The primary mission of the Great South Bay Audubon Society is to advocate for the conservation of habitats for native birds and other native wildlife on Long Island.

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Nature Walk/Event Recap and Reports

Hummingbird Sanctuary Nature Walk

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Photos courtesy of Jody Banaszak

Photos courtesy of Ellen Merryman

Oceanside Marine Nature Study Area Nature Walk Recap

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Recap by Ken Thompson

A nice finish for the spring season.

Our last walk of the spring birding season was at the Marine Nature Study Area in Oceanside. The weather was muggy, overcast and no wind which led to a lot of insects chasing us around.

The birding was slow as we are approaching the summer slowdown. We saw a couple of Night Herons, both Yellow-crowned and Black-crowned and the pair of Osprey which we were told have one egg hatched.

The highlight was a group of college students doing a study of the Saltmarsh Sparrows. They use a net to capture and band and release, then track the bird through nesting including counting eggs and fledglings. They netted one while we were there and brought it for us to look at. That is always a treat to such a beautiful bird up close.

Shinnecock Inlet Nature Walk Recap

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Recap by Ken Thompson

This Tuesday's trip was started at Shinnecock inlet and then we headed west along Dune Rd. making stops along the way. At the inlet we saw some remaining Black Scoters.

Things were pretty quiet at the first two stops but when we got to Tiana Beach things picked up. There were plenty of Ruddy Turnstones on the floating docks giving us all good looks. They are a really good looking shorebird. There was a mix of other shorebirds as well. We saw Dunlin, Semi-palmated Sandpipers and Short-billed Dowitchers.

Early in the morning we saw a Yellow Warbler at the Quouge refuge.

Massapequa Preserve Nature Walk Recap

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Recap by Ken Thompson

A quiet morning

Our walk at Massapequa Preserve was fairly quiet. Not many migrants are still around and the birds that are around are local nesters busy nesting. The preserve has changed over the last few years after the reconstruction of the water flows around the pond. We walked up to the next pond north and back. On the path back we had a calling Great Crested Flycatcher that we managed to get a look at. Further down the path we heard a Warbling Vireo singing and eventually found it sitting on it.

Hempstead State Park Nature Walk Recap

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Recap by Ken Thompson

Plan B sometimes works.

Today we were scheduled to do our Tuesday walk at Hempstead State Park, but there was construction on the main road in the park that caused confusion. We couldn't get in to our regular parking lot so some of us diverted to Jones Beach west End. Some managed to get into another parking lot and birded Hempstead Park.

The folks that made it to Jones Beach had a pretty good morning, I heard that the folks at Hempstead did well also. At West End we were treated to good looks at Scarlet Tanager and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. There was an Eastern Kingbird at the turnaround. We had a smattering of shorebirds on the bar.

As we were gathering to leave we saw a pair of birders that told us about a Red-headed Wood Pecker seen at Field 10. We headed over there and minutes after getting out of the cars the Red-headed Wood Pecker popped up and gave us all good finish to the day. The picture is by Bob Glasser.

Belmont Lake State Park Nature Walk Recap

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Recap by Ken Thompson

Slow start, big finish

Our Tuesday GSBAS walk today was at Belmont Lake State Park. We had fifteen people participate, a good size group after lasts night's annual dinner festivities.

We started our usual path up the path north to the top of the park and then down to the lake and on to what we call Marcy's woods. We streets slowly looking at a Black-throated Blue Warbler and Red-eyed Vireo at the ball fields and was it stayed slow until we got to the administration building. From there, down to Marcy's woods we were kept busy with birds. Warbler Vireos and Orioles added to our day list.

The highlight was a Common Nighthawk sleeping on a branch, high over the path. It was spotted by eagle eye Gail Delalla. This was enjoyed by all of us as we do not get to see many of these sitting still.

Jamaica Bay Nature Walk Recap

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Recap by Ken Thompson

Brave birders buffeted by brisk breezes bayside.

Our Tuesday trip was to Jamaica Bay, for the hardy few that showed up the morning went well. It was cold and windy and cloudy. We stared by walking out the trail to the west pond. We went as far as the breach and turned around, as we turned around we noticed a group,of seven Snowy Egrets tucked in a corner avoiding the winds. As we headed back to the visitor center a Little Blue Heron and a Tri-colored Heron flew in together and landed amidst the egrets. It was a great chance to compare the two Herons side by side.There were many Black-Bellied Plovers, Dunlins, and Oyster Catchers standing on little islands of marsh grass in the extremely high tide.

We then headed into the gardens. Still not much happening, waiting for some warmer weather. At the entrance to the Visistor Center there was a goldfinch near the feeders.

Gardiner Park Nature Walk Recap

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Recap by Ken Thompson

A snake in the grass.

