible toe that enables them to more easily hold onto fish. Another is a diet that consists almost entirely of fish. A 6' wingspan allows them to easily pull themselves from the water and take flight, often with a very heavy catch in tow. Their worldwide range makes them the second most widely distributed raptor after the Peregrine Falcon. In North America their range extends from Alaska to Baja California, and along the Atlantic coast from Labrador to Florida. They can be found in temperate and tropical regions of all continents.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Upcoming Trips

Below are the birding/nature trips for the weekend of September 4-5, 2021:

Bedford Audubon Society

Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch
August 26, 2021 - November 24, 2021, 9:00am - 5:00 pm
Leader:
Description:It’s officially Hawkwatch Season! Spectacular flocks of Broad-winged Hawks pass through our area in mid-September, but Accipiters such as Sharp-shinned + Cooper’s Hawks provide the most consistent flight throughout the fall hawk-watching season. Join us for Science in Action: Chestnut Ridge Hawkwatch to experience the miracle of raptor migration. Our data is combined with other Hawkwatch sites to create population and migration analyses that help us better protect raptors and their habitats. Hawkwatch takes place daily through November, 9:00am-5:00pm (weather permitting). Arthur Butler Sanctuary on Chestnut Ridge Road in Bedford Corners. Registration not necessary, but please abide by current Covid-19 guidelines based on your vaccination status.
Registration: Registration required by emailing Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or by calling 914-302-9713.
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Bird Walk at Hilltop Hanover Farm
Saturday, September 4, 2021, 8:00am – 9:00am
Leader: Steve Ricker
Description:It will be a beautiful thing! Join Bedford Audubon Garden Director Mathew McDowell, Hilltop Hanover’s Native Plant Propagator Emily Rauch, along with Bedford Audubon Board member and Naturalist Steve Ricker for a Bird Walk at Hilltop Hanover Farm. Venture out into the field where we might observe wild birds feeding from three different varieties of common sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and different native perennials. We’ll cover the importance of plants as natural birdfeeders as well as the other ecosystem benefits they provide. Everyone who joins the bird walk is invited to stay and join Hilltop Hanover’s community harvest of sunflower heads at 9:30am.
Registration: Cost: Free. Register through Hilltop Hanover by CLICKING HERE
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Brooklyn Bird Club

Introduction to Birdwatching
Saturday, September 4, 2021, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Leader: A member of the Brooklyn Bird Club
Description: Whether you’re just starting out or have already joined the birding ranks, this introductory walk is for you. Join a member of the Brooklyn Bird Club to learn the basics of birding and search for the dozens of species that visit Prospect Park through all seasons. All levels are welcome.
Registration: No registration necessary. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Please bring binoculars if you have them.
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Southbound Migration In Greenwood Cemetery
Sunday, September 5, 2021
Leader: Ed Crowne
Description: Focus: early arriving warblers, vireos, orioles, flycatchers etc.
Registration: Peter Dorosh: email Prosbird@aol.com or Prosbird@gmail.com. Registration Period: August 29th-Sept 2nd. Current club members will receive priority. Each person must register individually; you may not register additional participants. If you need to cancel please do so at least 24 hours in advance so we can offer someone your spot; no-shows will be moved to the bottom of the list for future walks.
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First Sunday Prospect Park Walks
Sunday, September 5, 2021, 8:00am - 11:00pm
Leader: A member of the Brooklyn Bird Club
Description: The Sunday walks will start at The Audubon Center at the Boathouse.
Registration: No registration necessary.
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Gateway National Parks

Birding By Bird Call
Saturday, September 04, 2021 to September 25, 2021, 10:00am - 11:00am
Leader: Park Rangers
Description: Test your knowledge on the species of birds at Jamaica Bay by matching the species to a written bird call. Also, try spelling phonetically your own bird calls by sounding them out!
Registration: Call 718-338-3799 to reserve. Tour will be capped at 10 participants. Social distancing will be maintained. Face mask required.
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Green-Wood Cemetery

