Trip Reports
Cupsogue Beach County Park (Suffolk County) — July 15, 2012
Note: This field trip was sponsored by the Eastern Long Island Audubon Society (ELIAS), a NYSYBC Partner Club. Bob Adamo, a champion of NYSYBC from its earliest beginnings and a longtime Long Island birder, organized the trip. Shai Mitra, Editor of NYSOA's quarterly ornithological journal, The Kingbird, led the walk. Many thanks to Bob and Doug for a great day!


Black Skimmer, photo by Michael McBrien
Black Skimmer, photo by Michael McBrien

The Youth Birders were treated to a lovely day of birding at Cupsogue State Park.  The weather was warm but hazy, in the afternoon a few showers arrived as we waded out onto the tidal marsh.

We began at Pikes Beach and proceeded to Cupsogue, to the boardwalk overlooking the beach.  Highlights from the boardwalk included a Wilson's Storm-Petrel and a juvenile Common Loon.  Then we continued on through the mucky tidal marsh where we were treated to a plethora of shorebirds, including Black Skimmers, Willets, Least Terns, Piping Plovers, Semipalmated Plovers, Least Sandpipers, Black Terns, Common Terns, Forster's Terns,  and Greater Yellowlegs.  Special sightings included a Common Tern chick, Seaside Sparrow, Sharp-tailed Sparrow, and an elusive Clapper Rail.

Our leader, Shai Mitra, kept up a steady, informative dialogue throughout the trip. We even stopped to examine a dead Willet.  We heard a Downy Woodpecker in the distance, common to most of us but uncommon in the marsh area.

Common Yellowthroats, Song Sparrows and Red-winged Blackbirds sang their hearts out as we made our way back to the boardwalk.  

After lunch Shai raffled off a shorebird book to one of the Youth Birders... me!  Great book.

In my opinion this spot is one of the best for a Youth Birder's field trip, what a wonderful day!

Rachel Smith, age 14

                         View photo gallery

List of Birds Seen on this Trip
by Michael McBrien

Canada Goose
Common Loon
Wilson's Storm-Petrel
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Glossy Ibis
Clapper Rail
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Piping Plover
American Oystercatcher
Spotted Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Ruddy Turnstone
Red Knot
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Short-billed Dowitcher
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Least Tern
Black Tern
Common Tern
Forster's Tern
Royal Tern*
Black Skimmer
Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Kingbird
American Crow
Fish Crow
Tree Swallow
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow Warbler
Saltmarsh Sparrow
Seaside Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle

52 Species Total