Monday, April 17, 2017

Manhattan Birding

     After work today I headed into Manhattan to catch some birds that I need for my 2017 list and just because they are worth seeing while they are in town. My goals were to find the red headed woodpecker, red necked grebe, and a cattle egret in Midtown. Needless to say, I got them all!
     I was lucky enough to have some fantastic weather on my side and it made for a great afternoon/evening out!
The red headed woodpecker has been at this same area for quite some time now and has a gorgeous red head!

Found just off 68th Street and 5th Avenue, this bird was high up in the tree. You would honestly never notice it



Terrible photo, but he snagged a bumble bee.


It was pretty cool to watch this guy for a while.

An American Robin and some flowers. Spring.

Common Grackle.

The Reservoir provided really great looks at buffleheads-- very close to the sides to view. So I didn't let this opportunity go. 


You can also view the waterfowl from an elevated path, so you can practically look down on them, offering a view you don't often get. 
The closest look I have ever had at a gadwall. For a brown duck, they are gorgeous when you can catch all those details.



This red-necked grebe was a released bird from the Wild Bird Fund and has not left the place since being released. So I enjoyed some up close looks at this gorgeous bird.





Then I took the C train to Penn Station and walked to 28th Street to enjoy some good looks at this cattle egret who has called a small patch of green there, "home." This bird was busy catching fat flies that gathered in the sun in the grass.

The bird is also in breeding plumage, so it just looks so sharp.


With a fly in its beak.



The bird also flew towards myself and other observers to land in a nearby tree.

Closer inspection shows binocular vision, the better to capture flies with.



I was glad I took some time to venture out of Brooklyn today, my year list is now at 151!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Too Much Prothonotary? No Such Thing.

     I left home early today- hoping to get some good looks at the prothonotary warbler that has been at the salt marsh nature center, with today being the 3rd day. These little birds nest in the SE United States, so when they end up in New York, clearly they have over shot their destination. When they end up in New York it also gets local birders in a feverish fury to see this little drop of sunshine- as it did for me:
I got some good looks- and listens to many other birds, including this greater yellowlegs (above) and a marsh wren (heard only).

Red-wing blackbirds were very abundant and loud, singing their "honk-a-ree!"


Also had my FOY Forster's Tern, while waiting for the protonotary and thanks to Tom for pointing this guy out.

A pied-billed grebe.
So, basically, I had poor views of the warbler this morning... so I came back in the afternoon.

Because this afternoon was a far better showing for this bird...

This little bird spent most of our viewing time foraging west of the Nature Center on the rocks. Hopping in and out of green patches, foraging for little insects and such.

Foraging and looking hard...






A good look at what this bird is after-- little aphids lined many of the green plants it foraged among.








Too much? Nah. Never.
Keep on feasting lil' buddy and I hope you make it to the South East and make lots of little mini yous!