Captree rarities chasing (November 3, 2010)

Captree State Park, located at the east end of the barrier beach where Jones Beach and Tobay are located, is a relatively small park with a marina and a small beach. Yet to this small spot in November, several rare birds found their way! The rarest of these was the Common Ground-Dove (CGDO), a bird that doesn’t strays far north from Florida, southern Texas, and the Southwest. This CGDO was the state first, and it was first spotted in a tiny patch of grass near a poison ivy hedge at the edge of the marina parking area. A few days after initial reports, I went to Captree to try for this rarity as well as a Western Tanager (WETA) and a Dickcissel (DICK). The WETA, judging by its name, was well out of range as well, but WETAs are known to stray to the east every winter and a handful are nearly always seen spread across the region. DICK, on the other hand, is a summer resident of the midwestern plains states. This ag-loving bird migrates to Central and South America for winter, so it was certainly well out of range itself!

I arrived at Captree just before sunrise, and shortly thereafter I ran into Shai Mitra who exchanged numbers with me and we each went our own ways, hoping to spot the bird. In the end, I missed the CGDO but got both others – I would have to return to Captree for the CGDO at a later date…

Fire Island Light, as seen from Captree at sunrise
Fire Island Light, as seen from Captree
Fire Island Light, as seen from Captree
Spider Crab on the dock at Captree - this fellow wasn't in great shape and, I think, a Gull must have dropped him on the dock and, for unknown reasons, not finished him off...
The Spider Crab jumped off the dock into the water.
Here's another Spider Crab, this time with a Herring Gull (HEGU) standing over it, preparing to give the final death blow.
HEGU attacks and the Spider Crab attempts to use its claws to defend itself!
The battle is over and HEGU has won.
Phragmites!
Yellow-rumped Warbler (YRWA) aka Myrtle Warbler.
Boat-tailed Grackles (BTGR), once limited to more southern Atlantic beaches, now has a strong foothold on Long Island.
BTGR calling - it's a beautiful sound!
Wow, look at that display, BTGR is really putting on a show here!
Group of BTGR
Group of BTGR
A handsome BTGR
A handsome BTGR
Western Tanager (WETA) landing on a branch!
Hermit Thrush (HETA)
Chipping Sparrow (CHSP) aka Chippy!
The Dickcissel (DICK) with White-throated AND White-crowned Sparrows, feeding off the shoulder of the road into Captree SP.
Somewhat miscellaneous, but Anne gave a bird walk the next morning at Old Westbury Gardens, which is a beautiful historic estate house, and the only picture I took all day was this, through one of the main gates!

2 thoughts on “Captree rarities chasing (November 3, 2010)

  • Pingback: Captree Common Ground-Dove (November 15, 2010) « Weekday Birding

  • March 13, 2011 at 13:19
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    Hey Jason!

    Awesome website! I love all of your beautiful pictures, you really have a talent! I am wondering if it is ok to use some of the pictures from your website for promotional flyers and things of that nature for TRS? I am hoping its ok….

    Blair, Alice and I went out the other night looking for the American Woodcock. Blair bought speakers like yours and we were able to play their display flight sound, and they went crazy for it! Such an awesome bird, my first time seeing it. Hope you are well, and give Anne a big hug for me. Take care!

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