Literally today on our Tuesday walk at Gardiners park we encountered a small Garter Snake sunning it self in the grass. It was very lethargic and didn't react to our viewing it, giving us all a good look at it. We left it alone and went on our way.

The birding was a little slow heading down the main trail. As we were heading back to the parking lot we turned at a corner in the trail and the we had our activity hot spot. There was a feeding flock of Chickadees, Titmice and Goldfinches. We heard a Pine Warbler before we saw them. It was a pair, male and female working the tops of the branches near the feeding flock. Just down the path we bumped into a pair of Brown Thrashers, and just past them was a very nice looking male Eastern Towhee. Five minutes of action made up for the slow start and wound up giving us another nice walk on Tuesday.

Connetquot River State Park Preserve Nature Walk Recap

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Recap by Ken Thompson

A walk in the park.

On a beautiful spring morning a troop of fifteen birders set out for a walk in Connetquot River State Park Preserve. Right off the bat, a Yellow-throated Warbler was heard and seen by the group. This bird is expanding its breeding range and now this is the third year they have been seen in CRSPP. Then, soon after we spotted a pair of Eastern Bluebirds in box fifteen in the paddock. Overall we had thirty nine species of birds this morning. There were painted turtles sunning themselves in the ponds near the hatchery.

We were joined by students from the East IsIip School system who were working on their science nature project. They are fun to have along. We walked the three miles around the lake, up the yellow trail to the hatchery and down the red trail back to the main buildings.

It was a good morning for a walk and we took full advantage of it.

Heckscher State Park Nature Walk Recap

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Recap by Ken Thompson

After the rain last night the morning was very misty, a few hardy troopers trying to escape cabin fever ventured forth in Heckscher State Park for some birding.

We headed up the trail out of parking lot five. We did manage to see a few birds. Early on in the walk we saw our first of the season Hermit Thrush and an Eastern Towhee. We watched a pair of Ospreys try to break a branch off a tree for their nest, they didn't get it by the time we left.

Later during our caravan around the park we spotted a Great Egret flyover and at the entrance to field seven there was a pair of Killdeer. We managed to make the best of the morning.

Jamaica Bay Nature Walk Recap

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Recap by Ken Thompson

A gorgeous day at Jamaica Bay!

What a great day after the surprise snow storm yesterday, mild temps, little to no wind and bright sunshine. Add to that some nice signs of spring from arriving birds.

The pair of Ospreys were on their nest south of the west trail, Tree Swallows were flying around their nest boxes and we saw our first Snowy Egret of the season. There were plenty of Red-wing Blackbirds and Robins around as well, spring is ready to spring.

Great South Bay Audubon Annual Bob Laskowski Memorial Duck Walk

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Recap by Bob Grover

The Great South Bay Audubon annual Bob Laskowski Memorial Duck Walk on Saturday produced a below average 17 species of waterfowl, mitigated somewhat by a lack of open water at most sites visited. The highlights included 72 Redheads, along with a few Canvasbacks, on Capri Lake in West Islip, which is the Redhead capitol of Long Island. Most interesting was the presence of Common Mergansers at virtually every freshwater pond along Montauk Highway between East Islip and West Islip.

Jones Beach West End Field Trip

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Recap by Mike Cooper

A dozen intrepid birders made the trek out to West End on a cold February morning. Temperatures hovered around 20 degrees at the start of the trip, but low winds and decent birds made the weather bearable.

Although we only had 37 species, it was a day of quality over quantity. Near the inlet west of Field 2, we found a Snowy Owl siting up in the dunes. This has been a great year for this species, and we were hoping to pick one out on the trip. We spent some time searching for a previously reported Northern Shrike, and eventually found it with the help of the West End birding network. The shrike was a life bird for several of our participants.

We missed the Gyrfalcon which has been prowling around over the Gilgo marshes, but did have distant looks at a Peregrine Falcon there. Other highlights included a pair of Water Pipits feeding along the roadway and the usual winter suspects- Snow Bunting, Horned Lark, and some loons and grebes.

It turned out to be a nice morning and well spent with a hardy group of brave souls.

Birding & Breakfast at Connetquot Preserve

Saturday, January 18 & 19, 2014

Recap by Ken Thompson

So nice, we did it twice. This Saturday Jan 18 was our winter scheduled Birding and Breakfast at Connetquot State Park Preserve. The response was so very enthusiastic, the park folks asked if we could do a second walk on Sunday, which we did.

Both days the weather was very cooperative with sunshine and relatively mild temperatures it was enjoyable to be walking and birding. We spent the first part of each day scanning the ducks on the pond right outside the main building. We had good scope looks at a bunch of different ducks. Then we split into groups and walked the paths looking for land birds. We had a nice mix of the usual winter birds for all the folks to look at and enjoy. On Saturday we had some beautiful Eastern Bluebirds to finish the day.

The feedback from the participants was very positive, they enjoyed the presentations and the walks and seeing the birds on two nice days.