Cattle Egret, Yellow-crowned Night Heron - 28 May 2010

On Saturday, Bruce Horwith noticed a CATTLE EGRET on the marsh at Merrill Lake Preserve in Springs, likely the first record from this spot. The waterlogged fields have been quite good this spring and Bruce along with Karen and Barbara Rubinstein have noted Glossy Ibis on a regular basis. A little further east in Hither Hills, one or two ibis also seem to using the pools on the south side of Montauk Highway at the split between the Old and New sections. Vicki Bustamante commented on the late arrival of calling NORTHERN BOBWHITE (Quail) around her property in Montauk, which normally make themselves evident earlier in the spring. Three YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS photographed by Luke Ormand as they hunted crabs along Dune Road were, I believe, the first of the year for our region and again a little on the late side compared to other parts of Long Island. CHUCK-WILL'S-WIDOW and WHIP-POOR-WILLS have continued occupy territories in suitable woodland edge and pineland habitats. On Tuesday (25 May), Eileen Schwinn heard her first 'Chuck' of the season in East Quogue where they have been absent so far this spring. At least two birds are have been calling for a while now in Napeague along Lazy Point Road between the junctions with Napeague Meadow Road and Bay View Avenue. A number of Whip-Poor-Will are also in the area.

Just out of our area two young birders from Ithaca (Jay McGowan and Andrew Van Norstrand) photographed a breeding-plumaged PACIFIC LOON on Monday morning (24 May 2010) as it flew east down the beach in the company of three Common Loons! Within minutes it would have been in the South Fork territory for a great addition to the SFBR list, unless of course it splashed down before then.........

Keep the reports coming, they are much appreciated and I will do my best share the news quickly of anything notable. Shearwaters (Sooty and Manx) and Wilson's Storm-Petrels should be filtering through the area so keep an eye out if you are down at the beach. Sometimes they aren't too far beyond the surf. Greater and Cory's Shearwaters usually show up a little later but you never know. June is mostly about breeding birds but wanderers are also possible. Gull-billed Tern has not been recorded so far (surprising) and exotics such as Scissor-tailed Flycatcher aren't completely out of the question. Speaking of missing birds, has anyone seen a Cliff Swallow?

Information of the water levels of the major ponds (Mecox, Sagg, Georgica) would be useful. I wish the Towns of East Hampton and Southampton would post news of when the cuts have been opened.

** 22 May 2010 **
Cattle Egret, Merrill Lake Preserve, Springs EH (Bruce Horwith)

** 24 May 2010 **
Northern Bobwhite
(several), private yard off Big Reed Path & neighboring section of Teddy Roosevelt CP, Montauk EH (Vicki Bustamante)

** 27 May 2010 **
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (3), east of Dockers on Dune Road, East Quogue SH (Luke Ormand)
Black Skimmer (2), over Ponquogue Bridge, Shinnecock Inlet SH (Luke Ormand)

## Banded Piping Plovers ##
I learned that the Piping Plover observed at Georgica Pond on 21 May was banded as a 1st-year on 21 Jan 2010 at Discovery Beach, Grand Bahama Is., The Bahamas. This is one 12 (out of 57) marked birds that have been reported from New York so far this year. Interestingly, a couple of days later the same individual was seen by plover steward Dawn Ver Hauge (fide Luke Ormand) on the ocean beach between Town Line and Peters Pond Roads in Sagaponack, a distance of about 2 miles. Young birds probably return to nesting areas in their first summer but likely can't compete with mature adults to secure a territory and hence move around a bit.

27 comments:

  1. Cliff Swallow flying east to west at Shinnecock Inlet, 2 May

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