Friday, May 8, 2015

A Change of Scenery

     After birding often in Prospect Park, I decided to change it up and head to the Salt Marsh in Marine Park after work today. Lately I have been running into birders left and right, and yesterday and the day before I ran into a friend of mine in Prospect. Today I ran into him again, but at the salt marsh! I couldn't help but laugh, but was very happy to bird with a friend.
     The marsh is slowly coming to life, sprigs of green can be seen creeping up through the grasses, birds are all around, the fiddler crabs scatter back to their burrows as you pass by with a shadow, and the terrapins are just starting to show themselves.
     Enjoy the sights:
A hovering Forster's tern- unlike common terns they lack the dark tips of the wings. This bird was actively hovering and diving into the water after fish. It makes for decent photo ops.

Also, unlike the common tern, take note of the longer tail- much longer than commons.
I thank my friend Daniel for alerting me to clapper rail behavior and calls. These guys were actively calling and not very easy to find. Seeing that guy was after searching for quite a few minutes when he finally came out of the wood-- err, grass work. But you can see aside from the orange bill, he is camouflaged quite well.
Calling.

A killdeer in a charred portion of the fields of the salt marsh.
A red-winged blackbird sings his "honk-a-tee!" And looking quite handsome in the process.
This young E. cottontail got some audible "awwws" from my friend and I. I mean, you might not be human if this didn't at least make your brain go "squee!"
And this is that moment where you're all like, something dreadfully cute is going to happen-- hold onto your seats, because you might fall out of them if you are overcome by cuteness.... standby....
AND THE CUTENESS, there it is, a little bun nibbling on a golden dandelion in the early evening sun. And then you're like this cannot get cuter, no way, not at all... and then...
little bunny lips! GAH! Has your brain exploded yet? No? Well, I apologize in advance because prepare yourself for...
EXTREME CLOSE-UP. You're welcome.
Eastern cottontails are native and live in Brooklyn in a few of the parks. They do have to be weary, especially a young guy like this because hawks will take them if the hawk is large and the bun is small. They are a joy to see around because even though you know they are here in Brooklyn, you are always so pleasantly surprised to see them.
A greater yellowlegs was working the area by the green bridge the whole time we were there, this angle finally gave me the right light. We got to watch it pull a giant worm from the mud and swallow it down.

Remember tomorrow is Cornell's "Big Day," so get out and submit all that you find to the eBird database. If you are in NYC, the Bronx Zoo is hosting their second annual Birdathon, I will be there bright and early to lead a walk birding the zoo.