Lark Sparrow at Montauk Point - 17 Oct 09

Posted to NYSBIRDS by Hugh McGuinness

Dear NY Birders,

Today I led a small band of intrepid birders for the South Fork Natural History Society on a trip to Montauk Point. Despite the blustery weather we were not disappointed as the day dawned sunny, and remained so for several hours. The fierce east wind had pushed numerous seabirds north of the point and by the time we arrived at 8am, many of them were rounding the point heading to sea. NORTHERN GANNETS, LAUGHING GULLS and BLACK SCOTERS passed in abundance. Just north of the concession stand we found a VESPER SPARROW.

We next headed to Teddy Roosevelt Co Park, where we found a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW and a BLUE GROSBEAK among a modest size flock of sparrows that included 5 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS.

At the end of our walk, we received a call from Angus Wilson who had located a LARK SPARROW on the north side of the new bathrooms at Montauk Point, so we returned for leisurely views of this obliging bird. Shai Mitra and Pat Lindsay saw the bird an hour or so after we left, so perhaps the bird will hang around. Angus also conducted an extended, if frigid, seawatch at the point, and he'll probably report his results in his own impeccable style.

At the south end of the horse farm, there were 3 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS, one of which could be mistaken for a Baird's, in the KILLDEER flock, which also contained 3 SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS.

After my trip was done, Angus and I visited Hither Hills State Park campground where we discovered a brightly-colored DICKCISSEL among the church of House Sparrows on the western loop.

All in all a surprisingly successful day of birding given the weather conditions.

Hugh McGuinness

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