Birding in Peace
Sunday, September 5, 2021, 6:30am–8:00am
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.
Description: By September, our nesting birds 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 feathered denizens from the north.
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Linnaean Society of New York

Jamaica Bay N.W.R., 28th Annual Tom Davis Memorial Shorebird Walk
Saturday, September 4, 2021
Leader: Tom Stephenson
Description: This annual memorial walk honors Tom Davis, who was, by many accounts from the birders who knew him, an incredible observer of wildlife who was especially interested in shorebirds. He was also well known for imparting his knowledge on others and making sure that others would see the special birds that he sighted. This year’s walk, led by Tom Stephenson, will be guided by those principles as well. Water, lunch and snacks, sun lotion and bug spray are recommended.
Registration: Amanda Bielskas — bielskas@gmail.com. Registration opens: Monday, August 16 at 9 am. After that time, click here to register. Registrations for field trips will not be honored if submitted before the time that field trip registration officially opens.
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New York City Audubon

Intro to Birding: Bird Walk in Central Park
Saturday, September 4, 2021, 8:30am - 11:00am
Leader: Tod Winston
Description: Are you curious about "birding" but don't have much (or any) experience? Come on a relaxed walk through Strawberry Fields and the Ramble to go over birding basics and see warblers, tanagers, sparrows, waterbirds, and more.
Registration: Binoculars available. Limited to 15. $36 (25) per walk.
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Van Cortlandt Park Bird Walks
Saturdays, September 4 - November 27, 9:00am - 10:30am
Leader: NYC Audubon with The Van Cortlandt Park Alliance
Description: Meet at the Van Cortlandt Park 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.
Registration: Via Eventbrite
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Governors Island Bird Walk
Saturdays, July 10-October 30, 2021, 2:00am - 3:30pm
Leader: NYC Audubon
Description: Meet the birds of Governors Island with one of our expert guides! Over 220 bird species have been spotted on the island, which provides excellent habitat all year round. Whether you’re an expert birder or a beginner, these tours will help you discover all of the bird life the island has to offer. Binoculars are available to borrow.
Registration: Reserve your spot by signing up at Nolan Park #17. Limited to 12. Free.
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South Shore Audubon Society

Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area
Saturday, September 4, 2021
Leader: Members of SSAS
Description: From Sunrise Highway in Rockville Centre, turn onto Long Beach Road, traveling south. Proceed to Waukena Avenue and turn left. From this point onward, there are brown signs directing visitors to the sanctuary. Turn right onto Park Avenue (at a traffic light), then turn left onto Golf Drive. Continue on Golf Drive to Slice Drive, turn right, and proceed one short block into the sanctuary.
Registration: Registration is required by calling Joe Landesberg at 516-467-9498
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Urban Park Rangers

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Birdwalks with New York City Audubon at Van Cortlandt Park Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx
9:00am - 10:30am
Explore Van Cortlandt Park’s ecologically diverse grounds and celebrate a long tradition of birding in the park.
Free
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Saturday, August 28, 2021

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, August 27, 2021:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Aug. 27, 2021
* NYNY2108.27


- Birds Mentioned
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK+
BROWN BOOBY+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

KING EIDER
HUDSONIAN GODWIT
MARBLED GODWIT
Stilt Sandpiper
BAIRD’S SANDPIPER
White-rumped Sandpiper
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER
Pectoral Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Wilson’s Phalarope
Parasitic Jaeger
LONG-TAILED JAEGER
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Caspian Tern
Black Tern
Wilson’s Storm-Petrel
BROWN PELICAN
SEDGE WREN
LARK SPARROW
YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER
SUMMER TANAGER
DICKCISSEL


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

Compiler: Tom Burke
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, August 27, 2021 at 8:00 pm.

