Saturday, April 2, 2016

National Birding Day!

     According to a group I follow, today is "National Birding Day." To be honest I think any day is worth calling a "Birding Day" holiday.
     This Birding Day started off gloomy, with rain coming down. It has been a while since we've had a gross rainy weekend, so I took advantage of the fact I'd probably be inside all day and I cleaned, did laundry, cared for the critters, and made plans to make a pie, because- really, why not. If I had my way, every day would be National Pie Day.
     Around noon the rain stopped, and with a check of the weather it looked like it might not rain till later on in the day- so to avoid being stuck inside all day long, I got my butt out the door and walked to the park-- after I participated in a participatory budget vote for our district, hoping my vote helps to get the park a new "Lake Mess Monster." The LMM is a big, mean, green machine that flats atop the lake, and picks of large items, that gross algae, among I'm sure other things-- a Coney Island whitefish or two, I'm sure - yuck.
     By 3pm, the sun was peeking out with some blue sky showing through the clouds- so a successful National Birding Day it was - and now to celebrate the day with photos and pie! Enjoy:
When they fly, boy are they loud - they are like the cargo planes of the bird world, big, clunky, and slow-- the mute swan in flight.
Glad to catch a very far, very zoomed in, very cropped, and therefore, very blurry view of the red throated loon that has been hanging out on the lake in Prospect Park for the last week or so. They are not normal visitors to the lake- usually to the bays, and harbor.
Very happy to find this large bull frog, I was hoping to see a frog and if you are quiet and walk slow to the shore, near the reeds, you can usually find one!
Of course with the wet ground, the robins were everywhere- also on the ground lots of grackles, RW Blackbirds, and starlings. Again I practiced only using my camera in manual mode, setting the ISO and changing the aperture. Let's just say I took a lot of pictures and most were blurry, but I did like the way this one turned out.
An American coot appears to be blasting off, but he is really just the only bird in the area of the pink beach, sailing across an undisturbed surface.
I'm not sure who spooked who, but we both were startled to be in such close proximity to one another. We both played it cool, I snapped a few pictures, while this mourning dove pretended like he meant to do that.


In one area of the Lullwater there were Blue-grey gnatcatchers, pine warbler, a hairy wood pecker, with mourning doves and grackles in the leaf littler and this little ruby-crowned kinglet zipping about, foraging among newly budded leaves.
Oh yeah, in case you were wondering, this is the Lake Mess Monster that needs to be replaced. It is a pretty gnarly machine, I wish I could ride on it, like the way a kid gets to ride the zamboni at a hockey game.