Saturday, November 28, 2015

Playing Catch-up

     It sure is feeling like that time of the year, where the hustle and bustle picks up as the holidays roll in. So birding has trumped any blogging, and to be honest, I have had some less than stellar outings, but I am very thankful just to have the privilege of going outside.
     These are from last week, Monday 11/16, in Coney Island, when there were cave swallows all over the place (I missed the boat on those) and from last Sunday, 11/22 at Floyd Bennett Field.
 Coney Island, 11/16:
A greater Black-Back Gull looking handsome. I love these gulls, their size, bold, dark wings, and they seem to know they are larger than the others. They don't seem to squabble among the smaller gulls, because all they do is step in and do their thing, because they can.
I love bird eyes, often, from afar, they just look like little black beady things, but you can see the gold iris around the dark pupil.
Was hoping maybe just maybe this was a lesser black-back gull... nope, just a smiling herring gull.
Floyd Bennett Field:
It was an overcast day, fairly chilly, and fairly un-birdy. My friend Jeffrey and I ventured around FBF checking out the community Gardens, the nature trails, and fishing/boat launch area. Hawks were easy to spot, like this Cooper's Hawk, as trees become bare, look for a big lump on a branch. He also taught me a little kestrel spotting trick, they seems to almost always sit at the tippy tops of the little branches on top of trees. We saw kestrels doing just that, as well as hunting the fields between runways.
We saw a good number of sparrows, like this song sparrow. We also saw white-throated, field, savannah, a fox sparrow, and juncos.
At the fishing area, we saw some bufflehead, far off loons, and cormorants. The normally abundant brant and gulls were nowhere this day, it was amazingly not an abundant bird day. I blamed the weather.
I did get my first Brooklyn tick! An adult female deer tick. This is smaller than the dog tick, these are the ticks that carry lyme disease, I randomly scratched my back when I got home and caught this thing under a fingernail. Thankfully it never bit and embedded itself. I stick ticks on scotch tape when I find them, I can then investigate them, and save them if needed. Since this one never bit me, I did not need to freeze and keep him, while simultaneously keeping an eye out for symptoms.