Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Break!

Lunch with a view.
     In my first year of teaching, I am beyond overjoyed that it is spring break. It is much needed, in the sense that I can do work and get ahead so I can successfully make it to June. I suppose I also get some time to myself to do things I find enjoyable.
     The temperature today was in the upper 60's so being outdoors was mandatory! My husband and I went to Marine Park, down on Avenue U in Marine Park, Brooklyn. We saw some good wildlife, had sandwiches overlooking the water, and took the baseball gloves out across the street in the park for catch. Among the un-photographed were a belted kingfisher, shy fiddler crabs, lots of bufflehead and ruddy ducks, nesting osprey, and more. It was a great day to be out and it finally feels like winter has gone away for good - but who knows, maybe it will snow again next week because that's how insane it has been.
A mockingbird working hard to protect its turf outside the nature center.
We were kindly pointed over to this area by a ranger who told us there was a red tail around. He was very well hidden, and my camera had a hard time focusing.
Then he was on a mission. 

He gave this great egret a really hard time, chasing it down. Was it trying to capture this bird?
Well, maybe he was, he seems to still have much to learn. See his long tail? That tells us he is a young bird, maybe still getting the hang of hunting.
He looks beaten up, but really he is molting. Those tail feathers are banded, telling us he/she is young. Mature adults have those brick red tails. Maybe his is just coming in.
Mute swan test shot.
A double crested cormorant and a pair of bufflehead ducks.
A greater yellowlegs.
As opposed to the lesser yellowlegs that has a shorter bill. The greater's bill in appearance can seem slightly upturned.

A common grackle voices his opinion to the nearby waterfowl.
A common grackle attempts a photobomb on some foraging crows.
There is always that reminder that amongst it all, you're still in New York City. The Freedom Towers peeks over the tree line and nature center.