Saturday, May 2, 2015

Remember to Set the Bar Low.

     I had high expectations for this morning, and I did what I always try not to do- go out looking for birds with high hopes. I have my own personal mantra, that if I set the bar low, I will never be disappointed, if anything, I will always be pleased and satisfied. I should have done that this morning.
     Seeing reports around NYC of some lovely new migrants appearing in our area, I was hungry to go out before work today. I even woke up early, ate breakfast on the steps of the boat house (in super warp speed), and trekked about on the lookout for warblers, orioles, and any other new faces.
     As I walked around, running into other birders, everyone had the same reaction of seeing the usual birds, nothing out of the (recent) ordinary. I'm not at all complaining, I had a wonderful and fulfilling morning observing the world - I would have regretted not going out. But despite the no-show(s) of what I was hoping for, I still had some wonderful moments. Enjoy!
A modest mourning dove, foraging among the leaf litter.
I walked the lullwater because in the past, I've had some lovely warblers show up. I guess I couldn't complain when this guy a black-capped night heron landed in front of me on a fallen branch over the water.

The swans are quite aggressive lately. These birds are usually, for mute swans, rather tame. But since they are nesting they have been quite nasty, especially to the other waterfowl.
If you ever have tried to photograph a kinglet, you should only be so lucky to get at least a floofy butt shot. These birds flit and flicker about, never staying still for even half a second.
A picturesque Northern Parula forages on an impressively huge cherry tree over the Children's play area near the Vale. The parula was one bird I was hoping to see, so seeing this and another in this tree, I was happy with. Then another bird I hoped to see, an oriole was muuuuuuuch higher up, foraging on the flowers. The Baltimore oriole and this parula both looked equally gorgeous swarmed by fluffy white flowers.
Usually the park is filled with catbirds, I would think by now. I only saw 3 today, I like them a lot- despite how common they are. They sing beautifully and also do a very good "mew" call, like any cat or catbird would.
Happy to find a hairy woodpecker. Note how the beak is nearly as long as the head? That means hairy woodpecker, downy's have a much smaller beak that is about half the size of their head.
I think this might be my favorite capture- a catbird singing his song on a blooming tree on a beautiful morning.