Friday, February 5, 2016

Coney Island Winter Wonderland

     Many people think Coney Island goes into hibernation during the winter, maybe for one species of animal, Homo sapiens, it does -- unless you're a burly Brighton Beach man topless and in shorts on a jog. Aside from very much spotting a shirtless, short-wearing, burly man on an afternoon jog-- much wildlife also abounds along the sand and beyond into and over the water of the Atlantic Ocean. Coney Island is beautiful after a fresh winter snow and during lunch I was able to convince my awesome coworkers to skip in the snow, frolic on the shoreline, and explore the beach in front of the Aquarium.
     I love Coney in the snow, I hope you do too, enjoy!
This morning looked very much like a bleak and barren boardwalk in Nome Alaska...
Can you even see the ocean?!
But by noon, the weather turned bright, cheerful, and far more inviting-- it's amazing what a little sun shine can do!
OH! There's the ocean!
The quietest version of Coney Island you'll ever know.
A gull washes in the surf- this is a herring gull. I couldn't even imagine getting into the water.
The beach was mostly teeming with herring and ring-billed gulls. A few great black-backed gulls were around and off shore, I spotted at least 3 Northern Gannets.
A group of ring billed gulls - the guy up front looks to be ready for a post-lunch nap.
"Don't eat the yellow snow!"
The gulls on the beach were eating snow, because unlike the ocean water, the snow is a great source of fresh water. So many gulls were picking it up and eating it, like this herring gull.
A red throated loon came close to shore, maybe to see what the 6 loons from the NY aquarium were doing out on the beach in such weather.
A juvenile herring gull.
And yay! We found 5 skate egg cases on the beach just outside the aquarium, plus a few fragments from other. We also found some washed up soft corals, HUGE moon snails, razor clams, various crab carapaces, lots of good stuff!