Saturday, May 21, 2016

Birds This Week

     I have been so busy, in both my work and personal life. An escape outdoors always helps me rebalance and get myself back together to tackle anything that comes my way, so here are the sights I found along the way.
An exquisite Canada Warbler in Green-Wood Cemetery.
A black crowned night heron, pretending to hide.
What 90% of my photos of warblers look like. 
A Magnolia warbler, down low to wow us and save our necks.
Egrets and herons in flight are my favorite, I never tire of these shots or those wings.
A mocker strikes a pose.
A spotted sandpiper that actually walked my way and took a few glances at me before flying off.
A green heron patrols the Dell water.
At Kaiser Park on Coney Island Creek a single laughing gull is captured in the series that follows...

He appears so satisfied after a good yawn & feather fluff.
Meanwhile, in Prospect Park, fledgling season has begun....
A young European starling trails one of its parents crying for food.
Probably eating for 3 or 4...
A female Baltimore Oriole works her craft of weaving together a hanging nest.

There also seem to be a lot of "dumb" young chipmunks, dumb in that they have not yet learned that they are little and big things will try to eat them. They are approaching closely and practically running underfoot along the trails. This one ate out in the open, a mere few feet from 3 adult humans.
A green heron catches a nice yummy prize.

A modestly plumaged female red-winged blackbird.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Big Weekend

     Yesterday, Saturday 5.14.16, was a "Global Big Day," where you bird the day, counting up and tallying as much as you can. I joined a walk in Forest Park in Queens with the NYC Audubon and birded in the park, and the entire walk to the park. It was finally a warbler-ful day, which I have been missing and just watching lists come in as I was in work. It felt good to finally have that experience.
     Today, I could have saved myself some time and just visited a corner in Green-Wood Cemetery, I birded mostly at my favorite tree (which I learned is an European Birch), that is surrounded by a japanese maple, a pin oak, and many azalea bushes near-by. In the one tree, I had 17 species of warbler plus scarlet tanager, chipping sparrow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Swainson's thrush, and Red-eyed Vireo also in (or under). Here is my list that mostly is from under the birch tree.
     Then in an unexpected chase, I joined some fellow birders, escaped to Prospect to find the earlier reported least bittern. Not too shabby!
     In this weekend I got 4 life birds, the Nashville, Canada, & Mourning Warblers, plus the Least Bittern!

Forest Park:
I do not know what I have done to my camera's setting, but I warn, my photos are below sub-par. I am personally not too happy with them, but that's not what the day was really about. Here is a blurd, a rose-breasted grosbeak.
A great-crested flycatcher way high up. I liked forest park, it felt very "wild." But man, the trees were tall and the birds were high. Lots of neck straining. 
A bay breasted warbler, high, and blurry.
More blurry bay-breasted.
Side view of the bay breasted.
A low look at the Cape May Warbler, right over my head.

A singing Nashville Warbler
A meh photo of the Nashville warbler. But the best I got of the 30 or so that I took.
A robin collects some bounty.
A catbird hiding in some shrubbery.
A low magnolia warbler, eye level in a young tree.

The ground was crawling with birds! Especially when I got to the birch tree, which had 10-12 oven birds, a N. water thrush, when I first arrived, a Swainson's thrush, and a chipping sparrow.
My sub-par photos but, identifiable of the Mourning Warbler.
He is little and quick and backlit, and I am not really a skilled photographer. I was looking for the Canada warbler and came upon him instead!

Prospect Park:
The Least Bittern, high up in a tree. Much smaller than I expected and really not easy to see, pretty well camouflaged on such a day!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Doodletown Trip

     Worked a short day, got out to Doodletown. Now I have a migraine, so, let's just get to pictures of the day...

Left work at 11:30, arrived to bird by a bit after 1pm. 
Hoped to see one, but alas, no dice.
Clouded sulfur, among the many butterflies out in the warm sun.

An Eastern Garter snake slithered down while I was looking at birds, I turned around was pretty stoked to see his sitting pretty behind me just off the trail.
So super cute! An eater of mainly frogs, toads, and when young, worms- harmless to us. 
What I came here for, cerulean warblers, I saw 3, possibly more individuals. They were easier to find than any of the others!
Cerulean bum.
A cruddy look from the side.
Eastern tiger swallowtail.
A crappy shot that turned out alright in the end.

Oh hey, another cerulean!
And another garter snake!

Some species of sucker- not sure exactly what kind, they seemed to be spawning, 
I took some video of they spawning in "formation" in this small little pond under a small falls that ends up in a marsh by Iona Island.

A decent afternoon at Doodletown, for sure.