Most present were interested in Barney, the Barnacle Goose that has wintered here for several years now. Not me. I have seen it umpteen times, and multiple times already this year so I concentrated on getting Cackling Goose for my year list. But as the lake was less frozen due to the recent thaw, and with light appearing earlier and earlier, the geese were on the move and mostly cleared out by 9am.
On location were three fellows from Florida, who having already scored the Pink-footed Goose and other goodies had their sights set on Barney. With it clear that Barney was not present, what were they to do? We discussed the other locations and then I decided that it would be most efficacious if they followed Arlene, Rich and I over to their feeding locations by the cemeteries.
We succeeded in locating a large flock of geese on the lawn just south of the LIRR station. With some time and effort the Cackling Goose was located, YB1! but Barney was not. The flock then dispersed when a groundskeeper drove up and flushed the birds. Having given those fellows directions to Shinnecock, they headed off in pursuit of the King Eider and the Redpolls nearby.
I heard they tried again this morning but Barney was a no-show once again. Just like when Carlos came to visit from Florida back in 2013, Barney was around before and after his visit. Go figure.
The three of us decided to head to Point Lookout. Each of us had tried more times than we will admit for the Eared Grebe there, and it was particularly stinging when it was reported that there were two. WTF? Jeez, how could so many miss these birds so many times?
After a lunch break, Rich suggested that we park in the beach lot and work our way east. We walked out to the water and scanned the water, finding many Horned Grebes. And then Rich said: look at that one! We did, and sure enough there was the mythical Eared Grebe. YB2.
|Nice profiles of Eared Grebe [left] and Horned Grebe [right]|
Appropriately enough, Tuesday yielded tue year birds.