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!
List of Birds Seen on this Trip
by Michael McBrien
Little Blue Heron
Great Black-backed Gull
52 Species Total