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

Gardiner's Park Recap

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Recap by Ken Thompson

The weather couldn't make up it's mind this morning. Some sun, some clouds, and brief shower were the theme for this morning's walk at Gardiner's Park in Bayshore.

We had Thirteen people show up. We did our usual walk down to the bay and back. Birding was slow but we did have a highlight. An Indigo Bunting was spotted and seen by most but not all of the group as it disappeared quickly. We had some woodpeckers and lots of Robins. Warblers should be coming soon.

We all enjoyed the walk and are looking forward to next week at Norman Levy preserve in Merrick, Nassau County at 9:00 am

Connetquot State Park Recap

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Recap by Ken Thompson

The weather today can only be described by a "WOW." We had our annual spring walk at Connetquot State Park Preserve this morning. We were joined by several students from the East Islip School district. The honors biology program requires the students to participate in a nature walk with an organization. Today we had at least ten students plus parents join us for our walk.

They couldn't have picked a better day. Great weather and great things to look at. We had birds flying, frogs singing, turtles basking in the sun and many different spring plants. To highlight the day an adult Bald Eagle flew over the lake as we were wrapping up the morning. Earlier on we had really good looks at Yellow-throated Warblers near the main building. Overall we had more than forty species of birds for the day.

The kids had a good time, it is good to see them being introduced to the outdoors and we can hope they will continue be interested in nature in the future as well.

Robert Moses State Park Recap

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Recap by Ken Thompson

A small group of fearless and optimistic birders showed up at Robert Moses State Park hoping for the rain to stop so we could do some birding. As it was raining at the start, we decided to do some "Birding by Car". we would drive the edges of the parking lots and see what we could see. When we got to Field 2 the rain was subsiding. We got out and started to walk and by the time we were done the rain had stopped, so we did manage to squeeze in a morning's birding.

We wound up with thirty species of birds. Highlights were a pair of Oystercatchers in one of the Field 5 parking lot grass islands by the entrance. The real treat was a Peregrine Falcon in the middle of Field 2 parking lot sitting on a traffic cone. It then dropped down into a puddle to drink and bathe, making the best of a wet day.

West End Jones Beach Walk Recap

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Photos and Recap by Mike Cooper

On February 7th, ten Great South Bay birders came out for our annual West End Jones Beach trip. Crusty snow made getting around a little tricky, but we managed to find 44 species, with a couple of nice winter sightings. A large finch flock dropped in and allowed us to get nice looks at Common Redpolls. Redpolls are irruptive, and don’t move into our area every winter so these were a nice treat. Several of us saw one or possibly two different Rough-legged Hawks. Other raptors included several Northern Harriers, and singles of Sharp-shined, Red-tailed, Merlin, and possibly a glimpse of the Northern Goshawk that had been hunting in the area for the past few weeks. We ran into several large groups of Horned Larks, each of them containing a couple of Lapland Longspurs. The bay near the Coast Guard Station produced nice looks at the usuals- Horned Grebes, loons, Red-breasted Mergansers, Bufflehead and Long-tailed Duck (Oldsquaw) and a distant flock of a hundred or so Common Eider. Over at the field 10 fishing piers, a couple of Ruddy Turnstones fed under the docks, and off on one of the bay islands a large congregation of Harbor Seals was hauled up on an island.

Birding and Breakfast Recap

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Recap by Ken Thompson

We had our annual winter Birding and Breakfast this past January 17. This is a function sponsored and supported by three organizations. NYS Parks is the host at the Connetquot River State park Preserve. Great South Bay Audubon Society provides the nature walk leaders. The Friends of Connetquot supplied the breakfast and moral support.

Breakfast was at 8:00, the room was full. Coffee and juice and tea were served along with fruit and cake and bagels. After a hearty breakfast we started with a presentation by Pam Hunter, of potential winter birds that might be seen. Pam reviewed the ducks that would probably be on the pond and some of the land birds we might see as we walked the park trails.

After breakfast we headed to the pond. At the pond, with a very cooperating sunny day, we saw most of the ducks that was presented in the earlier session. Highlights were Common mergansers, Canvasbacks, Northern Pintail, Red Head and all the expected regulars. We spent time making sure everyone saw all the ducks that were there.

Then we walked the trails and again saw almost all the birds that were presented in the morning. The selection for the presentation by the park staff was spot on. High lights were Both Red and White-breasted Nuthatches. There were Chickadees and Titmice and White- throated sparrows hanging around the feeders. We saw a couple of different woodpeckers,We saw Red-bellied, Downy and a highlight was a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker which gave everyone great looks. Some groups saw a Red Fox scamper across the paddock, and some folks saw a Bald Eagle fly over the main pond.

It was a beautiful winter day with mild temperatures and bright sunshine. Everyone had a good time and the birds were very cooperative. We saw over thirty species of birds. Winter birding can be fun. NYS parks and GSBAS and Friends of Connetquot would like to thank every one for coming and enjoying our park.

Montauk Nature Walk Recap

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Recap by Ken Thompson

We had our kickoff of GSBAS weekend field trips at Montauk Point this weekend. Eight hardy birders showed up on a cold windy day. the temperatures were in the teens with the winds out of the WNW at 10 knots increasing to 15 to 20. It was cold but not as cold as we have had on other trips.

Birding at the point was pretty quiet excepting for the steady stream of Common Eiders flying from the west to the east all morning long. There were thousands of them, they were every where you looked. Seeing masses of birds is one of the reasons we go to Montauk in January, the seabirds tend to congregate and put on a show.

On our way to Dune Road after finishing Montauk, Bob Grover spotted a large bird soaring overhead. We all pulled over to look at what was determined to be a Golden Eagle, treat number one. That is a great find for Long Island. Later on Dune Road, we pulled into Triton Lane and someone pointed out a Snowy Owl to us, treat number two. A little further down Dune Road we spotted an American Bittern sunning itself in a roadside ditch, treat number three.

We had a greatfinish to a great day of birding with a hardy bunch of birders.