Shells and more shells

The highlight of today's multi-spot trip down to Jones Beach were a few odd birds and the discarded homes of long-dead bivalves. Just before arriving to the first location I saw an Eastern Bluebird materialize and disappear in flash of blue on the side of the road, my first ever for Long Island. I spent the first 30 minutes there fruitlessly trying to refind it, but I picked up an early Chipping Sparrow while searching for it, making the slight detour worth it. After that, I went down to two stretches of beach for the main reason why I was there; to see if I could find any interesting shells to get a boost in the yearlist competition I'm in. The first spot, which was on the calmer bay side, didn't yield too many shells, but the second spot along the ocean had representatives of at least 12 species of bivalves lying around, along with evidence of two widely-separated groups of boring animals on a very old Surf Clam shell. The best find there was a Fossor Coquina (Donax fossor), which is endemic to the coast between Long Island and Virginia. The arctic winds forced me to go back to the car before I could look for more shells, but the quick glance was still encouraging for future prospects. A pair of what was either Hoyt's Horned Larks (E. a. hoyti) or Prairie Horned Larks (E. a. praticola) and a flock of of Snow Buntings were some other nice sightings at that spot.

Tomorrow I'm heading to two other beaches to try to get more shells along with an area that supposedly has a state-rare but very distinctive Spikerush. Birdwise there isn't likely to be too much out, but the second spot has hosted a ridiculous amount of rarities in the previous few years, so perhaps something strange will pop up.

(live) Lifers today: 0
Total species: 2122

Posted by astrobirder astrobirder, March 13, 2019 01:16

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