Along Staten Island Road, 11-08-21

I got up around 7:00 this morning and had a light breakfast of toast and black coffee before heading out for a drive to Staten Island Road with my friend and fellow naturalist Roxanne. We left the house around 8:00 am. I was in pain and moving slowly but figured I could handle an outing during which I didn’t have to walk a lot.

I told the Universe I wanted to see a species of bird I’d never seen before (it IS migrating season after all) and a Snipe. I got the snipe; two, in fact. I don’t know why those odd little birds make me happy, but they do.

We saw quite a few raptors on the drive including several Red-Tailed Hawks, a Red-Shouldered Hawk, a couple of American Kestrels and Northern Harriers. That’s the most of them we’ve seen in a long time.

In the fields were flocks of Canada and Cackling Geese and Greater White-Fronted Geese. There were Sandhill Cranes in the fields, too, even among the cattle. Overhead, too, there were so many flocks moving around, some of them very large, that the air was filled with noise.

Cackling Geese, Branta hutchinsii, and Red-Winged Blackbirds, Agelaius phoeniceus

Along the fences we saw tons of House Finches, Brewer’s Blackbirds, and Red-Winged Blackbirds. We also came across a Black Phoebe and a Say’s Phoebe, some White-Crowned Sparrows and Savannah Sparrows.

And in one of the sloughs, we saw a pair of Great Blue Herons. It’s unusual to see two so close together, and I wondered if they were a mated pair or siblings.

In the flooded fields we saw Northern Shovels, Ruddy Ducks, Canvasback ducks, Tundra Swans and Mute Swans, Killdeer, American Pipits, a Bufflehead, a Greater Yellowlegs, a Black-Necked Stilt, and American Coots in the water.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

We were out for about 3 hours before I started to get hungry and in pain, so we quit the road and headed into town to look for somewhere to have lunch.  The first place we came across was Olive Garden. I haven’t eaten there in ages, and their all-you-can-eat soup and salad lunch really appealed to me. So, I had the Zuppa Toscana soup, salad and breadsticks, a spinach-artichoke dip appetizer with flatbread crisps, iced tea, and Italian donut puffs with raspberry sauce. Sooooooooooo yummy.

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Species List:

  1. American Coot, Fulica americana
  2. American Kestrel, Falco sparverius
  3. American Pipit, Anthus rubescens
  4. Belted Kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon
  5. Black Angus Cattle, Bos taurus var. Black Angus
  6. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  7. Black-Necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus
  8. Brewer’s Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
  9. Bufflehead Duck, Bucephala albeola
  10. Cackling Goose, Branta hutchinsii
  11. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  12. Canvasback Duck, Aythya valisineria
  13. Desert Cottontail Rabbit, Sylvilagus audubonii
  14. Eared Grebe, Podiceps nigricollis
  15. Eurasian Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto
  16. Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
  17. Great Egret, Ardea alba
  18. Greater White-Fronted Goose, Anser albifrons
  19. Greater Yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca
  20. House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
  21. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
  22. Mute Swan, Cygnus olor
  23. Northern Harrier, Marsh Hawk, Circus hudsonius
  24. Northern Pintail, Anas acuta
  25. Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata
  26. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  27. Red-Tailed Hawk, Western Red-Tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis calurus
  28. Red-Winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
  29. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  30. Ruddy Duck, Oxyura jamaicensis
  31. Sandhill Crane, Grus canadensis
  32. Savannah Sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis
  33. Say’s Phoebe, Sayornis saya
  34. Snowy Egret, Egretta thula
  35. Tundra Swan, Cygnus columbianus
  36. Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta
  37. White Tailed Kite, Elanus leucurus
  38. White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
  39. Wilson’s Snipe, Gallinago delicata