Barrow's Goldeneye, Cackling Geese and other waterfowl, Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton, 4 Jan 2009.

Here is a belated report from Sunday 04 Jan 09 of various waterfowl on the South Fork of Long Island.

At Sag Harbor (Suffolk Co.) a male BARROW'S GOLDENEYE was at the southern end of Noyack Bay as viewed from the beachfront park near the intersection of Noyac Road and Noyack-Long Beach Road. The Barrow’s was with 3 male and 1 female Common Goldeneye. Obviously this is a different bird from the female Barrow’s found on the Sagaponack Christmas Bird Count (21 Dec) and relocated during this past week by Hugh McGuinness. I searched for the female on Sunday but was hampered by the windy conditions, and imagine it was out on the bay somewhere in one of the several groups of goldeneye. I recall that on the CBC, the female Barrow’s was found on the more sheltered Sag Harbor Cove, viewable from Noyack-Long Beach Road and Redwood Road.

As an aside, the number of Barrow’s Goldeneye reported from Long Island so far this winter has been very impressive. In addition to the two from Noyack Bay, a female was seen near Cedar Point, Town of East Hampton, on 21 Dec, and more recently a male has been reported multiple times from the East Marion Causeway (Suffolk Co.) on the North Fork, with perhaps a different bird at Bailie Beach in Mattituck reported on 30 Dec. Further west on the north shore of Long Island, a returning male has been seen a number of times at Bayville and Center Island (Nassau Co.) and just a hop and skip across the sound, a female was at Playland, Rye (Westchester Co.) on 27 Dec.

At Shorts Pond (Bridgehampton, Suffolk Co.), there were a large number of geese cycling in and out of the partly frozen kettle pond on the north side of Scuttlehole Road. My maximum count for SNOW GOOSE was a respectable 145, including a collar-marked adult from the Canadian Bylot Island Great Snow Goose banding project. Other waterfowl included 4 NORTHERN PINTAIL, 9 AMERICAN COOT and 5 RING-NECKED DUCK. A Canada Goose with a predominantly white head and neck made an odd sight.

Many of the Canada and Snow Geese were shuttling from the pond to a large pasture (polo field?) just south of Scuttlehole Road and parallel to Hayground Road. Part of the 1000-2000 strong flock lifted up when some farm employees drove across the field in a golf cart and by naked eye I spotted two small geese that I initially took to be brant. However, as soon as I got my bins on them, I realized they were actually a pair of CACKLING GEESE. Unfortunately, I could not relocate them in the dense mass of birds on the ground for a better look. Some 70 HORNED LARK were also in these fields.

Another sizeable goose flock on a field off Beach Lane in Wainscott (Suffolk Co.), included another nominate CACKLING GOOSE and 4 SNOW GEESE. On Georgica Pond, I located a 1st-winter TUNDRA SWAN in an open area with 50 or so Mute Swan and was surprised not to see the 2 adults (parents) that have been in the same spot on my last several visits. Perhaps they were over on Hook Pond or out in a field somewhere?

A trio of ATLANTIC BRANT (found earlier by Karen and Barbara Rubinstein) on Gardiners Bay at the terminus of Springs/Fireplace Road in The Springs (Suffolk Co.) rounded out a cracking weekend for waterfowl on Long Island.

No comments:

Post a Comment