Monday, December 15, 2014

Pre Workday Birding

     With the holidays upon us and weekends being occupied by parties any gatherings, I have had to find other times to get out and explore. Before work somehow has worked out well, specifically today, because it was warm, the sun was abundant, giving everything a warm, inviting glow. The bird were also abundant, so many herons, kingfishers hunting, and brant geese filling up the grassy fields.
     I gave Drier-Offerman park a whirl today before work, and it worked out very well, it's only a 10 minute bike ride from where I need to be for the day and it always has great birds to see. Most captivating of all today was a single black-capped chickadee, that little puff of feathers made my visit!
Raccon evidence along the shore of Coney Island Creek at low tide. 
A brant swimming near one of the many barges. The barges were full of herons, perched, scoping out the area.
The majority of the brant were grazing. Geese are grazers, people tend to dislike geese because they then defecate on fields, but we create these ideal all you can eat buffets, so we really do bring it upon ourselves.
Brant with the white stripes on the wings are juveniles, those without are adults.
A pair of American wigeon, the male is on the left and is absolutely gorgeous in his impressive plumage.
Then I found this chickadee. I took a lot of photos of this guy because he just kept doing his foraging among the branches. He never flew off, even as I approached. When I finally did move on, he followed me along the path. His little acrobatics on the twigs were just so wonderful to watch, I just adore these little birds!

A tiny tweezer-like beak for picking the buds on the twigs.

Buffleheads, males to the left, and female to the right. A second female was diving underwater at the time. Males generally look black and white, but at just the right angle, you can see the purple and green sheen they have to their feathers.
I was hoping for a raptor sighting... and then I got a female American Kestrel as I made my way toward my bike. A good turnout of birds for sure, glad to start my week off on a great note!