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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge early this morning

White-face Ibis (Plegadis chihi) at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

(Photo credit - Sean Sime)

Sean and I went out to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge at dawn today. He was going, primarily, to photograph Tree Swallows. I didn’t have any preconceived notions on the migrant abundance, I just thought I might see a couple of year wading birds. That’s one of the great things about birding; you never know what you might encounter.

We were the only people at the refuge when we started down the West Pond trail. I was scanning the swallows and Sean was way up ahead of me near the turn at the south west corner of the pond. My phone rang and it was Sean calling from a couple hundred yards away. All I heard were the words, “White-faced Ibis”.

There were three ibises feeding close to the water, then moving out of sight behind some dense shrubbery. Walking around the corner towards bench number seven we spotted the three birds in the open. I didn’t even need to use my scope to confirm the identification. At times, it was so close to us that the adult plumage and leg coloration, compared to the adjacent Glossy Ibises, was extraordinary.

Throughout the early morning the ibis fed in the area between bench six and bench eight. At one point it flew across the trail and fed in the grass beneath the Osprey platform. Shane Blodgett arrived later in the morning and relocated it near the platform at 10:15am.

I had planned on a short morning at the refuge to watch the antics of the swallows, take some photos of the recent blooming flowers and, maybe, see a few wading birds. After observing the White-faced Ibis close-up for a few minutes both Sean and I were beaming and content to call it a day. We used our cellphones to notify the loudspeakers of the NYC birding community. Sean’s wife sent out an e-mail and, in all likelihood, a large number of birders were already preparing to travel out to the refuge before we even departed.

Also, I did eventually end up taking some botanical photos but they don't compare to Sean's ibis images:

Yellow rocket (Barbarea vulgaris)

-Click here for more info-
(Photo credit -Rob J)

Common Periwinkle (Vinca minor)

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(Photo credit -Rob J)

Beach Plum (Prunus maritima)

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(Photo credit -Rob J)

Autumn Olive ( (Elaeagnus umbellata)

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(Photo credit -Rob J)

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Jamaca Bay Wildlife Refuge, 4/27/2006
Common Loon
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron (West Pond.)
Tricolored Heron (West Pond.)
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Glossy Ibis
White-faced Ibis (West Pond.)
American Wigeon
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
Lesser Scaup
Red-breasted Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Clapper Rail (West Pond.)
Virginia Rail (Big John's Pond.)
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
American Oystercatcher
Greater Yellowlegs
Willet (2, West Pond.)
Least Sandpiper (1, West Pond.)
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Forster's Tern
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Bank Swallow (1, West Pond.)
Barn Swallow
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Common Yellowthroat (East Pond.)
Eastern Towhee
White-throated Sparrow
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
American Goldfinch

Other common species seen (or heard):
Canada Goose, Mute Swan, American Black Duck, Mallard, Herring Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Tufted Titmouse, American Robin, European Starling, Northern Cardinal, Song Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, House Finch, House Sparrow


Dope on the Slope said...

Lovely ibis. I need to get out to Jamaica Bay this spring.

Rob Jett said...

It seems like, no matter what time of year, there's always something cool to find at JBWR.

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