July 2007

Frustrated by my lack of Western Reef-heron, I decided to try for the city’s other newsworthy overseas visitor – the Curlew Sandpiper at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. At the cost of my Vans (I wanted a new pair anyway,) my skin (forgot my sunblock,) and about a quart of my blood (forgot my bug block too,) I got it! And a lot of other stuff as well.

Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis
Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Canada Goose Branta canadensis
Mute Swan Cygnus olor
Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
Double-crested Cormorant Phalocrocorax auritus
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus
Black Skimmer Rynchops niger
Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Great Egret Egretta eulophotes
Snowy Egret Egretta thula
Laughing Gull Larus atricilla
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
American Robin Turdus migratorius
Yellow Wabler Dendroica petechia
Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum
American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes *LL
Eastern Towhee Pipilo erythrophthalmus
Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker Colaptes auratus
Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca
Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla *LL
Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus
Killdeer Charadrius vociferus
Stilt Sandpiper Micropalama himantopus *LL
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea *LL
Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica *LL
Forster’s Tern Sterna forsteri
Common Tern Sterna hirundo
Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla*LL
Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
American Goldfinch Carduelis tristic
also many Peeps (sp.) and one Dowitcher (sp.)

Seriously, guys, it was this big.

Missing that one was of course a big bummer, but there were a lot of other birds out and about, including a consolation prize in the form of the much less exotic but equally life-listable Semipalmated Plover.

And it hardly seems fair to moan about my luck when there was a couple there looking who had driven up from West Virginia no less than three times in a fruitless attempt to see the heron. Poor bastards. I hope it turns up again for all our sakes.

Coney Island Creek:

Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Rock Dove Columba livia
American Robin Turdus migratorius
European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Laughing Gull Larus atricilla
Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Double-crested Cormorant Phalacorax auritus
Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus *LL
Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
Great Egret Egretta eulophotes