Saturday, April 30, 2016

4 Days of Wildlife

     Time to play catch-up. This is a busy time of year for work, get-togethers, and birding. Migration is in full swing and the reports keep rolling in, while I am swamped at work with tons to do. It is just absolute torture to be taunted. Thankfully my work load is so heavy, I don't see the reports until I am out of work, but that usually means I have missed my chance to catch something spotted earlier in the day.
     Over the last three days and today, I did some birding in Prospect Park, the Salt Marsh in Marine Park, Calvert Vaux/Drier-Offerman, and Prospect Park, respectively... anyway- let's just get to the sights...

Day 1: Wednesday, Prospect Park
This is a yellow bellied slider, again, not native-- but native to the SE states. Probably another unwanted pet. I wish people knew that pets are not disposable and are very much a commitment, no matter what the species.
A Northern Parula, feeding, from below. I am happy to see them back!
The sassy and bold gray catbird. I love their attitude.
I ended my day on Wednesday very frustrated, personally. Seeing these animals that I love, and the challenge of spotting them was the perfect remedy for me. This is a black-and-white warbler, one of my faves (they are pretty much all my faves).
A chunky chipmunk.
the only semi-clear photo I got of what was originally, a "warbler sp." but turned out to be a yellow throated vireo! Unlike the pine warbler that it closely resembles, it has a much thicker beak.
A very weary veery.
super glad to see the male scarlet tanager.

Female red-wing blackbird taking advantage of leftovers.
 Day 2: Thursday, Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center
Brants still linger. I wonder if they are confused by the colder temperatures we have been having.
Clearly, they are still well-fed!
 A well-hidden greater yellowlegs.
I only spotted this yellow crowned night heron because of its glaring white crown.
A not so clear picture, but one adult killdeer was calling, making as much noise as he could, while this one stood by... I noticed it had a few extra legs...
After a while, the adult let all three babies to go out and explore. But after some time, she called everyone in, one by one.
These little chicks looks like craft pom-poms on toothpick legs... super super cute! I was by myself and could joyfully squee to myself without judgement from those who could have been near by.
Each baby then and snuggled their way into the adults downy feathers.

Two more still need to get over to the adult.
And so tiny!
A patient parent. Number two is just getting underneath.
C'mon number three!



It is so hard not to anthropomorphize, but this is just so sweet and it makes my heart melt. But the real name of this game is survival and ensuring that this next generation survives to adulthood to have chicks of their own.
One of another pair of killdeer I saw, this pair I did not see any chicks, but they could have been hiding.
A song sparrow


Day 3: 6 Diamonds and Drier-Offerman:
I joined my friend, Daniel to look for a Grasshopper sparrow. Instead we found chipping sparrows (above), savannah sparrows, brant, cormorant, and some homeless people making a bon-fire at 6 Diamonds ball fields.
In Drier-Offerman, the most excitement was watching this great egret hunt fish in the ship wreck at low tide. I didn't realize until I could zoom, how both of their eyes face below, and also then making more sense as to why they hunt with that funny stance-- to see anything lurking below.
...Going in for the prize. 
A common loon on Coney Island Creek.
Day 4: Saturday, Prospect Park
A very yellow-bellied yellow-bellied sapsucker. I was glad to have good company on my walk today running into some fellow Brooklyn Birders today and joining forces on a very un-birdy, but still a wonderful walk.
At the Vale I did get to see a blue-winged warbler, it was so fast that it came and went, so all I got at the Vale was a cardinal photo.
A charming bullfrog on the lower pool.

A lurking common snapping turtle also in the lower pool.
A subpar picture of a Louisiana Waterthrush also on the lower pool.
This guy was just too much, love him!
A spotted sandpiper foraging on the peninsula.