Date: 3/7/17 6:43 pm From: Doug Gochfeld <fresha2411...> Subject: [nysbirds-l] 03/07- Brooklyn: Eared Grebe and more
This morning, I was fortunate enough to come across an *EARED GREBE* very shortly after I started birding at Gravesend Bay. I was scanning from the end of Bay Parkway, adjacent to Ceaser's Bay Bazaar, and the bird was initially out in the bay between the pedestrian overpass over the Belt Parkway, and the southernmost parking lot along the Gravesend Bay stretch of the Belt. Luckily, as I closed the distance, it decided to make a beeline towards shore, and then directly towards me, until it was fairly close to shore and directly off the southernmost lot (easily walkable from, and less than a quarter of a mile away from, the end of Bay Parkway). Bear this in mind if it is not easily visible from the spot where it spent most of today.
It settled into this spot and people continued to see it here through sunset. Though it didn't move from this area, it was visible scoping from several vantage points, including from Coney Island Creek Park, more than a mile across Gravesend Bay to the south.
While the bay did not have many Horned Grebes this morning, there were a bunch more around in the afternoon, and caution is warranted when trying to pick out the EAGR if it gets farther offshore. There are a couple of Horned Grebes beginning to transition into breeding plumage (and there was one in almost full breeding plumage in Jamaica Bay today), so rather than plumage, I would rely first and foremost on the distinctive shape and structure of the species when trying to track it down.
A few of other observations of interest around Brooklyn today included an adult *American Oystercatcher* on the flats at the western end of Plumb Beach, with almost 40 Red-throated Loons inside Rockaway Inlet seen from Plumb, and at least 18 Killdeer scattered around Floyd Bennett Field.
At Coney Island there were no less than *3,200* Long-tailed Ducks well to the SW of Coney Island Pier late this evening, mostly counted in one long flight stream heading towards the mouth of Lower NY Bay. Several hundred Northern Gannets persist in the Coney Island/Breezy Point area, where over *2,000* have been seen recently. A flock of ~10 male Slate-colored Juncos around the bare trees that make up Coney Island Creek Park's winter plumage were undoubtedly fairly new northbound arrivals as well.