Friday, April 27, 2012

They Say That Waking Up Is Hard To Do

One of the definitions of ‘irony poisoning’ is not being a morning person and having a lot of interests or demands to require one to get up early. Today being a work day I have my routine that allows me to get to the office comfortably. This doesn’t take into account the birding events that require otherwise.

I got up earlier and headed out to the Robert Moses Causeway Wednesday so I could bird the barrier beach on the way to work; a slight detour. I was hoping to repeat my experience a goodly number of years back when I came upon ‘tame’ Scarlenger and Bluesbeaks feeding on the grassy strips along the highway. 

It wasn’t quite like that today, but I had heard reports from the past two days and it seemed irresponsible of me not to witness this event. In fact it was predicted ...that we would see a fallout of a trans-Gulf slingshot event, in the wake of last weekend's storm. Holy crap!

Truth be told I could care less about the weather elsewhere that the media likes to report, no doubt to fill up the time commensurate with the compensation of the weather reporters salary. What a job: you can be wrong most of the time and they still don’t fire you!

Now here is something I can use: a birding forecast! Cornell is already using radar to track migration, why not someone to forecast when a weather system is going to be good for birding?!
Serendipity can only go so far...

And the conditions today were sublimely beautiful. The Great South bay was uncharacteristically and totally flat, presenting a remarkable mirror surface echoing the sky, clouds and shore. What a time to be absent a panoramic lens.

I made my way west on Ocean parkway, hoping to happen upon something. I stopped in the Babylon Fishing center, and got confiding looks at a pair of Killdeer, a Boatle, and not much else. I continued on to Gilgo, where I happened upon Corey Finger who reported nothing present per yesterdays report, and his having succumbed to the awful affliction: ‘sick daze’. I need a union job!

We saw a Merlin wiz by, so that may explain the passerine vacancy. But he did mention having a Rosebeak earlier at Jones Beach west end, and so pressed for time I continued west. As promised there it was feeding on the grass, only to be spooked by another car that whizzed by at an inopportune time, like when I am pointing my camera lens at the bird.

Strolling over to the trees that parallel the fence in front of the Coast Guard station, I saw movement on the fence that resolved into several Buntigos! Yippee! And they obligingly posed for photos: what well mannered birds. As I approached closer to the trees, I heard a calling Bling Warbler. This bird was not as well mannered, but was so for another who had it earlier and had gotten a shot or two. I called Corey to alert him to the Buntigos, made another loop finding a Savannow, and then packed it in to head to work.

...and wouldn’t you know that I arrived to find several folks who felt the need to arrive early to see me? Irony poisoning....

Now never one to give up easily, I decided to postpone important chores scheduled for Thursday, as it is the day to bird as defined in the book of genesis.

I made a stop at Gilgo again, this time locating the Bluesbeak faithful to its reported location  just east of and behind the restrooms, with the flock of Buntigos on the fence west of there. Nice! Also heard calling Clapper Rail way out across the water, but decided to head into Queens and try for the White-faced Ibis and meet Bob Hayes for some birding.

I was greeted at the parking lot by a singing Brown Thrasher, and enjoyed watching it perform until Bob arrived. Walking through the reserve I was pleased to hear and see this otherwise reclusive bird all over the place.

Walking down the west pond trail, got my FOS Yellow Warbler, and heard another Clapper Rail. Bob got all excited, and our searching was rewarded with a sighting as well as a hearing, and he celebrated getting a lifer.  Ah to get lifers again...

The pond continues to be full of Ruddy Duck, with a few other quackers mixed in as well. And Ibis were moving about all over, but we never did find the one odd ball Ibis.

The place was otherwise kinda quiet, but the good news is we crossed paths with a few employees who were cordoning off the blind by the east pond in preparation for repairs. Yay!

So the writing is on the wall, its that time of the year that getting up early is de rigueur. Warblers are worth it...

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