The highlights of today's tape are LONG-TAILED JAEGER, BROWN BOOBY, BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, BROWN PELICAN, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, KING EIDER, BUFF-BREASTED and BAIRD’S SANDPIPERS, HUDSONIAN and MARBLED GODWITS, SEDGE WREN, LARK SPARROW, PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, SUMMER TANAGER, DICKCISSEL and more.

Hopes were high, but Hurricane Henri surprisingly failed to produce any tropical surprises during its passage through our area last Sunday into Monday. What it did do was alter the timing and routes of a few southbound species, most notably on Monday, when the best rarities appeared off Riis Park with the brief visit of a juvenile LONG-TAILED JAEGER photographed as it passed by and headed out to sea and a BROWN BOOBY moving west out on the ocean. The biggest surprise, though, was the occurrence on Monday of several very substantial flocks of HUDSONIAN GODWITS - out at Orient Point birders spotted 6 separate flocks in the morning varying in size from 20 to 110 individuals, totaling 424 birds in all, and late morning at Robert Moses State Park a flock of 151 was videoed as it moved by. Even taking into account some estimates and duplications, this represents by far the highest daily count ever for this species in New York. Other flocks moving down the Connecticut coast would only add to this total, though only 2 birds were seen from Rye, the rest choosing unknown pathways south.

Also pushed south by Henri Monday were over 30 CASPIAN TERNS and several BLACK TERNS noted moving down the Hudson River, with a few of each also at coastal sites, while a few WILSON’S STORM-PETRELS and 1 or 2 PARASITIC JAEGERS also occurred along the coast. Also notable on Monday were counts of 65 LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS at Breezy Point and a very high 165 at Robert Moses State Park.

The hurricane unfortunately pretty well filled up the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, but the BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK was still present today at the southwest corner of the pond. Prior to the storm, last Saturday shorebirds on the pond still featured 2 WILSON’S PHALAROPES along with STILT, PECTORAL and WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS.

Highlights among the shorebirds this week have been a BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER at Brooklyn’s Plumb Beach Thursday and only very early today, and a BAIRD’S SANDPIPER in the Pelham Bay Orchard Beach parking lot Wednesday through today, with another BAIRD’S plus PECTORAL, STILT and WESTERN SANDPIPERS today at the Brooklyn Golf Center off Flatbush Avenue across from Floyd Bennett Field. A MARBLED GODWIT flew by Robert Moses State Park Tuesday, and a WILSON’S PHALAROPE visited Heckscher State Park today.

Two KING EIDERS were still at Wolfe’s Pond Park on Staten Island Monday, and a BROWN PELICAN was reported off Moses Park last Saturday.

A SEDGE WREN was still at restricted Freshkills Park on Staten Island Saturday, and a female-type YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was found at Nickerson Beach Wednesday. Single LARK SPARROWS were reported in Central Park’s north end Saturday and at Moses Park Tuesday, the latter site also recording a DICKCISSEL Tuesday. PROTHONOTARY WARBLER was last noted in Central Park Tuesday, and, belatedly, a SUMMER TANAGER was photographed in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery last Friday.

To phone in reports call Tom Burke at (914) 967-4922.

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

- End transcript
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Friday, August 27, 2021

Friday's Foto

Black Tern, East Pond, JBWR
Listed in New York State as "Endangered", the diminutive Black Tern breeds in freshwater marshes across Canada, the northern United States and much of Europe and western Asia. After the breeding season its mostly jet black plumage transitions to gray above, whitish below, a dark ear-patch, and mark at the side of the breast. They overwinter in marine and coastal habitats of Central America and Northern South America. Unlike most terns, this species will rarely plunge into water to grab prey, but rather swoop and gracefully pick from the water's surface. They will also grab insects in flight. The IUCN Red list lists them as "Least Concern", although their worldwide population is declining.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Upcoming Trips

Below are the birding/nature trips for the weekend of August 28-29, 2021:

