Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Its my favorite time of the year. Vagrants can show up and all the rules about what ~should~ be present are thrown out the window. What will show up?

The first goodie to show up was a Say’s Phoebe in Staten Island, but it was a one day wonder on the 28th of September. Missed it. Dang. Such poor manners.

Then a Western Kingbird was discovered at Robert Moses STPK. on October 1 but reportedly disappeared pretty much as soon as it was found, and could not be relocated.  I attempted to do so that day later in the afternoon but the cold and wind and general unpleasantness of the environment provided no encouragement to being successful in my quest. I struck out.

Then a few days later on October 4 another was found in Queens. I was pleased to have gotten a heads-up call about it on that Saturday, but stayed home to take care of Arlene Rails who had one F%$# of a bad headache. Fortunately the next day she felt all better, and Corey Shearwater reported that the bird was still present and that it had the good moral fiber to stick around for an additional day. Arlene and I went to look for it and I got a nice year bird for number 316, while Arlene enjoyed a lifer courtesy of Lisa Shrimpke, who found it.

In the intervening time I had made several visits to Bobby Mo STPK., and of course attempted to find the WEKI that had been reported at least once more since its discovery. The golf course and  the volley ball courts seem to be good migrant traps, and with the marsh at Captree and Captree STPK. so close in proximity, an all around good place to bird in Suffolk county.

Additionally I have been scouring the marshes looking for one of The Nelson’s Sparrows that have been appearing here and there, but sadly, not when ~I~ am looking; at least not yet. Arlene and I walked all over Cupsogue this weekend looking. All we got was wet feet.

On October 11 Klemens Thrasher spotted and photographed an adult White Ibis fly over Prospect Park, and more remarkably, it was relocated the next day at nearby Greenwood Cemetery. What a place! Definitely worth a visit to bird and for its picturesqueness and history. Sadly, upon the arrival on the 12th by my posse which included Earic Miller, Jean LeConte Sparrow, and Lisa Shrimpke, the Ibis was nowhere to be found. Dang again!!

Also on this day Pete Myarchus re-found the WEKI at Bobby Mo. So naturally, Phil Jabiru suggested we attempt to relocate it. Why not? We arrived on site to find Keith Cassowary*  and his father searching without luck. Phil and I decided to walk the outer beach access path instead of the one adjacent to the golf course, and we saw lots of bird activity. That activity was made up of a lot of individuals of a few species though: Robins, Yellow-rumps, and Flickers. *They got the bird later in the day.

There was a smattering of other birds too, like Goblets and Rublets, and Savannah Sparrows, and the occasional hungry Merlin. And then I saw an unrobin-like Robin land at the top of some Autumn Olive and it was the bird! We got nice looks before it and we moved on.

We decided to try the gold course, and ran in to Dave Clapper and Pelican on the way. They were directed to where we had the bird. After an uneventful perusal of the course, we returned to the scene of the crime, dismayed to find that all assembled there had failed to relocate it.

We joined the search, and after a while Dave and Pelican having had enough, figuring the bird was gone, and departed. Ugh. Phil and I remained along with Sy Schiffornis and Joe Jacana. And while as is often the case on stake-outs, the focus shifts to BSing rather than birding per se, I happened to look up at the right time to see the bird flying towards us  and was able to yell loudly enough to alert Dave and Pelican and get us all on it, . It seemed that this was the day the WEKI relaxed a bit and let its hair down and afforded looks. Other days it had not been as cooperative.

Afterwards we headed over to the volley ball courts and the board walk at field 5. We added Swamp, Field and White-crowned Sparrow.

I think this is the first time I have ever had 2 separate WEKI not counting places where they are normally found. To add some additional intrigue, as I am writing this another[?] was just reported from Jones Beach.

So where’s the %$%# Say’s, Ibis, Hudwit, and Nelsons that I have missed so far??? (Says the greedy author.) 

I shall have to console myself with a seasonally appropriate beer.

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