As I drove down Buffalo St, a pair of turkey vultures came gliding across the road, check! From the parking lot I could see the big flocks of bunting and lark wheeling around the field near the play ground. After zipping up and getting my gloves on, it was time to start scanning. The first few passes through the flocks reveled only bunting and larks, but on the other side of the field I saw another birder with his binoculars so I started off towards him. Scanning the flocks resumed after a few minutes of chatting, and within moments there it was, my year longspur! See the below photo of the longspur mixed into snow bunting.
Still having some time to kill before Isaac arrived, I thought it would be a good chance to head to Crooke's Point to see if I could find either field sparrows or yellow-rumped warbler. After few minutes of pishing and walking the dunes, a yellow-rumped warbler came popping up, but I was getting cold and started off the car. Field sparrows are cool, and a year bird, but not having frost-bitten fingers is better.
Finally, Isaac arrived and we quickly relocated the longspur and headed to the salt flats for a closer look at the scaup flock in one last effort of the black scoter. Unfortunately, even with the Kawa scope we didn't find the scoter, but Isaac got his year canvasback, sanderling, turnstone, and gannet.
From Great Kills, Isaac and I headed to Page Ave where there wasn't too much activity as we parted ways. Six new year birds today! Not a bad haul for the afternoon.