This past Saturday morning was spent birding at Jamaica Bay with Carrie Laben, and a fine time we had, though, perhaps, my expectations for good birds are a bit high of late.  May 22 is a late day to expect passerines to still be migrating and the gardens were relatively dead, despite our efforts and the efforts of several of New York’s top birders we couldn’t track down the previously reported Wilson’s Phalarope (though two were found later in the day and I went back on Sunday and found them), and Saturday ended up being the first birding outing I have had since late March or early April in which I did not add a new year bird.  Despite these pessimistic pronouncements we still saw a host of birds that would make those who have not seen over 200 species* in Queens, NY, this year green with envy.  Even my second-ever in New York State White-faced Ibis (likely not the same bird that I saw on the big day) couldn’t shake my birding doldrums.

But, in retrospect, were the birds ever good!  As has been my (lazy) style of late I’ll just share some pictures and save you the “We went here and saw this and we went there and saw that” style narrative.  I hope you like the following images and that the foul mood I was in doesn’t negatively effect your enjoyment…

Yellow-crowned Night Heron Nyctanassa violacea

American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla

White-faced Ibis Plegadis chihi

Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica

Boat-tailed Grackle Quiscalus major

Gadwall Anas strepera (male on left, female on right)

American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus

Jamaica Bay has some of the best birding in the northeastern United States; I am just spoiled by an embarrassment of riches!  Come winter and I’ll wish I had a day birding like today…

*By the way, so far as I know, and according to eBird, there are two of us in Queens who have seen over 200 species of bird in Queens this year, Andrew Baksh and I, so if one of us should disappear while, say, birding the East Pond at Jamaica Bay you know who to suspect…

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.