Sunday, January 11, 2015

Central Park Birding

     I had the chance today to get in a short bout of birding before meeting up with my girlfriends for a talk and lunch. They are such good friends and we make it a point to get together often, making time for each other, and I'm so glad we do that. The talk we went to included a group meditation, which honestly I have never intentionally thought to meditate, but tried it out and during that time and thought about how happy I am. I didn't think at all about work, but after meditation thought about how if I was still teaching in public school I couldn't have a clear mind and relax in the way I did at the moment. I am so thankful and grateful to do what I love, to be able to go bird watching and enjoy it, and not just use it as an escape, like I mostly did last year, and that I have what I have. So reflecting on happiness, I am so happy to be able to live my life in a way that doesn't feel selfish, but makes me truly happy, and that allows me to then be a better person to my friends and family.
     So I hope that the happiness I find in the outdoors and capture in photographs can bring a smile to your face, despite the cold weather we've been experiencing here in the Northeast. Enjoy!
I took the C train to 86th street, got into the park and immediately on the first tree in found white-breasted nuthatches, 3 of them, just crawling up and down this tree.
Also a nice surprise were tufted titmice foraging in the laves below that same tree. This one even has a snowy beak!
Once I walked in a bit further I spotted a Cooper's hawk flying by, over the reservoir, and then in the tree tops ahead, a very floofy American Kestrel, keeping warm. I was in Central Park yesterday, running my very first 10K, and I can tell you that this morning was much warmer than yesterday. Who knew 25 degrees F could feel so warm?!
Near 89th street in the park, someone spread seed along the ground, where pigeons gathered, a mourning dove, and this stunning male cardinal.
Blue jays were all over, and did end up bullying the pigeons out to have access to the seeds for themselves.

On the reservoir 4 hooded mergansers were right close to shore. I loved how this male looked, especially from this angle.
He just seems so proud, these birds are just so pretty with their bold colors, and those gold eyes! That skinny beak is best for catching fish and small invertebrates.
This female hooded merganser popped up with what appears to be a crayfish from the bottom of the reservoir.
They lack the bold colors of the males, but their soft crest of feathers is still lovely. Their colors will help them to blend into their surroundings much better, while the male uses his colors to catch the eyes of a lady.
A raft of about 56 ruddy ducks, resting just offshore.
A squirrel gets ready for his morning forage.