Monday, August 4, 2014

Biking and Birding

     Today I biked from my apartment all the way to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens and back home later. All in all, I biked just over 38 miles and I was happy about my ability to do all that with a 2.5 hour walk in between.
(Here comes a shameless plug)
     I am personally trying to prepare myself as best I can for a bike ride I am doing in September, the NYC Century Bike Tour, in which I am raising money to support Vision Zero, making NYC streets safer for all those using anything other than a car to get around, whether two wheels or two feet. I had a very (and thats a big "very") rough time a few month back due to a cycling incident, but now I am back in the saddle and wanting not just the streets to be better for me, but for all! So in my goal of riding 55 miles (and raising at least $200... if you wanted to donate a few bucks, that's cool- it would be much appreciated), I figured I'd bike and bird to get in some decent milage.
     Jamaica Bay was lovely this morning and I spent time walking both the East and West Ponds and had some lovely moments viewing birds and, specifically on the west pond, trying to avoid terrapin nests. The terrapin nests are wired off and flagged, but many are right in the middle of the trail, so if you aren't watching, you may literally trip over one!
A Juvenile Cedar Waxwing 
Headhsot of a yellow crowned night heron, there is a small pond on the East Pond side that has a bird cline set up, so you can view these birds at a very close distance without causing much disturbance to them.
Just a stones throw from the heron above, this juvie yellow crowned is using its wing to shade the water to have a better look for whats below. Or checking if he put on his deodorant... I know that feeling, dude.
A little preening by the heron in the first picture, these two were also joined by at least 2 adult black capped night herons on the same small pond.
this is where I am terrible, I have no idea what this shore bird is, I have done lots of searching and I'm honestly at a loss- but the bugger sure is handsome.
Same as above.
I am fairly sure the guy to the left is a semipalmated sandpiper-- guy on the right, same as above.
The first of many protected nest sites I encountered. This is done to monitor the diamondback terrapins and also to prevent the nests from being dug up by raccoons and other predators. This has been ongoing for many years now through work over at Hofstra University.
a peregrine falcon quickly wooshed by... 
This female Eastern towee came out of the brush and sat on her side, appearing to bask in the sun!
A yellow warbler, in its best "secret agent" pose.
Another mystery... my thoughts, some sort of flycatcher (thinking not so much), then I thought maybe a vireo (not so likely), and maybe some sort of warbler? I really have no clue on this one....
on my bike ride out, say this osprey just sitting on the utility post above me, just nest to where a platform nest stands.

Just a few yards away, another sat, perhaps the other osprey's partner in crime.