Gateway National Parks

Fort Wadsworth Tour
Saturday, August 28, 2021, 11:00am — 12:00pm
Leader: Park Rangers
Description: Join us for a hike around Fort Wadsworth as we explore both the natural areas and the remnants of the former harbor defense system. Inclement weather will cancel this program. Dress appropriately. Bring water, face mask required.
Registration: Call 718 354-4655 to make a reservation.
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Fort Tilden Hike
Sunday, August 29, 2021, 10:30 am — 12:00pm
Leader: Park Rangers
Description: Join a park ranger for a walking tour of Fort Tilden, highlighting the fort's role in the defense of New York City during the 20th Century.
Registration: Call 718-338-3799 to reserve. Tour will be capped at 10 participants. Social distancing will be maintained. Face mask required.
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Green-Wood Cemetery

Summer Fungi Walk
Sunday, August 29, 2021, 10:00am–11:30am
Green-Wood is a special place for fungi of all kinds. Sigrid Jakob and Potter Palmer, members of the New York Mycological Society and founders of the Green-Wood Fungi Phenology Project, will lead a mushroom walk into the depths of Green-Wood’s lovely and extensive woodlands where all types of fascinating fungi will be encountered: amanita, russula, boletes, agaricus, polypores, puffballs, jellies, even tiny ascomycetes (“dots on sticks,” an often overlooked but ubiquitous fungi that, though difficult to identify, are fascinating to study).
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Hudson River Audubon Society

Beverly Smith Memorial Butterfly Walk at Lenoir Nature Preserve
Saturday, August 28, 2021, 10:00am
Leader:
Description: Meet at the Nature Center. We will walk up to the garden that Beverly started and look for butterflies as well as eggs, caterpillars and chrysalis. Learn about the Monarch Butterfly’s remarkable migration to and from Mexico.
Registration: bochnikm@cs.com
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Linnaean Society of New York

Jamaica Bay N.W.R., 28th Annual Tom Davis Memorial Shorebird Walk
Saturday, August 28, 2021
Leader: Tom Stephenson
Description: This annual memorial walk honors Tom Davis, who was, by many accounts from the birders who knew him, an incredible observer of wildlife who was especially interested in shorebirds. He was also well known for imparting his knowledge on others and making sure that others would see the special birds that he sighted. This year’s walk, led by Tom Stephenson, will be guided by those principles as well. Water, lunch and snacks, sun lotion and bug spray are recommended.
Registration: Amanda Bielskas — bielskas@gmail.com
View Details


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New York City Audubon

Governors Island Bird Walk
Saturdays, July 10-October 30, 2021, 2-3:30pm
Leader: NYC Audubon
Description: Meet the birds of Governors Island with one of our expert guides! Over 220 bird species have been spotted on the island, which provides excellent habitat all year round. Whether you’re an expert birder or a beginner, these tours will help you discover all of the bird life the island has to offer. Binoculars are available to borrow.
Registration: Reserve your spot by signing up at Nolan Park #17. Limited to 12. Free.
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Protectors of Pine Oak Woods

Bloomingdale Park
Sunday, August 29, 2021, 1:00pm -3:00pm
Leader: Ray Matarazzo
Description: Fifty years ago the Bloomingdale Woods area was a sandy, pine-oak woodland, littered with everything imaginable. A hike through the woodlands of Bloomingdale Park will reveal the effects of a half century of time and human intervention. Search for remnants of past use while enjoying the woodlands flowers and ferns which grow along the headwaters of Lemon Creek. Meet at the corner of Maguire Avenue and Ramona Avenue.
Registration: For more information call Clay Wollney at (718) 869-6327.
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South Shore Audubon Society

Mill Pond Park
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Leader: Members of SSAS
Description: Use street parking on the westbound side of Merrick Road. The park is four blocks west of the Wantagh State Parkway.
Registration: Registration is required by calling Joe Landesberg at 516-467-9498
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Urban Park Rangers

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Community Rowing and Birding at Hunts Point Riverside Park, Bronx
1:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Through Community Rowing, guests of all ages explore the Bronx River aboard student-built wooden row boats, accompanied by staff who teach them about the local waterways. Community Birding brings birdwatching to the shores of the Bronx River.
Free
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Friday, August 20, 2021

