Loads of toursits visit the Statue of Liberty when they come to New York City for the first time. Few of them realize that Liberty State Park, located smack-dab on the Hudson River amidst the crush of humanity in Jersey City, is a local birding hotspot. With a mix of large open fields, marshland, a pine grove, weedy margins and mudflats when the tide goes out, it offers up a plethora (I love that word) of birding habitats. It is especially good in winter. There is a Snowy Owl there most years, living large on the rats. There are also lots of different types of ducks, gulls and shorebirds.
I went down to the park with friends today to try for the Snowy. It has been hanging around the golf course and waterfront. I was also hoping to see the Eurasian Widgeon, immat. male Common Eider and 7 Woodcock that had been reported. But I skunked on all of them. I did see Green-winged Teal, loads of Brant, 2 Killdeer, 2 Horned Grebe, lots of Buffleheads, DC Cormorants, Ruddy Ducks, Gadwalls, Black Ducks and the regular seagulls crowd-Herring, Greater Black-backed and Ring-billed.
Now that I know the lay of the land, so to speak, I plan on going back when it is a nicer and hopefully less windy day. I wonder when Snowy Owls leave to go back north???