Jamaica Bay NWR, Double Punch

James and I at Jamaica Bay last September

I joined James Randall and his dad for a nice morning of birding at Jamaica Bay NWR in Queens, NY. Our primary goal was to search out two rare birds plus two uncommon and seasonal challenge. With limited time we had our task layed out for us.

Our first stop was at Big John’s pond for the family of Barn Owls that seasonally roosts in the nest box. We took one look in and had em! It was the first Barn Owl we’d both ever seen and we got fairly nice looks at two beautiful birds. This is a species I’ve always wanted to see, and it was a great feeling to have finally caught up with them.

Barn Owl (digiscoped)

After netting the Barn we moved on to the East Pond overlook where a male and female Wilson’s Phalarope had been seen. No luck on those (darn!) but we did have a nice slew of residents including: Common Tern, Tree Swallow and Yellow Warbler.

It was then out to West Pond and the North Marsh, which seems to be THE place to see rare White-faced Ibises this spring in the northeast. We arrived after at bench #12 after a good walk. There were some foraging ibises behind the reeds but none appeared to be White-faced. Disappointed, we moved farther down the lake into a more open area and got fantastic views of a breeding plumaged, adult White-faced Ibis! Unfortunately, because of the lighting these are the ones I came up with:

Back-to-back with a Yellow-crowned Night Heron

White-faced Ibis

In the marsh there were a few Marsh Wrens, but it appeared many of the shorbs were out in the bay.

By the end of a good day, we were pooped!!

-AB

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5 Responses to Jamaica Bay NWR, Double Punch

  1. Deanna says:

    Hi Alex,

    What a great day for you and James! So happy you’re up to birding, but then again, when AREN’T you up to birding! Great photos of the little barn owl–just love that bird! The ibises are also great–have never seen the white faced ibis so the photo was a treat. Hope to be traipsing through the fields with you guys fairly soon!
    Love
    Deanna

  2. James says:

    I don’t know what you are talking about. Those are fantastic shots of the White-faced Ibis you got. You can clearly identify it. Good job!

    • Alex Burdo says:

      Hey James,

      Thanks!! You’re right, guess I’m getting too expecting of every shot I get. I’m not a bird photographer-I’m a birder! I originally bought this camera to get Identifiable shots with some good ones in between, and I’m doing that so I think I’ll settle down my expectations a bit.

      -Alex

  3. Brian Webster says:

    Ditto…. you can clearly see the white-face. I won’t be there for about 2 months, but will be my first time.

    Keep it up!

    -Brian-

    (From Rapid City, SD)

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