Friday's Foto

Barn Swallow, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Iridescent blue above, reddish orange throat and long, deeply forked tail, Barn Swallows are easily separated from our other common swallows. Like most swallows, the majority of this specie's diet consists of flies. They prefer semi-open habitat with water nearby. One of the few birds that has adapted well to humans, they construct their mud nests almost exclusively on man-made structures. Until I began writing this post, I hadn't realized that the Barn Swallow's range was not restricted to just the New World. This range map shows their worldwide breeding and non-breeding range.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Shorebirding

This past Saturday I met up with a few friends to do a little shorebirding in Brooklyn and Queens. Mike hadn't seen the phalaropes that were hanging around the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, so that was our target after a dawn meet up at Brooklyn's Plum Beach.

Low-tide was at 6:36am, so we planned on being at Plum Beach a little past sunrise. Tom P. arrived before us and was already scoping the mudflat from close to the east end of the beach. Peeps made comic chattering sounds as they arrived to forage along the shore or out on the flats.
The abundance and diversity of shorebirds wasn't great, but the air was cool and a constant breeze made, what could be oppressive birding season, really pleasant. The call of terns and gulls completed an idyllic atmosphere for starting the day.

I've seen small mysterious burrows along the wrack line more times than I can count. The architects strangely absent. On Saturday I finally got great looks at this shy "sandhog". It should come as no surprise to anyone that its formal name is "Ghost Crab".


On the bay side of Plum Beach the shorebirds we tallied were oystercatcher, Semipalmated Plover, turnstone, Sanderling, Least, Pectoral and Semipalmated Sandpiper plus Greater Yellowlegs. There were also plenty of laughing, ring-billed, herring and Great Black-backed Gulls; least, common and Forster's Terns, as well as, several Black Skimmers.

An unexpected sighting came as we were wrapping up near the west end of the inner marsh. Mike and I had begun walking back towards the parking lot when Heydi called us back. Josh spotted a Dickcissel perched atop a black cherry tree. This rare grassland species was heading south & decided to take a break in the dunes. Lucky us!

Any of the three phalarope species is rare around NYC. To see a single one in a year is fortunate. Over the past 2 weeks, 3 Wilson's and 3 Red-necked Phalaropes have been hanging out on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. I saw them last week, but Mike hadn't, so that was our target after Plum Beach.

We walked out onto the South Flats and, within a minute or two, Mike spotted the Wilson's Phalaropes. They typically spin in circles to feed, but I suppose there was so much food that they didn't need to churn up the water. Here they are with dowitchers, yellowlegs and semipalmated sandpipers.

On the opposite shore we were able to locate a continuing Black-bellied Whistling Duck. This lovely waterfowl is normally found close to the Mexican border and southern Florida. On May 28, 2016 we had a flock of eight stop off in Brooklyn at the Marine Park Saltmarsh Center.

The Red-necked Phalaropes were just as easy to locate as the three fed close to shore near "The Raunt". It almost felt like walking through the exhibits at a zoo - "straight ahead are the Wilson's Phalaropes, if you look to your left you'll see the whistling-duck and just over there are the Red-necked Phalaropes".

There were also a few Pectoral Sandpipers present. Slightly larger than the "peeps", I love this bird's tidy, sharp breast streaks and neat rows of scales on its upper plumage.
On our way back down to the South Flats we passed a small flock of Stilt Sandpipers dunking their bills in search of food. Their trim build, drooping bill and barred flanks are distinctive. I  prefer seeing them in breeding plumage when they have reddish patches on their face.
We finished our morning just as the Annual Shorebird Festival group was pouring onto the flats. It was nice seeing some folks that I hadn't seen in a while (especially now that I can see their whole face). The festival is a great opportunity to expose more people to the joys and challenges of shorebirding...I just hope they don't expect that rarities will come that easily every year ;-)

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