Various expected species were along the way, and we got our first more desired species at the Quogue nature trail. Tree Sparrows called which Earic heard, but I was able to see one queued up nicely in a phragmite on the way in. We had three Flickers, and on the way out we stopped on the section over the marsh cut. Earic tried to spish out the Tree Sparrows to no avail, then I squeaked to perhaps attract a marsh sparrow. To our delight the squeaking caught the attention of a Clapper Rail.
Our next stop was near Triton Lane. Earic spished and I spotted a short tailed sparrow flit from one clump of brush to another. We tracked down the bird and found that there were three of them, and learned from others that they have been in this area for at least a few weeks now. Nelson's Sparrow!
At this point we headed north to the Riverhead area to look for geese. We criss-crossed the area hoping to find flocks on the numerous fields, but it was remarkably devoid of geese. Merrits Pond was also empty. So we stopped at the Buffalo Farm, and while there was no blackbirds to be found, we had great close up looks at a dozen or so White-crowned Sparrows right along the fence.
More fields were passed on the way to Northville , and again no geese. But we stopped at Church lane and there on the roof of the house on the north side of the road were several Turkey Vultures, and one Black Vulture.
|Black Vulture [left ] Turkey Vultures [ center, right]|
We did more exploring, hoping to find the elusive geese, but never did. Instead we found an enormous mostly Common Grackle flock, with some Red-winged Blackbirds mixed in. No one else had reported this flock, and a flock like this was where a Yellow-headed Blackbird had been found last year. Sadly, the flock was west of us ie with the sun in our eyes, and constantly swirling around, both of which making scanning through them difficult if not impossible.
We ended the day at Gruman, where we easily saw Meadowlarks, but could not find a Short-eared Owl as hoped. All in all a pretty darn good day. 8 year birds for 113 so far, and 2 Suffolk County birds.